Cauvery row: CWMA upholds order of CWRC; Directs Karnataka to release 3000 cusecs of water to TN
The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) meeting addressed water allocation issues, with Karnataka challenging CWRC's recommendations due to weather disparities. Karnataka prioritizes drinking water supply due to drought, while Tamil Nadu seeks water for harvesting crops. CWMA upheld CWRC's recommendations, impacting the Cauvery water dispute.
The meeting held by the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) upheld the decision of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC), which has asserted Karnataka to release 3000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day, until October 15. The meeting was held today at its headquarters in Delhi to address pressing water allocation issues. The meeting commenced at 2 p.m., with high-ranking Karnataka officials, including Additional Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh, representing the state.
The Cauvery struggle has intensified in Karnataka, with various farmer unions and pro-Kannada organisations calling for a bandh in the state. The state has witnessed two bandhs over the course of four days, with the Bengaluru bandh on September 26. Karnataka bandh was witnessed today, being led by Kannada activist and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj. The state has witnessed severe protests in all the cities, against the order of releasing water to Tamil Nadu.
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Karnataka had challenged the recommendations made by the CWRC before the CWMA. They argue that complying with CWRC's water allocation recommendations is a hard task due to the disparity in weather conditions between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Karnataka contends that Tamil Nadu benefits from the early arrival of north-westerly winds, which trigger rainfall in the region as early as October. Additionally, Tamil Nadu boasts a more favourable groundwater level and is requesting water for a third crop, making it difficult for Karnataka to release any water.
Karnataka officials argued that prioritizing drinking water supply for their own residents is crucial, especially given the drought declarations in many taluks within the Cauvery basin. On the other side of the debate, Tamil Nadu has also raised objections to the CWRC's recommendations, asserting that it is unjust for farmers to be denied water when their crops are ready for harvest. Tamil Nadu had formally requested the release of at least 12,500 cusecs of water.
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During the CWMA meeting, Tamil Nadu was represented by ACS Manivasan through video conference, and the state's technical team were present in person. The current water situation in the Cauvery Valley reveals that there is approximately 49.628 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic feet) of water in the Cauvery Valley Dam. To date, 44.363 TMC of water has been released to Tamil Nadu. Furthermore, there is an inflow of 6,758 cusecs of water in the Cauvery valley, with an outflow of 3,798 cusecs. Additionally, 5,174 cusecs of water have been recorded at Biligundluvu.
After careful discussions, the CWMA has given a directive to rectify the previous shortfall and has supported the CWRC's recommendation to release 3,000 Cusecs of water by October 15, 2023. This decision is important for both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and relates to the ongoing Cauvery water dispute.