Cauvery River Water Dispute: Advocating a modern approach to Basin Water Allocation

Must Read

What is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016?

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (“RERA”) is an Act of the Parliament. It seeks to protect...

Should the Exorbitant Amounts Charged for RT-PCR Tests be Refunded?

Introduction A plea has been filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India seeking a refund of exorbitant amounts charged...

Should CCTV’s be Installed in the Police Station?

Introduction In a recent judgment, the bench led by Justice Nariman issued directions to both the state and Union Territory...

A Legal Analysis of the West Bengal Political Crisis on IPS Deputation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently summoned three IPS officers of West Bengal (WB). The decision was...

Explained: Postal Ballot for NRIs

At the end of November 2020, Election Commission sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation...

Explained: Constitutional Provisions and Legislations With Regards to a Person with Disabilities

The world celebrates December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This day is also called World...

Follow us

“Water is a fugitive resource that cannot be easily contained by political boundaries or property rights.” Water being such an inseparable part of human existence has led to international and intra-national conflicts over the years and has beleaguered the areas of Middle East, Eastern Europe and South East Asia. Individuals, societies and nations; in their bid to maximize profit out of this increasingly scarce resource have ran into conflicts over rivers that flow across boundaries. One such major source of conflict is the River Cauvery, a peninsular rain-fed river that largely flows through the States of Karnataka (formerly the Princely State of Mysore) and Tamil Nadu (formerly the Province of Madras) and discharges into the Bay of Bengal.

Some of the main causes of a river water dispute are contested property rights, changes in established rights or use patterns, the degree of asymmetry, and the scope for collective action. (Water and Identity: An Analysis of the Cauvery River Water Dispute, P.B. Anand, Bradford Centre for International Development) The interplay of power politics, upstream and downstream demographics, the seasonal nature of the river; in other words the dependency of the river on monsoon, the question of issue-linkage between regions pertaining to other transactions, et al. call for a more broadened approach to the issue of water allocation mechanism in areas that are fraught with river dispute. In any major river water dispute, the bone of contention is about rights over resources. In most cases, the riparian rights are customary rights based on prior use rather than statutory rights and these are based on agreements made several decades ago, for historical, social and political rather than economic reasons.  In the Cauvery dispute, this goes back to an agreement between the then states of Mysore and Madras in 1892. (Ibid.) But as the political situation and dynamics change, it becomes the need of the hour to change the approach towards dispute-settlement mechanism. In the light of the interim and the final award by the Inter-States Water Disputes Tribunal and the subsequent order of the Supreme Court, it can be argued that a more modern approach to basin water allocation rather than a mere set of guidelines to release a fixed amount of water from the upstream to the downstream. The solution should involve a thorough reading into the social, political, economical and historical dynamics of the competing parties.

In ‘Basin Water Allocation Planning: Principles, Procedures and Approaches for Basin Water Allocation Planning’, authors have put forth the ‘Ten golden rules of basin water allocation,’ which says, “The appropriate approach to basin allocation planning will be determined by the local context, history, natural conditions, economy and institutions: there is no single correct approach.” However, there are certain principles that need to be borne in mind to ensure more dynamic results:

  • In basins where water is becoming stressed, it is important to link allocation planning to broader social, environmental and economic development planning
  • Successful basin allocation processes depend on the existence of adequate institutional capacity
  • The degree of complexity in an allocation plan should reflect the complexity and challenges in the basin
  • Considerable care is required in defining the amount of water available for allocation
  • Environmental water needs provide a foundation on which basin allocation planning should be built
  • The water needs of certain priority purposes should be met before water is allocated among other users
  • In stressed basins, water efficiency assessments and objectives should be developed in or alongside the allocation plan
  • Allocation plans need to have a clear and equitable approach for addressing variability between years
  • Allocation plans need to incorporate flexibility in recognition of uncertainty over the medium to long term
  • A clear process is required for converting regional water shares into local and individual water entitlements, and for clearly defining annual allocations

The underlying principle that emphasizes the importance of equitable distribution wherein the changing trends, needs and priorities are appreciated and taken into consideration and rights and liabilities are determined on the basis of expediency deserves national attention in the wake of the Cauvery row. India will, in the long run, need to consider such an approach to dispute-settlement to put the internal tensions at rest.

Latest News

[WhatsApp Privacy Policy Row] It’s a Private App, Don’t Use It; Says Delhi High Court

On Monday, while hearing a petition regarding the privacy policy of WhatsApp, the Delhi High Court said, “It is a private app. Don't join it. It is a voluntary thing, don't accept it. Use some other app.”

Madras High Court Asks the State To Reconsider Number of Seats Allotted for Bcm Category

Mr. Shakkiya filed a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution to issue a Writ of Mandamus. The petition sought to direct...

Gujarat High Court Directs To Register Name of Petitioners in the Society Records as Owners of Property, as per Will

A single-judge bench of Gujarat High Court consisting of Honourable Justice Biren Vaishnav, because probate wasn’t necessary and that the petitioners were entitled to...

If No Complaint Is Filed, No Further Orders Are Required To Be Passed: Telangana High Court

Excerpt In Matlakunta Sundaramma vs The State Of Telangana, on January 8, 2021, the Telangana High Court decided that there is no requirement of passing...

Gujarat High Court Allows Report Filed by Official Liquidator for Dissolution of the Company

The present report had been filed by the Official Liquidator for the dissolution of M/s AtRo Limited under the provisions of Section 497 (6)...

Parents of Road Accident Victim Entitled To Compensation: Delhi High Court

Justice JR Midha said, “Even if parents are not dependent on their children at the time of an accident, they will certainly be dependent, both financially and emotionally, upon them at the later stage of their life, as the children were dependent upon their parents in their initial years.”

Plea Challenging the AIBE Rules Framed by BCI Filed in the Supreme Court

A Writ Petition was presently filed in the Supreme Court by a newly enrolled lawyer challenging the All India Bar Examination Rules 2010 which have been framed by the Bar Council of India which mandates that an advocate has to qualify for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to practice law after enrollment.

Bombay High Court: Mere Presence at the Crime Scene Not Enough for Punishment

The Bombay High Court ruled that it cannot be considered a crime if a person is merely present at the crime scene which falls under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels and Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women Act 2016. It also quashed two First Information Reports (FIR) against two individuals who were arrested in a raid at a dance bar by the Santacruz Police, in 2017.

CAIT Files a Plea Against WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy in the Supreme Court

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has filed a petition against WhatsApp’s new privacy rules in the Supreme Court. The petition says that WhatsApp which is known to render public services by providing a platform to communicate has recently imposed a privacy policy that is unconstitutional, which not only goes against the fundamental rights of citizens but also jeopardizes the national security of our country.

RTI Activist Files a Plea in Bombay High Court Against Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

On Saturday, a plea has been filed before the Bombay High Court by an activist stating that Bharat Biotech Covaxin had not been granted full approval but a restricted use in clinical trials according to the Drugs Comptroller General of India. The Company's phase 3 trials are ongoing and the DGCI has not made any data available in the public domain for peer- review by independent scientists.

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -