INCREASING THE CAUVERY WATER FLOWS

Prof.T.Shivaji Rao,

Director, Centre for Environmental Studies,

Institute of Science, Gitam University,

Visakhapatnam. 

According to the draft agreement on Cauvery waters circulated by Karnataka Government in 1981 it has been stated that the annual yield in Cauvery basin above and upto delta based upon the river flow data from the year 1900 upto 1972 is 792 TMC   In the Cauvery delta itself rainfall provides about 230 TMC of water per year and according to UNDP it is estimated that about 88TMC of this rainfall contribution by the delta portion of Cauvery river  will be available for use and thus the total surface flows in the entire Cauvery basin including its delta region would be 792 +88 = 880 TMC per year.  Out of this the Karnataka Government suggested that Kerala may be allotted 43TMC, Puduchcheri 9 TMC, while the remaining water could be equally distributed it mean Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to an extent of 414 TMC for each state.  However Tamil Nadu Government suggested in 1981 that the Chief Ministers of the basin states accepted the report of the Union Government fact finding committee on Cauvery in 1972 and the findings are

1. Existing ayacut is 35.57 lakh acres including 28.21 lakhs in Tamil Nadu, 6.83 lakhs in Karnataka and 0.53 lakhs in Kerala. Similarly existing utilization of Cauvery waters is 748 TMC comprising 566 TMC by Tamil Nadu 177 TMC by Karnataka and 5 TMC by Kerala.  The Tamil Nadu will agree to formation of the Cauvery Valley Authority vested with powers to regulate the flows from the Karnataka reservoirs as per 1924 agreement.  The Government of India made a draft proposal in 1976 suggesting that the Cauvery water utilization is agreed for 67 TMC comprising 489 TMC by Tamil Nadu, 177 TMC by Karnataka and 5 TMC by Kerala and the surplus waters above 671 TMC shall be shared in the ratio 30:53:17 among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala respectively and that at the end of 15 years the savings of 125 TMC effected in the river basin be allocated at  4 TMC to Tamil Nadu, 87 TMC to Karnataka and 34 TMC to Kerala.

 2. The latest final Cauvery tribunal award has determine the annual average flow of Cauvery as 740 TMC out of which allocations are made for 419TMC to Tamil Nadu, 270 to Karnataka,  30 TMC to Kerala .  7 TMC to Puduchcheri, 10 TMC for Ecological purposes and 4 TMC for losses into the sea.

 3. Except the state of Puduchcheri all the other 3 states namely Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are very much unhappy about the tribunal award for one reason or the other Although the tribunal did hard and commendable work for over 16 years made indepth examinations of the records and the arguments presented by the eminent advocates representing the different basin states. 

 IRRIGATED AREA AND RIVE WATER ALLOCATIONS BY TRIBUNAL

Item

Kerala

Karnataka

Tamil Nadu

Remarks

1 (a) Drainage area (sq.km)

   (b) Drainage area ( percent)

2866

3.5

34,273

42

43,868

54

--

2. (a) Net Sown area ( sq.km)

    (b) Net sown area (percent)

1135

40

14480

42

20812

47

--

3. (a) Net irrigated area (sq.km)

    (b) Net irrigated area (percent)

216

19

2706

19

8804

42

--

 

4. 75% Dependable yields

    (a) TMC

    (b) Percent

 

114

17

 

355

53

 

201

30

 

670

5. 50% Dependable yields

    (a) TMC

    (b) Percent

 

126

17

 

392

53

 

222

30

 

740

6. (a)  Demand before tribunal

   (b) Tribunal allocation (TMC)

100

30

465

270

562

419

1127

719

 

Chronological Development of Irrigated Lands

Land Particulars ( in lakh acres)

Tamil Nadu

Karnataka

1. Lands accepted for water allocation

29.26

27.29

2. Claim accepted for water supply

24.71

18.85

3. Pre 1924 irrigated lands

15.20

3.44

4. Lands irrigated under 1924 agreement

6.20

7.24

5. Lands irrigated outside 1924 agreement

2.06

6.91

6. Minor irrigation

1.25

1.26

Total land allowed for water utilization by the tribunal

24.71

18.85

  1. The tribunal allocated 7 TMC for Puduchcheri, 10 TMC  for ecological purposes and 4 TMC for losses into sea, making a total of 21 TMC.

2. The tribunal accepted the demand of Tamil Nadu for ignoring the utilization of ground water in estimating the Cauvery river flow for allocation to the states.  However the claim of  Tamil Nadu for considering 75% dependable river flow for allocation was ignored.  Similarly the point of measurement for inflows from Karnataka into Mettur dam to be located at this dam site was also ignored.

3. The Karnataka state was favoured by the Tribunal by lifting the sealing on irrigated land 11.2 lakh acres by the interim award.  The demand of Karnataka that the point of water supply to be delivered to Tamil Nadu to be shifted from Mettur dam site to another suitable point at the inter state border was accepted by the tribunal fixed Biligundlu for the purpose.

4. The argument of Karnataka for considering the annual average flow of river with 50% dependability was also accepted by the tribunal.  However the river water utilization in Karnataka by lifting schemes was not allowed by the tribunal.

5. Since Tamil Nadu was growing high water consuming paddy crops which require 1 TMC of water for 5000 to 6000 acres.  The state had to be considered equitable distribution that envisages protection for the existing ayacut that covered most of the plain delta lands.

