The Ganges Water Diversion: Environmental Effects and Implications

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M. Monirul Qader Mirza
Springer Science & Business Media, 2004 M08 3 - 368 pages
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This book deals with environmental effects on both sides of the border between Bangladesh and India caused by the Ganges water diversion. This issue came to my attention in early 1976 when news media in Bangladesh and overseas, began publications of articles on the unilateral withdrawal of a huge quantity of water from the Ganges River through the commissioning of the Farakka Barrage in India. I first pursued the subject professionally in 1984 while working as a contributor for Bangladesh Today, Holiday and New Nation. During the next two decades, I followed the protracted hydro-political negotiations between the riparian countries in the Ganges basin, and I traveled extensively to observe the environmental and ecological changes in Bangladesh as well as India that occurred due to the water diversion. The Ganges, one of the longest rivers of the world originates at the Gangotri glacier in the Himalayas and flows across the plains of North India. Eventually the river splits into two main branches and empties into the Bay of Bengal. The conflict of diversion and sharing of the Ganges water arose in the middle of the last century when the government of India decided to implement a barrage at Farakka to resolve a navigation problem at the Kolkata Port.

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Contents

THE GANGES WATER DIVERSION ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS AND IMPLICATIONS AN INTRODUCTION
1
The Phases of Negotiations
3
14 Road Map to the Book
7
HYDROLOGICAL CHANGES IN BANGLADESH
13
HydroMeteorological Setting
14
23 The Data
19
24 Hydrologic Changes in the Ganges System
20
25 Conclusions
31
85 Social Impacts of Reservoirs
172
86 Towards Watering the Sundarbans
174
ADVERSE EFFECTS ON AGRICULTURE IN THE GANGES BASIN IN BANGLADESH
177
92 AgroClimate of the Ganges Basin in Bangladesh
180
93 Degraded AgroEcological Constraints and Agriculture in the Ganges Basin
184
94 Water Diversion and Effects on Agriculture
189
95 Affected Area and Production Loss
191
96 Concluding Remarks
194

ROLE OF FARAKKA BARRAGE ON THE DISASTROUS 1998 FLOOD IN MALDA WEST BENGAL
39
32 Brief Description of the Flood
42
33 Causes of Flood and Role of Farakka Barrage
43
34 Conclusions
48
IMPACT OF UPSTREAM HUMAN INTERVENTIONS ON THE MORPHOLOGY OF THE GANGESGORAI SYSTEM
49
42 Approach
50
43 GeoMorphological Settings
52
44 HydroMorphological Characteristics
56
45 Natural and Human Interventions and Their Impacts on the Ganges
59
46 Changes in the Ganges River and its Impact on the Gorai River
69
47 Future of the Gorai River
74
48 Discussion and Concluding Remarks
77
EFFECTS ON WATER SALINITY IN BANGLADESH
81
52 Dynamics of River Salinity in the Southwest Region
83
53 The Data
87
56 Projection of Salinity under the Ganges WaterSharing Treaty
94
57 Implications of Increased Salinity in Bangladesh
96
58 Conclusions
101
FARAKKA BARRAGE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE HYDROLOGY AND FISHERY OF HOOGHLY ESTUARY
103
62 The Impact
104
63 Concluding Remarks
122
IMPLICATIONS ON ECOSYSTEMS IN BANGLADESH
125
73 Impact on Physical Environment
126
74 Impact of Reduced Freshwater Flow on Vegetation
131
75 Impact on Faunal Richness
143
76 Water Quality and Aquatic Biota
150
77 Salinity and Fish
151
78 Fauna of Conservation Significance
152
79 Ecosystem Integrity
153
710 Impacts on Ecosystem Services
159
WATERING THE BANGLADESHI SUNDARBANS
163
83 The GangesBrahmaputra Link Canal
168
84 Water Development in Nepal
169
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE GANGES WATER DIVERSION AND ITS INTERNATIONAL LEGAL ASPECTS
197
102 Environmental Impact of Indian Water Diversion Projects
199
103 Legal Responses in the 1996 Treaty
202
104 The 1997 Watercourse Convention
207
105 A Comparison Between the 1996 Treaty and the 1997 Convention
213
106 Customary Rules in the 1997 Convention
215
107 Global Environmental Conventions and Soft Law Instruments
218
108 Conclusions
220
WATCHING THE FARAKKA BARRAGE ROLE OF MEDIA
223
112 Reflection of Farakka in the Media
225
113 The Role of Media
230
114 The Function of Media
237
115 Adaptation
238
Media Should Show the Way Ahead
240
VULNERABILITY TO THE GANGES WATER DIVERSION ADAPTATION AND COPING MECHANISMS
247
A Brief Review of Concept and Issues
248
123 Water Diversion Incremental Hazards and Thresholds
257
A Synthesis
264
125 Cost of Adaptation
280
126 Concluding Remarks
281
THE GANGES WATERSHARING TREATY RISK ANALYSIS OF THE NEGOTIATED DISCHARGE
287
132 The Data
289
134 How to Reduce the Risk?
296
135 Concluding Remarks
300
REGIONAL COOPERATION ON WATER AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE GANGES BASIN BANGLADESH PERSPECTIVES
305
142 The Ganges Basin
306
A Framework
309
144 Experiences of Past Cooperation and Past Efforts towards Forging Cooperation
312
The Case of InterLinking of Rivers in India
319
146 Concluding Remarks
322
ANNEX I
327
Index
353
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