Acting on the Supreme Court’s direction, the Centre constituted the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) to address the dispute over sharing of river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. It would deal with the issue of water share in different circumstances like normal and deficient water years in the Cauvery river basin.
Composition of the Authority
- The authority would comprise a chairman and 8 members besides a secretary. Out of 8 members, 2 each will be full-time and part-time members, while the rest 4 would be part-time members from states.
- The chairman of the authority should either be a senior and eminent engineer with an experience of water resource management and handling of inter-state water dispute or an IAS officer with an experience in water resources management and handling the inter-state dispute. He will have the tenure of five years or until he reaches the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
Functions of the Authority
- The authority will exercise power and discharge such duty for securing compliance and implementation of the Supreme Court order in relation to storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters.
- If the authority finds that any government of the party states do not cooperate in implementing the decision of the tribunal, it can seek the help of the central government for implementation of the award.
- The authority will also supervise operation of reservoirs and regulation of water releases therefrom with the assistance of the regulation committee.
- The Cauvery Water Regulation Committee has to meet once in 10 days during the months of June and October when the south-west and north-east monsoon set in.
- The authority will also look at regulated release of water by Karnataka, at the inter-state contact point presently identified as Biligundlu gauge and discharge station.
- The authority at the beginning of the water year (June 1 each year) would determine the total residual storage in the specified reservoirs.
- The authority has also been tasked to advise the states to take suitable measures to improve water use efficiency, by way of promoting micro-irrigation (drip and sprinkler), change in cropping pattern, improved agronomic practices, system deficiency correction and command area development.