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Governance

Karnataka Ordered to Release Cauvery Water

  • 29 May 2019
  • 3 min read

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) has ordered Karnataka to release 9.19 tmcft of water for the month of June from the Biligundlu reservoir to the Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu.

  • The Central Government notified the Cauvery Water Management Scheme in June last year, inter alia, constituting the 'Cauvery Water Management Authority' and the 'Cauvery Water Regulation Committee' to give effect to the decision of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court vide its order dated 16th February, 2018.
    • The Central Government, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 4 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 had constituted the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal vide notification dated the 2nd June, 1990 to adjudicate upon the water dispute regarding the Inter-State river Cauvery and the river valley thereof among the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union territory of Puducherry.
  • The quantum of water to be released is in line with the Supreme Court’s order. While conferring authority to the CWMA to decide on releasing the Cauvery water, the Supreme Court said Karnataka’s share of the water was 284 tmcft, Tamil Nadu’s 404 tmcft, Kerala 30 tmcft and Puducherry 7 tmcft. Besides this, the court reserved 10 tmcft for environmental purposes and 4 tmcft for natural flow into the sea.
  • Due to the poor monsoon and non-arrival of Cauvery water on time, the sluice gates of the Mettur Dam which are supposed to be opened on June 12 every year for the Kuruvai (Paddy) cultivation have not been opened since 2011. With the CWMA’s direction, the farmers of Tamil Nadu are looking at initiating Kuruvai cultivation.
  • Also, several parts of Tamil Nadu are grappling with acute water shortage. The Centre had last week also issued a drought advisory to the state in the backdrop of depleting water levels in its reservoirs.

Cauvery River

  • The river rises on Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in southwestern Karnataka state, flows in a southeasterly direction through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and descends the Eastern Ghats in a series of great falls.
  • Some of its tributaries are Arkavathi, Hemavathi, Lakshmana Theertha, Shimsa, Kabini and Harangi.
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