Public International Law
December 3, 2014
Outline-The Sindhu River Case
I. What is the Sindhu River and why is it important?
The Sindhu River is a vital resource for transportation, food, and drinking water in the South Asian region between the countries Budhistan and Rajadesh. The river is roughly 2,000 miles long and flows into the Indian Ocean. The source of the river starts in Rajadesh and flows into Budhistan where it then empties into the Indian Ocean.
The Sindhu River has experienced hardship from drought in the last twenty years.
The Sindhu River shrank to roughly half its normal size, which led to the rationing of water for human consumption and agricultural purposes.
This is also led to the area surrounding the river to be exposed to desertification in the area of the Rann Sindhu, which divides Rajadesh and Budhistan.
In 1950, these two countries met together with United Nations Environmental Programme to decide how to prevent further desertification in the area. The result was the 1950 treaty-“The Convention on Friendship and Good Neighborly Relations” -which designated the Southern part of Rann Sindu as a border.
II. Controversy with Sharing of the Sindhu River
On the eve of the meeting, Rajadesh discovered that Budhistan had assigned government work crews in the desertified area where the Sindu River used to be in order to establish gas and drilling sites for commercial development.
Rajadesh was outraged because they believed this margin of the Rann of Sindhu constituted the Rajadesh and Budhistan border.
At the UNEP meeting, Rajadesh proposed the building of a large dam that would bring new innovation to this area in the form of hydroelectricity and irrigation methods. Budhistan did not agree to this plan, but Rajadesh proceeded to build the dam anyway since the Soviet Union agreed to finance and build the dam in exchange for oil and gas rights in Rajadesh.
II. Problems Associated with the Build Dam
There were positive and negative effects.
A. Positive Effects
The positive effects were that irrigation and agriculture greatly expanded into the area of Rajadesh. The land also became fertile and the hydroelectric power supply triggered more industries.
On the other side of the border, Budhistan was hit with many undesirable effects from the dam. There received much less water flow, the water was unfit for human consumption and irrigation practices, and the water was contaminated from the pesticides and fertilizers.
B. Negative Effects
On the other side of the border, Budhistan was hit with many undesirable effects from the dam. They received much less water flow, the water was unfit for human consumption and irrigation practices, and the water was contaminated from the pesticides and fertilizers. The water levels were so contaminated that Budhistan’s annual religious baptismal ceremonies that took place in the river could be postponed.
C. GROWING TENSIONS
Budhistan threatened to close its ports and waterway of the Sindhu River from Rajadesh unless they returned the water levels to normal flow.
Rajadesh in response blamed the Soviet Union for the problems since Soviet Union backed the building of the dam and its engineers built it.
Budhistan and Rajadesh have concerns about
The reasonable and equitable share utilization of the Sindhu River
The pollution from the dam
The concerns with freedom of navigation
The border and boundaries of Budhistan and Rajadesh as defined by the Sindu River
I. REASONABLE AND EQUITABLE SHARE UTILIZATION
The Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters International Rivers
International guideline regulating how rivers and their connected groundwaters that cross the national boundaries may be used.
Rules cannot really be enforced.
The Berlin Rules on Water Resources is a set of guidelines that is customary applied to water sources when crossing international or national boundaries. It expands the Helsinki Rules.