DigDeep is in Kashmir this month, teaching a graduate course on water, conflict and human rights. It may seem odd that we’re here. After all, there’s plenty of water in Kashmir. But that’s just the problem: Kashmir is water-rich, and its water wealth is a quiet but essential part of a regional conflict here that’s lasted five decades.
For the Kashmir dispute, ‘the Indus runs through it.’
The Indus is one of the world’s most important river systems - home to the earliest human civilization and indispensable for agriculture and industry in North India and Pakistan. All five rivers of the Indus system (the Pubjab) originate in Kashmir. Since the 1960’s, India and Pakistan have managed to create a peaceful treaty system governing this tremendous resource, despite their failure to resolve the Kashmir dispute more generally.
So why are we here?
Well, the future of Indus water peace is uncertain, with both Pakistan and India facing new resource constraints in their quest for irrigation and hydropower. With Pakistan approaching its “water barrier” (the per-capita amount of water its citizens require to live), the situation is especially sensitive for those who depend on the Indus to meet their daily needs.
DigDeep is sponsoring a class on the human right to water at the Islamic University of Science and Technology in Srinigar, the capital of Indian Kashmir. IUST is home to the Centre for International Peace and Conflict Studies, the only faculty of it’s kind in Kashmir - one of the most famous conflict zones in the world.
We’re working with Kashmiri Master’s students - the region’s best and brightest - to provide seminar-style training in conflict, transboundary water issues, and human rights. We hope to help these incredible young people think differently about water, and to equip them with the tools they need to protect basic human needs in this region, their home.
Whether we’re kicking off an awareness campaign in LA, drilling a well in South Sudan, or hosting a Masters level course in Kashmir, DigDeep is defending your human right to water.
We’re happy to help.
P.S. Check back here for insights and updates. We’ll be keeping you posted from the field!
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