Will not be able to release water to TN from 1 November, says Karnataka Dy CM Shivakumar after CWRC order

The inflow in KRS Dam is nil. We don't have the strength to release water to Tamil Nadu, Shivakumar told reporters in Bengaluru.


Published Oct 31, 2023 | 10:08 AMUpdatedOct 31, 2023 | 10:08 AM

Cauvery river near Biligundlu. (Creative Commons)

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Tuesday, 31 October, expressed the state’s inability to release water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu as directed by the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC), saying it does not have adequate water in its Cauvery basin.

His statement comes after the CWRC had on Monday recommended Karnataka to release 2,600 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu per day for 15 days from 1 November.

Shivakumar, who holds the water resource portfolio, said the inflow of water in the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam is insufficient to release water to the neighbouring state.

“The inflow in KRS Dam is nil. We don’t have the strength to release water,” he told reporters in Bengaluru and added that 815 cusecs of water flows naturally from KRS and Kabini dams to Tamil Nadu.

“There is only about 51 TMC water left in the Cauvery basin. Currently, the water stored is required to meet the drinking water requirement,” Shivakumar said.

Tamil Nadu had demanded 13,000 cusecs of water every day.

Related: Cauvery dispute: A 100-year saga of water sharing and legal battles

What the CWRC order said

The CWRC on Monday asked Karnataka to ensure that a minimum flow of 2,600 cusecs of water reaches Biligundlu in Tamil Nadu from November 1 to 15.

According to a statement on the 89th CWRC meeting, Karnataka submitted that in the light of almost nil inflows into its four reservoirs, the state would not be able to release any water so as to reach Biligundlu “except that would be contributed from the uncontrolled catchment”.

“Tamil Nadu has demanded that Karnataka has to release 13,000 cusecs for next 15 days (which works out to 16.90 thousand million cubic feet),” the statement said.

The CWRC finally recommended that Karnataka needs to ensure water is released from its reservoirs so that a flow of 2,600 cusecs is realized at Biligundlu starting from November 1 till November 15.

The CWRC had in September ordered Karnataka to ensure the release of 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water from September 28 to October 15.

Karnataka has filed a review petition against the order both in the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Water Management Authority.