I.A. PANSOHTA The canal system in India was introduced during 1817 by the then Governor General of India, Lord Ellenborough. A mega project stipulating the construction of 5483 miles of main channel and 29,282 distributaries was undertaken. It was first entrusted to Sir Proby Cautley, English engineer and palaeontologist. He established his famous training centre at the Gota Canal at Motala Werstad, Sweden, in 1822 that produced many brilliant engineers. His efforts bore fruit for the Indians as well, as part of the human urge for a peaceful co-existence. Then the colonial age in Europe ushered in, resulting in the capture of as many countries as possible. Consequently, the East India Company got its hold on entire India by 1857 AD. However, the partition of India in 1947, which was not anticipated at that time, triggered an array of new problems - water being one of its key issues. In an unprecedented triumph of water diplomacy, the Pakistani engineers together with their Indian counterparts and the World Bank negotiated the Indus Waters Treaty, giving Pakistan the right in perpetuity to the waters of the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers, which accounts for 75 percent of the flow of the whole Indus system. As time passed, the population of India and Pakistan grew. In Pakistan alone, it was estimated around 17 million in 1901 that became around 32 million in 1947. It was around 34 millions at the time of census 1951 and about 140 million during the last decade. India crossed the one billion mark. The first challenge arose because of the 'lines of partition of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent that severed the irrigated heartland of Punjab from the life-giving waters of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers. Punjab being densely settled area and the beneficiary of irrigation system, besides rapid population growth the need for water has also increased. At present, Pakistan is one of the worlds most arid countries with an average rainfall of under 240mm a year. Currently, India has 26 major rivers along with their numerous tributaries, making up the river system of India. All the major rivers of India originate from one of the three main watersheds: The Himalya and the Karakoram ranges Vindhya and Satpura ranges and Chotanagpur plateau in central India Sahyadri or Western Ghats in western India The Himalayas serve a very important purpose. The Himalayas, about 2,400 kilometres in length and varying in width from 240 to 330 kilometres, are made up of three parallel ranges - the Greater Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas and the Outer Himalayas, which is the highest mountain range in the world. It extends along the northern frontiers of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma having approximately 6,000 meters in average height and containing the highest peaks such as Mount Everest (8,796 meters) on the China-Nepal border. Then K2 (8,611 meters), also known as Mount Godwin-Austen and in China as Qogir Feng, which is located in an area that is claimed by India, Pakistan, and China. There is yet another mountain known as Kanchenjunga (8,598 meters) located on the India-Nepal border. The snow line average is from 4,500 to 6,000 meters on the southern side of the Greater Himalayas and 5,500 to 6,000 meters on the northern side. Because of climatic conditions, the snow line in the eastern Himalayas averages 4,300 meters, while in the western Himalayas it averages 5,800 meters. The Lesser Himalayas, located in northwestern India, ranges from 1,500 to 5,000 meters in height. The Outer or Southern Himalayas, averaging 900 to 1,200 meters in elevation, lie between the Lesser Himalayas and the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Although the Trans-Himalaya Range is divided from the Great Himalayan Range for most of its length, it merges with the Great Himalayan Range in the western section - the Karakoram Range - where India, Pakistan, and China meet. Moreover, the southern slopes of each of the Himalayan ranges are too steep to accumulate snow. The northern slopes generally are forested below the snow line. Between the ranges are extensive high plateaus, deep gorges, and fertile valleys, such as the vales of Kashmir and Kulu. They provide a physical screen within which the monsoon system operates and are the source of the great river systems that water the alluvial plains below. As a result of erosion, the rivers coming from the mountains carry vast quantities of silt that enrich the plains. In Indian Punjab, the only natural resource for water are the three rivers - Ravi, Beas and Sutlej - that flow in its territory. But 75 percent of its water was given to the adjoining non-riparian states of Haryana and Rajasthan. The total estimated water in these three rivers is about 32 million acre feet. Punjab alone needs a total of 52 units and thus is short of 20 million. Pakistan has objected to the construction of 67 projects being undertaken by India on the Indus, besides opposing the construction of Kishanganga Dam, Wullar Barrage Dam on the Jhelum, Baghliar, Salal and Bursar Dams on the Chenab. If we look at the water stress versus any countrys resources, India is in a much better position than Pakistan due to its proximity to Tibet, Kashmir, Himalayas, and Bay of Bengal. India at present uses the water of more than 220 rivers, some of its major rivers are Brahmaputra, Dahisar, Damodar, Ganga (with its tributaries) Ghaggar, Godavari, Gomti, Indus Basin (which includes Sutlej, Jhelum, Beas, Ravi and Chenab). Kaveri (with its main tributaries) Koyna, Krishna, Mandovi, Mhanadi, Mithi, Narmada, Oswiwara, Sabarmati, Tapti (with its main tributaries), Ulhas, Vashishti, Yamuna, and Zuari On the other hand, Pakistan has extremely limited water resources. Indus River, which is regarded the 'life line of Pakistan, and its tributaries are probably the largest water source in this country, as around the two-thirds of water supplied for irrigation and in homes comes from the Indus and its associated rivers. However, in case India plans to curtail Pakistans water supply, the impact on its agriculture and economy would be thoroughly devastating - one could possibly guess. If the international community does not intervene, a new series of conflicts - Water Wars - could starts in the coming years. That would once again change the course of subcontinents history. The only ray of hope, for seeking justice is through the legal battle, as New Delhis policy of spelling disaster in Pakistan is being pursued on the basis of the view that 'Might is Right.Ttechnical juggleries are being employed to justify its actions. In this way, it lays a death trap for Pakistan, yet raising false alarm that it is breeding terrorism in India. The writer is a freelance columnist.