Karnataka looks relieved after the final verdict on Cauvery by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, Karnataka will have to release 14.25 TMC ft water less than it was asked to release earlier. The three-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar also said that this ruling was effective for 15 years.

However, though its verdict on the Cauvery Water Management Board is a temporary relief, the direction for the Centre to form the Board in six weeks might ring a bell of danger.

Here is what will happen after the Cauvery Water Management Board is formed:

  • The Centre has been asked to form the Cauvery Water Management Board
  • All the appointments to the Board will be done by the Centre
  • However, chief secretaries of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala will be mandatory members of the Board
  • Karnataka will lose all rights over KRS, Kabini, Harangi and Hemavati, and all reservoirs in the Cauvery basin will come under the Board
  • All decisions on water-sharing will be taken by the Centre as the Board is constituted by it, which cannot be challenged in the court
  • The decisions made by the Board will be based on the information it will gather from the real-time monitoring of the reservoirs
  • In this case, whether the Board's ruling will be binding on the states irrespective of rainfall is yet to be answered
  • The fear that if there is any bias in the appointment of members of the Board that will affect Karnataka adversely also has to be addressed
  • One more factor to be worried is that there are doubts if the SC's verdict will stay effective for 15 years, even after formation of the Board