What is the Cauvery water dispute?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 6th, 2022

The Cauvery water dispute was between the two Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, having considerable conflict over the distribution of the Kaveri River's waters.

  • The Madras Presidency and the Kingdom of Mysore entered into two agreements in 1892 and 1924 that catalyzed this battle.
  • An interstate basin known as the Cauvery rises in Karnataka and travels through Tamil Nadu and Puducherry before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

Summary of Cauvery Water Dispute

For more than a century, tensions between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have surrounded the sharing of the Cauvery waters.

States concerned:

  • Kerala,
  • Karnataka,
  • Tamil Nadu, and
  • Puducherry (UT).

The Madras Presidency and the state of Mysore (now in Karnataka) first engaged in the Cauvery water dispute in the 19th century (now in Tamil Nadu).

  • The Supreme Court agreed with Karnataka in its ruling in January 2018 that Bengaluru is a world-class metropolis in need of water infrastructure.
  • At the interstate contact point at Biligundlu, the Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to deliver 177.25 million cubic feet of water to Tamil Nadu instead of 192 million cubic feet of water.
  • The Government of India announced the final award on February 20, 2013.
  • According to the final award, Tamil Nadu will receive 419 TMC annually for the entire Cauvery basin, followed by Karnataka with 270 TMC, Kerala with 30 TMC, and Puducherry with 7.
  • In Tamil Nadu, usable water is the total amount used for beneficial purposes, including sewage dumped into the sea in Lower Coleroon and Grand Anicut that exceeds 14 TMC.

Sharing of water criteria is based on two situations:

  • When water availability is higher than the average water year, it flows.
  • Water availability is equal to or less than annual water flows.

Summary:

What is the Cauvery water dispute?

The Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to deliver 177.25 million cubic feet of water to Tamil Nadu instead of 192 million cubic feet of water at the interstate contact point at Biligundlu. An annual allotment of 419 TMC for Tamil Nadu in the entire Cauvery basin, 270 TMC for Karnataka, 30 TMC for Kerala, and 7 TMC for Puducherry are represented by the final award.

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