What are Inter-State Water Disputes? Give examples.

By Ritesh|Updated : September 7th, 2022

One of the humans' most crucial needs is water, which serves various functions, including drinking, cleaning, agriculture, and industrial. Interstate water conflicts are disagreements between states brought on by a lack of or limited access to water.

  • The IRWD Act applies only to interstate rivers/river valleys.
  • The action of one state should affect the interests of one or more other states.

Inter-State Water Disputes - Examples

The IRWD Act considers the water dispute to have occurred (Section 3). It can be divided into two independent parts to clarify the IRWD Act's technical-legal application.

  • Federal relations may be hampered by uneven water allocation among the states.
  • The most potent political expression of water disputes in our nation came from the demand for irrigation in agriculture.
  • Interstate River Water Disputes Amendment Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 25 July 2019 by Jal Shakti Minister Mr. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
  • The Act governs how conflicts involving the waters of interstate rivers and river valleys are resolved.
  • Any river water sharing treaty entered into with other countries must be ratified by the Parliament under the article after deciding the share of the Indian riparian states under Article 262 for the treaty to be constitutionally valid or enforceable by the courts, as India follows a dualistic theory in implementation.

Examples of interstate water disputes:

Here is a list of some interstate water disputes and the states involved:

Rivers States concerned


Ravi, Beas and Sutlej

Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan


Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry


Tamil Nadu, Kerala


Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan


Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha


What are Inter-State Water Disputes? Give examples.

The scarcity or absence of water can lead to disputes between states, known as interstate water disputes. The Act regulates the adjudication of disputes concerning the waters of interstate rivers and river valleys.


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