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Shafik Islam was recently featured in The Daily Star (Bangladesh) discussing the recent renewed interest in India’s ambitious river linking project, which seeks to build extensive and costly interbasin transfer infrastructure to provide additional water to regions that need it most.

This project was envisioned and planning was initiated more than 30 years ago, but despite national government level enthusiasm for the project, none of the proposed links have been completed. Environmental impacts, the value of implementation costs, and impacts on downstream flows are some sources of unanswered questions for the proposed projects.

In this article, Dr. Islam argues that the logic of averaging “surplus” and “deficit” to optimize and equalize resource allocation is neither new nor actionable. A reframing of this interlinking project is urgently needed, one that doesn’t solely embrace a techno-centric approach to the surplus/deficit problem, but that instead incorporates more integrated and adaptive management to address concerns not currently met by the project design.

The full piece can be found here: Reframing Water Challenges, July 26 2015, The Daily Star.


Amanda Repella

Amanda C. Repella is the Water Diplomacy Global Network Coordinator at Tufts University.