Why is the Cauvery water sharing issue flaring up again?

Source– The post is based on the article “Why is the Cauvery water sharing issue flaring up again?” published in “The Hindu” on 16th August 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure

Relevance: Issues related to river water disputes between states

News– Recently, the Tamil Nadu government approached the Supreme Court to make Karnataka immediately release 24,000 cusecs water from its reservoirs and ensure the availability of the specified quantity at Biligundlu on the inter-State border for the remainder of the month.

How is the water being shared?

As per monthly schedule, Karnataka is obligated to provide Tamil Nadu with a total volume of 177.25 TMC during a standard water year spanning from June to May.

Out of this quantity, 123.14 TMC is slated to be transferred from June to September.

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) has been established to ensure the enforcement of the court’s decision.

Why has T.N. approached the SC?

During its session on August 11, the CWMA expressed the need for Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs of water at Biligundlu for the next 15 days.

Karnataka would be required to provide 0.86 TMC of water daily or a total of 12.9 TMC over the 15-day period.

Tamil Nadu was upset over Karnataka’s rejection of its commitment during the CWRC meeting, which was set at 15,000 cusecs for a 15-day duration.

Karnataka stated its intention to release only 8,000 cusecs.

How has Karnataka responded?

Karnataka has argued that decreased rainfall in the Cauvery catchment area has resulted in insufficient inflow into its reservoirs.

As per data from the Meteorological Department Kodagu district is experiencing rainfall deficit. It is the source of the Cauvery river.

What lies next?

The people of Tamil Nadu are eagerly anticipating Karnataka ‘s stand over the decision made by the Authority.

The current storage level of Tamil Nadu’s Mettur reservoir is critically low. This amount would only be sufficient for around 10 days. However, water will be required for at least one more month to sustain the ongoing short-term crop, kuruvai.

The perspective of the Supreme Court on this matter is yet to be determined. It remains uncertain how the Supreme Court will perceive the situation.

Print Friendly and PDF