The Ebb and Flow of Water Conflicts: A Case Study of India and Pakistan
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A growing body of evidence suggests that domestic water conflicts are not only more prevalent and violent than water conflicts at the international level, they can also have regional and international implications. Using India and Pakistan as a case study, this chapter explores how water conflicts within these two countries affect water relations between them. The chapter uses two forms of research. First, it employs event databases to provide a general overview of the frequency and intensity of water conflict and cooperation both between and within India and Pakistan from 1948 to 2014. Second, it draws on expert perspectives to provide more context and analysis of how water conflicts at these two scales—domestic and international—interact. The chapter concludes that water conflicts within India are largely self-contained and have no bearing on its water relations with Pakistan, whereas water conflicts within Pakistan are closely tied to India’s actions upstream and therefore have a tendency to irritate water relations between them internationally.