Cauvery dispute: CWMA upholds panel’s decision

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) has upheld the decision of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC), instructing Karnataka to release 3,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of water to Tamil Nadu until October 15.

Additionally, Karnataka has been instructed to compensate for a shortfall of 0.71 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) that occurred between September 12 and 27. This decision was made during a meeting of the CWRC on September 26 and was supported by representatives from basin states, except for Karnataka.

During the meeting, Tamil Nadu requested a continuous release of water at a rate of 12,500 cusecs, while Karnataka expressed difficulties in maintaining the supply due to the scarcity of the southwest monsoon this year. Karnataka suggested that Tamil Nadu could rely on the upcoming northeast monsoon, which usually arrives in the third or fourth week of October. As of September 26, the Cauvery water storage at Biligundulu was 11.8 tmc ft, significantly below the normal average of 75 tmc ft for this time of the year.

The Mettur dam, one of the key reservoirs in Tamil Nadu, had a storage of about 11 tmc ft on Friday morning, with an inflow of approximately 5,300 cusecs. Discharge from the dam was recorded at 6,500 cusecs. In contrast, the four reservoirs in Karnataka’s Cauvery basin had a combined storage of 59.65 tmc ft. Following the CWMA’s decision, Karnataka is required to release a total of 5.38 tmc ft of water to Tamil Nadu by October 15.