Water crisis
CWMA directed Karnataka to release water as per the monthly schedules for June and July, but added that the state is not in a position to release the water due to deficient rainfall.

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) on Tuesday, during its fourth meeting, directed Karnataka to release 9.19 TMC feet of water for June and 31.24 TMC feet of water for July to Tamil Nadu, as per the monthly schedule finalised by the Water Tribunal.

Chairman Masood Hussain who presided over the meeting, however, observed that rainfall has been deficient in Karnataka due to delayed monsoon and added that the state is not in a position to release the designated amount of water to TN.

“Four water reservoirs in Karnataka have received cumulative inflows of 1.77 TMC upto June 24. The cumulative inflow at Biligundlu on June 23 was 1.885 TMC. Karnataka cannot release the designated amount to Tamil Nadu as normal water availability is not there so far,” CWMA chairman Masood told reporters after the meeting.

The authority also deferred discussions on Karnataka’s Mekedatu dam plan during this meeting. Mekedatu project involves building a multipurpose balancing reservoir at Mekedatu across Cauvery in Ramanagara district in Karnataka.

The CWMA’s direction that Karnataka can release water to TN if there is an increase in inflow into reservoirs in Cauvery basin in the state, has come as a relief for Karnataka but does not mean much for Tamil Nadu.

During the meeting, it was also decided that the quantum of water to be released to Puducherry will remain the same as per the existing arrangement between Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. TN also demanded that Karnataka should thereafter release water for the remaining months as per the pattern of releases stipulated by the Cauvery River Tribunal and modified by the Supreme Court.

During the previous CWMA meeting in May this year, Karnataka was ordered to release 9.19 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu from river Cauvery as part of the June quota. This order came after representatives from Tamil Nadu placed a request in the meeting, to direct Karnataka to release water in time for the Kuruvai crops in the delta districts of Tamil Nadu.

The state had also observed that it could not open the sluice gates of the Mettur dam on the scheduled date of June 12 this year too for Cauvery Delta irrigation, due to poor storage in the dam and due to the non-release of water from Karnataka.