Although India occupies only 3.29 million km2 geographical area, which forms 2.4 percent of the world’s land area, it supports over 15 percent of the world’s population. With a population of more than 1.21 billion people, India supports about 1/6th of world population but has got only 1/25th of world’s water resources. Besides, India also caters a livestock population of more than 500 million, which is about 20 percent of world’s total. Provided this huge gap between supply and demand of water in India, its sustainable use and management becomes an inevitable task. India is gifted with a river system comprising more than 20 major rivers with several tributaries. Many of these rivers are rivers flowing through different states (Inter-state Rivers), and this geographical reality has become a bone of contention between different states of India. There are many inter-state rivers in India. The regulation and development of these river valleys continues to be a source of inter-state friction. India is a federal democracy, and most of its rivers cross state boundaries, as such constructing efficient and equitable mechanisms for allocating river flows has long been an important legal and constitutional issue. Since independence, numerous inter-state river water disputes have erupted in India. In this paper, I will try to highlight how regional politics and ineffective administration has led to the mismanagement of this precious natural resource.
Inter-state; Federal democracy; Mismanagement, Water Disputes, Trans-boundary Resources