The Cauvery water is shared among three states and one union territory- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry. The water dispute had started back in the year 1892. Once again the dispute had arisen in the year 1924 (between Madras and Mysore). The Cauvery water Dispute tribunal was set up in the year 1990. But it gave its award in the year 2007, that is, after a period of 17years.
There are several reasons as to why the dispute has been there for such a long time and why has there not been any effective solution to the problem?
- First of all, the river boards are only advisory in nature. And the interstate councils and the zonal councils are ignored while solving the water disputes.
- As recommended by the Punchhi Commission, the tribunals should also include members from the civil society. It is often seen that the civil society protests to the maximum. Therefore their opinion should also be considered.
- The time taken for solving the disputes has been too long. And even after the awards are announced, there is a lack of their proper implementation.
Water is a scarce resource and therefore must be utilized very efficiently.
- Water-intensive cropping should be avoided in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. In fact, the cropping patterns should be changed, with a switch over to new and scientific methods of cropping which utilize minimal water.
- Methods of rain water harvesting, new techniques of water conservation and storage should be included in the priority tasks of these states. It is high time for new innovations and technologies to be applied in the water scarcity problems, so as to avoid the long pending disputes.
- The international water policies also should be adhered to. And in the distress years, when the available water is low, the states should prepare beforehand with the necessary techniques to conserve water.
- Even urbanization should go hand in hand with conservation and efficient water use.
These were some possible solutions to the river Cauvery water dispute. A little stronger will and stronger implementation of policies can solve the water problem to a great extent.