New Delhi (Agency): On September 12, 2023, Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar announced that the state is unable to release Cauvery river water to neighboring Tamil Nadu due to inadequate rainfall in the river basin. Shivakumar, who is also the Water Resources Minister, indicated that the situation is so severe that the state is struggling even to provide drinking water.
Speaking about the ongoing meeting with the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), Shivakumar said, “We have had no rains; there is no water. We will inform them of this fact. Our plea before the authority is to permit us to at least save water for drinking.” He urged people to pray for rain as the situation worsens.
Previously, the CWMA had instructed Karnataka to release 5,000 cusec water daily to Tamil Nadu for 15 days starting from August 29. This directive was based on the recommendations from the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC). In response to the crisis, Tamil Nadu has approached the Supreme Court, seeking an order for Karnataka to release water for its crops. The case is expected to be heard by the court next week.
Further, Karnataka’s Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting an appointment to lead an all-party delegation for discussions regarding the Cauvery river water dispute and other state-related issues. “As soon as we get the appointment, we will go,” stated Shivakumar.
The current impasse over the Cauvery water sharing is a significant matter that affects both states and has potential agricultural and political ramifications. It highlights the importance of water management and raises questions about how states should handle resource shortages, particularly in times of climate uncertainty.