Cauvery Dispute; Ecology and Environment
- The riverine ecosystem of the disputed Cauvery River is in a dismal state.
- The Cauvery River originates from Talakaveri in Kodagu district, Karnataka, flows into Tamil Nadu, and reaches the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar.
- Parts of three Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka – and the Union Territory of puducherry lie in the Cauvery basin.
- Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been in a dispute for sharing of water of the Cauvery River
Major Environmental Issues:
|High temperature near the Source of the river||1. Rapid decline in forest cover due to:|
· Conversion of forest land to coffee plantations
· Developmental projects like construction of roads
· Conversion of land for real estate
According to a 2009 report there has been 28% decline in forest cover since 1977
|Declining flow of water in the Upstream||1. Loss of forest cover|
2. Change in land use from paddy cultivation to built ups (Paddy fields act as water sponges and help recharge groundwater aquifers)
3. Loss of forest cover and change in land use have led to decline in rainfall
4. During poor monsoons, coffee plantations meet water demands by drawing water from the river
|Overall decreased natural flow of water||1. Unsustainable farming practices- Indiscriminate withdrawal of groundwater|
2. Cultivation of water-intensive crop sugar cane in Cauvery-irrigated farm belts. Akravati, a major tributary of Cauvery has been completely dried up due to use of bore wells
3. Diversion of water into reservoirs by hydel power projects
|Water Pollution||1. Reduced flow of water|
2. Pesticide and fertilizers runoff from agricultural fields
|Salt-water intrusion near the mouth||1. Destruction of natural sand-bars near the mouth|
2. Excessive withdrawal of groundwater