Indus Floods and Climate Change.docx

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Geography lecture notes 4/4/2012 12:02:00 PM
Indus Floods Disaster 2010
Significant river and river system in Pakistan
Pakistan is in the center of the World on Terror, and facing a great deal of
environmental disasters
Country that is highly rural, tons of area that is undeveloped
Part of a trans boundary water system-and issue with water that has
implications on cooperation (complexity framework=theme of this course)
Very significant disaster as it effected a third of Pakistan’s population
Flood policy is very important-becoming a huge issue as they share the
Himalayan watershed (Pakistan and South Asia) therefore rivers are very
crucial-in the center of old civilization
India is at advantage-water first flows through India then into Pakistan
Countries are all building dams without telling each other what they are
**need to use the article by Mustafa for the essay question and what it
means for climate change policy
Pakistan is vulnerable to disaster-the Indus flows right through Pakistan-
India is the course of all these rivers-if India starts building dams it will
cause a problem
India was subject to a dispute between India and Pakistan-Pakistan
choose to become Muslim, but Punjabi is spoken in both
Drawing on international models (ex Great Lakes), were used in South
Asia-treaty=some rivers flowing out from Indus were allotted to Pakistan
while 3 were given to India, they could not build dams on each others
Countries have bilateral treaties with other countries-what is needed:
multilateral treaty
India wants bilateral because they can get more concessions out of other
Need a multilateral-Indus disaster highlighted the need for it-India and
China were industrializing at a very fast pace
India is trying to generate a lot of hydro power from the rivers-a lot of
suspicions over the flow of rivers in Pakistan
Canal system-like a water convenience system-connected to huge
reservoirs=purpose: branches flowing out of large systems into fields of
the farmers; why is it built? A lot of variation from rainfall, and farmers
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use the water from the rainfall to irrigate crops; a lot of gaps when there
is no rainfall and crops need water-governments have built dams to
contrast canals that flow into fields of farmers during dry season-given a
lot of security to farmers and their people-can also cause a lot of
complicated problems-rules in place (cannot use water flowing through
his fields because he already has a lot of water-whenever there is a canal
system put in place, farmers buy land in very strategic places to ensure
they have more water-overlaps with class differentiation-more expensive
land has more water=>led to a lot of disparities
Canals also have ecological effects-a lot of water being extracted from
rivers-they carry sediments which get stuck on the bed of the rivers
Similar to what happened during Katrina-but was not a disaster zone-a
cultural understanding that building dams could bring in a lot of
Good deal of understanding about how the worlds climate works-this
disaster attributed to climate change
Disaster happened during the monsoon period
Video clip: nobody predicted the flooding that would occur-torrents of
water reeking havoc everywhere; flood that would devastate the country
unlike ever before; 100s of miles of territory underwater
Interview with Daanish Mustafa : on how ecological balance was broken
in the Indus River; some of the highest silt loads and drains the oldest
and highest mountains in the world (Himalayas); poor management and
long term management been going on for 150 years, balance between
protecting self from river while reaping benefits; every river has a pulse-
trying to tame it with infrastructure makes them move around-don’t want
them to, Indus does not have room to move or flow like it used to-not
enough flow in the mainstream river to carry the deposits; river
managers in Pakistan do not recognize the importance of wetlands-
biodiversityvery important material to those who live in plains;
wetlands have been drained and removed; disaster that has happened
and will happen again and again; unusual bearings are becoming more
usual-fundamental message: past infrastructure is not going to hold
therefore need to become more proactive, the way we have been
managing system is not going to hold-country does not have unlimited
resources, poorest people who benefit the least from the irrigation system
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