The Stream, September 27: India Suspends Indus Water Commission

The Global Rundown

India’s government has suspended the water commission that oversees the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan amid a dispute over terrorism. Communities in Telangana are protesting a reservoir that would displace thousands of people. Half a million homes in the United States lack access to adequate water and sanitation connections. A major roadway along the river Seine in Paris will be turned into a pedestrian zone. Dry weather has cut maize yields in the European Union’s two biggest producers. Thousands of homes and businesses in eastern Iowa are at risk from severe floods this week.

“So far we haven’t developed even 10 percent of our share of irrigation and hydropower projects. If they want to keep us on pinpricks and harass us, we’ll have to behave strictly in accordance with the Indus Treaty. So far we have been extremely considerate.” –Shashi Shekhar, secretary of India’s Ministry of Water Resources, on the possibility of India pursuing more aggressive development of waterways within the Indus River Basin, which it shares with Pakistan. The two countries administer water rights in the basin through the Indus Waters Treaty, but India this week suspended the water commission that oversees the treaty’s implementation. India’s actions come in response to an attack on an Indian army base earlier this month that officials have blamed on terror groups harbored by Pakistan. (Bloomberg)

By The Numbers

25,000 people Number who would be displaced by a proposed reservoir in Telangana, a state in southern India. Local communities are protesting the reservoir, which officials say would irrigate more than 485,000 hectares of land. Reuters

3.3 kilometers Length of road along the right bank of the river Seine in Paris that will be permanently closed to traffic and redeveloped as a pedestrian zone with parks, restaurants and gardens. Guardian

16 percent Estimated drop in maize yields below the 5-year average in France and Romania, the European Union’s top two producers, due to unusually hot and dry conditions. Yields in Hungary, however, are expected to be 38 percent higher than average levels. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Almost 500,000 homes in the United States do not have adequate plumbing for water and sanitation, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This includes families that have neither municipal water and sewer connections or private septic systems. Many cannot afford to install such a system, and are instead forced to run pipes directly from their toilets into nearby forests. The New York Times

On The Radar

Severe floods are expected over the next two days in Cedar Rapids, the second largest city in Iowa, jeopardizing nearly 6,000 homes and businesses. Water levels on the Cedar River could crest at 7 meters on Tuesday. Reuters