Experts for trans-boundary cooperation on Brahmaputra basin

BANGKOK, Aug 29: Trans-boundary collaboration and sound water management are key to mutually beneficial water utilisation and flood control in India and three other riparian countries of the Brahmaputra basin, experts have said.
The Brahmaputra basin spreads over China, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh and has a total area of 5,80,000 square kilometres.
The river, one of the major rivers in Asia, flows 50.50 per cent in Tibet, 33.60 per cent in India, 8.10 per cent in Bangladesh and 7.80 per cent in Bhutan. India and Bangladesh constitute more than 95 per cent of the total population of the Yarlung Zangbo-Brahmaputra-Jamuna basin, which bears the brunt of the floods.
“Water utilisation in the Yarlung Zangbo-Brahmaputra- Jamuna river is a challenge due to its narrow width and high drainage density which produces high flood wave causing severe flood damage in the lower riparian countries of the basin”, said Arup Sarma of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati at a workshop on Water and Neighbourhoodorganised by the Third Pole here recently.
He said taking necessary safety precautions can prevent loss of lives and minimise flood damage.
An understanding exists between four countries – China, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh – but a multilateral body comprising the four countries can go a long way to address the trans-boundary issues of the river basin and ensure its proper management, said Anamika Barua of IIT Guwahati.
The Brahmaputra basin has the highest water resources potential but its utilisation percentage is low mainly due to its high temporal variation of more than 75 per cent in four months leading to severe floods, erosion and drought. PTI