The Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of the Americas was adopted by the Heads of State and Government gathered at the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, 7-8 December 1996. The Plan commits the governments, among other things, to promote cooperation in the conservation, management, and sustainable use of water resources, "including through the use of existing transboundary agreements" (Plan of Action, Initiative No. 50). This wording is clearly directed at transboundary rivers, lakes, and basins found in the American hemisphere and reflects awareness among the policymakers assembled in Santa Cruz de la Sierra of the significance of such rivers, lakes, and basins to the hydrologic balance of the hemisphere and to the economic and social development of the countries.
According to press reports, Bolivia intended to seek compensation from Chile regarding Chile's use of the waters of the Silola River, which flows from Bolivia to Chile. Reportedly, however, Chile's use is consistent with treaty provisions dating back to the last century (see El Comercio of Lima, Peru, 21 May 1996).
On 29 January, India and Nepal signed in Kathmandu, Nepal, a (→) Treaty Concerning the Integrated Development of the Mahakali River Including Sarada Barrage, Tanakpur Barrage, and Pancheswar Project. The Treaty provides for India's and Nepal's joint development of the water and power potential of a boundary stretch of the Mahakali River through construction of the Pancheswar Project. It also disposes of certain pending water and power sharing issues in relation to the Sarada and the Tanakpur Barrage on tributaries to the Mahakali River, by fixing Nepal's water and power entitlements and the corresponding obligations of both countries in terms of water and power releases by India, and the sharing in certain expenses by Nepal (Arts. 1 and 2). In addition, the Treaty lays down minimum flow requirements in the river downstream of the Sarada Barrage to be met by India (Article 1.2). As to the Pancheswar Project, the parties undertake to share equally the power benefits generated by it, while the project costs are to be borne by each party in proportion to the respective benefits accruing to each, with Nepal undertaking to sell part of its power share to India (Art. 3). With a view to