Deficit inflows: CWMA asks Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to conserve water

It has decided to review the hydrological situation in its next meeting scheduled on July 26

Updated - June 25, 2024 11:01 pm IST

Published - June 25, 2024 11:00 pm IST - BENGALURU

A file photo of the Cauvery at Muthathi village in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district.

A file photo of the Cauvery at Muthathi village in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district.

Adopting a cautious approach in the wake of deficit inflows, the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) has directed both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to conserve water in all reservoirs of the Cauvery basin, for drinking water purpose and environmental flows for the sustenance of flora and fauna.

The CWMA, which met in New Delhi on Tuesday, has decided to review the hydrological situation in its next meeting scheduled on July 26, according to a communique from the Karnataka Water Resources Department.

State’s submission

Earlier, Karnataka submitted that the cumulative inflows into all its four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin so far, since the beginning of the present water year (from June 1 to 24), was only 7.307 tmcft as against the 30-year average for this period which was 24.448 tmcft. The present inflows accounted for a dismal 29.887% of the 30-year average figures, it maintained.

At the same time, Tamil Nadu had utilised 35.565 tmcft of water from Mettur, Bhavani, and Amaravathy reservoirs from February 1 to May 31, despite the Cauvery Water Disputes’ Tribunal not permitting it to take up any perennial crops, Karnataka contended.

It also said that despite the prevalence of 70.113% distress condition in all the four Cauvery basin reservoirs of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu had released a huge quantum of water into the river from its reservoirs amounting to 3.97 tmcft till the beginning of the water year.

On the contrary, Karnataka had not released water into its canals to conserve water in its reservoirs for the purpose of drinking, it said.

Karnataka appealed to the CWMA to take a considered decision with respect to the quantum of release of water from its reservoirs after watching the evolving situation till the end of July and taking stock of the hydrological scenario.

Behaviour of monsoon

Karnataka said it will consider the release of water according to the behaviour of the southwest monsoon and inflows to its reservoirs.

On its part, Tamil Nadu demanded that Karnataka should be directed to ensure the release of 5.367 tmcft of water in terms of flows at Biligundlu measuring gauge, to make up the deficit as of June 24 and the flows for the remaining period of June.

It also sought that Karnataka should release 31.24 tmcft of water for July as prescribed by the CWDT and modified by the Supreme Court.

After hearing both States, the CWMA directed them to conserve water and decided to take stock of the hydrological situation after a month, stated the communique.

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