India Plans Dam on Tsangpo-Brahmaputra to Check Floods and China

India is planning a 9,600 megawatt hydroelectric project on the Brahmaputra river to reduce flooding in eastern India and ensure its water use is protected in case of a water-rights dispute with neighbor China.

The dam will hold as much as 13 billion cubic meters of water, Amarjit Singh, additional secretary in India’s water ministry said in New Delhi Thursday. The project is expected to reduce flooding in the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The so-called middle Siang project will be built across the river that’s known as Tsangpo in China.

“This project will help protect our rights in international courts as a lower riparian nation,” Singh said. China shares information on flood waters, but the two countries don’t have a treaty similar to the one India signed with Pakistan on the use of Indus waters in 1960, Singh said.

The Brahmaputra river originates on the Angsi glacier in northern Himalayas and flows through Tibet, India and Bangladesh. China is building 510 megawatt hydropower capacity on the Tsangpo in Tibet.