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Indus Water Treaty

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Indus Water Treaty:


September 19 marks the 60th anniversary of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan.

About the Indus Water Treaty:

It is a Water-Distribution Treaty, signed in Karachi in 1960, between India (PM Jawaharlal Nehru) and Pakistan (President Ayub Khan), brokered by the World Bank.

Who has control over what?

  • Under the treaty, India has control over water flowing in the eastern rivers– Beas, Ravi and Sutlej.
  • Pakistan has control over the western rivers– Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.

Water for other purposes:

  • India is allowed to use 20% water of the western rivers for irrigation, power generation and transport purposes.
  • It also granted 3.6 million acre-feet (MAF) of “permissible storage capacity” to India on the western rivers.

Key features of the treaty:

  • As per the treaty, the water commissioners of Pakistan and India are required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river head works.
  • Both the sides share details of the water flow and the quantum of water being used under the treaty.
  • The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers.



Prelims Link:

  1. Indus and its tributaries.
  2. When was Indus Water treaty signed?
  3. Who brokered the treaty?
  4. Highlights of the treaty?
  5. Functions of Permanent Indus Commission.
  6. Hydroelectric projects in News in this regard.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Indus Water Treaty.

Sources: Indian Express.