6.  In case of Karnatkaa while some lands were under high water consuming sugarcane and paddy cultivation.  Several lands were developed as irrigated dry crop lands which use less water.

7. Before 1924 Tamil Nadu was using about 400 TMC of water for paddy cultivation in morethan 15 lakh acres while Karnataka was using about 100 TMC to irrigate about three and half lakh acres.  During the subsequent period while Tamil Nadu increased its agriculture land by about 10 lakh acres and used ultimately about 500 TMC of water, Karnataka undoubtedly raised crops over 15 lakh acres and ultimately used about 280 TMC of water.  Although Tamil Nadu produces only 30% of the annual river flow it uses more than 55% of the river water and most of this water comes from the catchment of the river in Kerala where hevy rainfall occurs during the southwest monsoon.  Karnataka genuinely feels that the award unjustice because while Karnataka receives rainfall only during the southwest monsoon, Tamil Nadu enjoys considerable rainfall in southwest monsoon and bountiful rainfall in Northeast monsoon.  However the demand of water allocation by 562 TMC to Tamil Nadu and 465 TMC to Karnataka are both unusual and impossible to negotiate because of lack of that amount of water in the river itself.  However the Karnataka people strongly feel that their present share of 270 TMC must be  increased to about 350 TMC.  Similarly Kerala demands that it share should be raised from 30 TMC to atleast 45 TMC.  Similarly Tamil Nadu farmers feel that their present allocationof 419 TMC must be increased to 480 TMC and this quantity has to be augmented by utilizing the ground water supplies in the upper regions of Tamil Nadu where the ground water does not becomes alive due to over exploitation as it happen in the case of Tanzore district where prawn culture is making the ground water saline due to intrusion  of sea water by excessive pumping of ground water.  Moreover Tamil Nadu can anticipate more fresh water from rivers like Godvari and Mahanadi through interlinking of rivers in the Southern peninsular grid. 

 Alternative methods of augmenting Cauvery flow from 740 to 880 TMC:

In order to make available more water fresh innovative attempts have made to increase the annual yield of Cauvery from the present 740 TMC to 880 TMC even from the South west monsoon of 2007.  This river flow augmentation can be done immediately if only the people of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu come to an understanding that their aspirations of higher withdrawal of water from Cauvery river will become possible if only the traditional usage of the surface water resources and ground water resources are supplemented by harnessing an exotic 3rd water resource in the sky water which is found an abundance in the atmospheric clouds because this water is more than 10 times the water quantity available in all the rivers flowing on planet earth.  The intelligent American scientists have realized this scientific truth more than 60 years ago and about 50 countries are using this technology during the last 50 years for promoting the interests of farmers and the industry.  The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr.Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy visited China and held discussions with the Government and is very much convinced about its utilization for the benefit of the Indian farmers.  Infact the only Chief Minister in India who is lucky to interact with the Chinese experts on this subject.  Today China is the world leader in cloud seeding technology and they are employing 37,000 technicians every year and producing more than 1500 TMC additional rainfall for the benefit of the farmers and to minimize the impacts of droughts and water scarcity that hamper agriculture, industrial and economic development of the state.

The Chief Ministers of Southern states must join together and inform the Prime Minister that even in Pakistan an autocrat President is working for public welfare by ordering his Defence Department, Agriculture Department and Meteorological Department to collaborate for conducting cloud seeding operations to augment rainfall and snowfall in different states of Pakistan and the experiments are successful.  The Indian Prime Minister must be requested to immediately give directions to the Minister for Defence, The Minister for Science and Technology, Minister for Agriculture, Minister for water Resources, and the Minister for Electricity to visit China, Texas and Thailand if necessary and submit a report on how to implement cloud seeding technology to resolve the water scarcity problems and thereby resolve the interstate water disputes particularly with the respect to Cauvery and Krishna which have become water starved rivers and which have the potential to trigger water wars not only between the states but also between one district and the other like in Mahaboobnagar and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and Kolhapur, Sangli and Pune of Maharashtra.

I am enclosing herewith a copy of my e-mail addressed to Supreme Court of India and the President of India who is interested in promoting cloud seeding to help the farmers and tereby he has taken action to send my communication to the Indian Council of Agriculture Research for further necessary action in the matter.

The second solution to resolve the Cauvery water dispute consists in transferring about 1000 TMC out of 3000TMC  of Godvari flood water which runs wastefully into sea every year.  Even without waiting for linking Mahanadi with Godavari the Southern Chief Ministers can jointly sit together and work out a plan and convn e the Prime Minister to take up this project so that Tamil nadu is supplied atleast 200 TMC of water from Godvari with an very inejxpensive cost and in this process the quota of Cauvery water supply to Karnataka and Kerala can be substantially increased and the public agitations for sharing of the limited Cauvery water can be resolved for restoring peace and prosperity in the Southern states.

The third alternative to resolve the Cauvery water dispute consists in create a small reservoirs on the watershed line at suitable places on the westernghats so that the water that is wastefully flowing into the Arabian sea can be diverted with small expenditure into East flowing rivers of Cauvery and its various tributaries so that the annual yield of Cauvery itself can be substantially increased and the river water problem can be resolved to the mutual benefit of the states and the central Government.

 Finally I appeal to all the Chief Ministers of Southern states to consider these above proposals seriously and come to an amicable settlement for resolving these Cauvery river water management problems on ecologically sound lines.  So that sustainable development of the region can be ensured for the sake of present and future generations. For further information kindly feel free to contact me by e-mail or by telephones given below: