Cauvery Water Management Authority

Reasons for being in news

Acting on the Supreme Court’s direction, the Centre recently constituted a Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) to address the dispute over sharing of river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

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On February 16, the apex court had directed the government to form the CMA within six weeks in a verdict that marginally increased Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water, reduced the allocation for Tamil Nadu and sought to settle the protracted water dispute between the two southern states.

Composition of Authority

The authority would comprise a chairman, eight members besides a secretary. Out of eight members, two each will be full-time and part-time members, while the rest four would be part-time members from states. The chairman will have the tenure of five years or until he reaches the age of 65, whichever is earlier.

Powers of Authority

1 . The authority will exercise power and discharge such duty “sufficient and expedient for securing compliance and implementation” of the Supreme Court order in relation to “storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters”.

2 . If any delay or shortfall is caused in release of water on account of default of any party state, the authority will take appropriate action.

3 . The authority will also supervise operation of reservoirs and with regulation of water releases therefrom with the assistance of regulation committee.

4 . The authority at the beginning of the water year (June 1 each year) would determine the total residual storage in the specified reservoirs.

5 . It will 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.