CWMA endorses CWRC decision to reject TN demand for Cauvery water

The ongoing heavy pre-monsoon showers over the last week have helped ease water stress in both the states. 
CWMA endorses CWRC decision to reject TN demand for Cauvery water

NEW DELHI: The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) on Tuesday endorsed the decision of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC), given the low water level in reservoirs of the Cauvery basin.

CWRC on May 16 rejected Tamil Nadu’s demand to direct Karnataka to release backlog deficit water in environmental flow and ensure no further deficit in the environmental flow of Cauvery river to the state.

The authority meeting was chaired by Saumitra Kumar Haldar, Chairman of the Cauvery Water Management Authority.

“It was a routine meeting where we endorsed the 96th CWRC decision which rejected demand of Tamil Nadu to direct Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu,” Haldar told TNIE.

“It is not an irrigation season so both states should focus on drinking water requirements” he said Haldar, and underlined that the forecast of good monsoon would soon address water stress in the region.

The ongoing heavy pre-monsoon showers over the last week have helped ease water stress in both the states. 

The interstate point at Biligundlu, which was receiving barely 150 cusecs of water per day, is receiving over 1,100 cusecs per day over the past week. “Both states have enough water in their respective reservoirs to meet their drinking water requirements,” Vineet Gupta, Chairman, CWRC, also part of the CWMA meeting, told The New Indian Express.

Earlier, the committee refused to accede to Tamil Nadu’s demand to direct the Karnataka government to ensure the release of backlog of Cauvery water and maintain the environmental flows as per the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) later modified by the Supreme Court.

As per the water award, for a normal year, Karnataka must ensure TN realises around 1,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day, which will be 2.5 tmcft per month, between February and May, at Biligundlu.

“Last week’s pre-monsoon activities in the southern peninsula have improved Cauvery basin flow up to 1,100 cusecs per day at Biligundlu,” Gupta said. The CWDT award cannot be followed in the distressed year, he said.  

Earlier in its submission to CWRC, the Tamil Nadu government reiterated its demand for a scientific formula to share water in a distress year.  

In its statement, the Tamil Nadu government said, “The state has suffered in distress year in getting its due share and hence requested the CWRC to take immediate action without further delay to evolve a scientific formula to decide the distress percentage based on yield as mandated by the Union of India notification dated June 1, 2018.”  

Karnataka in its submission to CWRC said the water available in four designated Cauvery water storage dams is at the lowest and it is just sufficient to meet the critical water requirements for drinking and industrial use.

“Karnataka will not be in a position to assure any flow from its storage other than what may be realised at Biligundlu from its immediate catchment areas,” Karnataka said in its submission.

The next meeting of CWRC will be on June 13.

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