A report on the impact of climate change on the glacier-fed Indus River and the rising geopolitical tensions between India and Pakistan. Both countries depend on the river to generate hydropower and, in Pakistan's case, as a primary water source for agricultural irrigation. It is part of a series of print, broadcast, and multimedia reporting sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting on which, Anna-Katarina Gravgaard, and Bill Wheeler are working. The project looks at water distribution and the impacts of climate change on hydrology from the Himalayan glaciers of Nepal to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Indus River offers us a case study in the diplomacy needed to counter climate-induced destabilization. “The Water’s Edge,” first appeared in GOOD Magazine, and was subsequently republished by The Quietus and The Caravan magazines.
Climate change is real, it is happening and its consequences are devastating. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Indus Delta which lies in the southern Sindh province of Pakistan. Due to rising sea-levels and declining levels of fresh water in the Indus River, the sea has intruded 54km upstream along the river, destroying fertile land and killing off the thick mangrove forests. With the help of WWF-Pakistan, the local fishermen are adapting to climate change by planting new mangrove species and installing wind turbines to take care of their energy needs. Mangroves provide rich breeding grounds for fish, in addition to protecting the coast from storms.