Cauvery Water Mgmt Board can solve tricky dispute: Central Water Commission

The Cauvery Water Management Board is to be set up within four weeks' time with representatives both from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Cauvery river as seen from Mandya, Karnatataka.

As both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are getting scalded in the boiling Cavery water issue, the setting up of a Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) seems to be the most ideal solution to settle the conflict as per the directions of the Supreme Court, Chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC) GS Jha has said. Jha said this while addressing an ASSOCHAM conference on ‘Governance Framework for Harmonising Water-Energy Usage’ in New Delhi.

The CWMB is to be set up within four weeks’ time with representatives both from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Highlighting the importance of water storage, he said, “We cannot think of bringing security unless we are able to create storage and then release water as per the requirement.”

He added that farmers were not getting benefit commensurate with the investments made in the water sector. “Benefits have to be really translated in to the tangible benefits which are to be accrued to the farmers as individual farmers’ fields are not able to receive water.”

There is a need to empower, train and tell the farmers that application of more water is not going to yield more production, rather it will make their fields water-logged.

In his address, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) Chairman SD Dubey said that it will bring out the National Electricity Plan by the end of this month.

“We have already submitted it to the Power Ministry. It is a perspective plan in terms of power transmission, distribution and generation for upcoming period,” he said.

“Once it is approved by the Ministry, we can come out with certain figures pertaining to the same,” he added.

“We would be putting it in the public domain to invite comments from the public,” the CEA Chairman said.

ASSOCHAM president Sunil Kanoria said: “Parallel to power, water should be priced. Reasonable pricing strategy can help curb wastage. Technology intervention is required for optimizing usage of water in thermal power plants, efficient ground water based irrigation, recycling and conservation of water and rainwater harvesting.”

“Flood control strategies also need to include the use of smart geo-spatial techniques for flood forecasting and construction and strengthening of embankments at critical locations,” Kanoria said.

“Water is national priority. It would be pertinent to interlink rivers to ensure availability of water in drought prone, rain-fed regions,” he added.

“A beginning can be made at intra-state level e.g. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh or Ganga-Cauvery linking through canals. Loss of water could be checked by deploying solar panels for achieving energy security in parallel to addressing water related issue,” the ASSOCHAM chief said.

He added no real estate builder should be given permission unless there is provision for group water storage, rain water harvesting and treatment and recycling of waste water for secondary use. “Industry licence should also be subject to mandatory provision for treatment and recycling of waste water,” said Kanoria.