Governance of the Ganges River Basin
The Ganges River Basin is shared by four countries – Bangladesh, China, India and Nepal – and though it lacks a regional basin-level cooperation agreement to facilitate its joint management and address common challenges such as floods and climate change, there are four bilateral agreements on the Ganges River and its tributaries. A number of studies appraising the provisions and implementation of these bilateral agreements are available online, but none assess the degree to which international water law principles have already been integrated into the existing agreements. This paper uses the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC) as a reference point to provide qualitative arguments and insight on the degree to which international water law principles have been mainstreamed. It is envisaged that this paper will help strengthen the existing legal framework for cooperation in the Ganges Basin through improved understanding of international water law principles among stakeholders, and by highlighting gaps and opportunities to mainstream international water law into existing agreements in the Ganges Basin.