The Ganges Water Treaty between Bangladesh and India will expire in 2026, as the year will complete the treaty’s 30-year lifespan. Bangladesh and India signed this treaty in 1996 to share water among themselves. Under the treaty, the upper riparian India and lower riparian Bangladesh agreed to share the water of this transboundary river. After 27 years, many new issues have arisen that need to be solved. Whether the treaty would be renewed or not is also another concern.
The futile hydro-negotiations of the last decade on 54 transboundary rivers are also a bleak picture with little success. Moreover, if the negotiations on renewal take place, it will be a tough negotiation, especially for lower riparian Bangladesh considering the importance of the Ganges for both countries, the growing climate vulnerability in South Asia, and the hydro-hegemonic approach of India. Therefore, Bangladesh must sit in the negotiations well-prepared. Perhaps, it is time for Bangladesh to start taking preparation in both field and diplomatic levels for the negotiation scheduled in 2026.
The Ganges is a transboundary river flowing between Bangladesh and India. Through the 1996 treaty, Bangladesh successfully established its claim on the Ganges water. In this sense, it was a successful negotiation for Bangladesh.