Kaveri Dispute – Supreme Court Verdict Between Tamil Nadu & Bengaluru

Kaveri River Water Dispute

Supreme Court’s Cauvery Verdict LIVE UPDATES: The top court ruled that 177.25 TMC of Cauvery water will be released for Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will get an additional 14.75 TMC.

Kaveri Origin

  • Originates in the form of spring at Brahmagiri Hill at Talakaveri in Kodagu district of Karnataka.
  • Kaveri takes birth in Karnataka and further cascades across Tamil Nadu to join Bay of Bengal. She joins the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar in Tamil Nadu.
  • Madrass disagrees to Mysore administration’s proposal to build irrigation systems, arguing that it would impede water flow into Tamil Nadu.(1892)

Kaveri River Map

Dispute Origin

  • The origins of the dispute over the sharing of Cauvery waters date back to the agreements of 1892 and 1924 between the Kingdom of Mysore and then Madras Presidency.

Note : Karnataka was part of the Kingdom of Mysore and Tamil Nadu was part of the Madras Presidency.

The Dispute

1913 -1916

  • Mysore government writes to Madras Presidency, seeking permission to build a reservoir, leading to a dispute that ends with the arbitrator giving Mysore permission to construct a dam up to 11 tmcft. The verdict is challenged.


  • The dispute comes close to being resolved when Mysore and Madras reach an agreement under which Mysore is allowed to build a dam at Kannambadi village. The agreement is to be valid for 50 years and reviewed thereafter. Based on agreement, Karnataka builds the Krishnaraja Sagar dam.


  • The 1924 water sharing agreement between the Madras Presidency and Princely State of Mysore (now Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) lapse after expiration of its term of 50 years.


  • Tamil Nadu approaches the centre for setting up a tribunal for disputes arising out of Cauvery water sharing.

2 June 1990

  • A Cauvery water disputes Tribunal (CWDT) headed by jsutice Chittastosh Mookerjee, set up under the centre after the Supreme Court’s direction.


25 June 1991

  • CWDT passes an intrim award asking Karnataka to release 205 tmcft(thousand million cubic feet) of water to Tamil Nadu every year. It also directed Karnataka not to increase its irrigated land area from the existing 1,120,000 acres (around 4,500 km).
  • As a result, there was widespread dissatisfaction and violence in the states.
  • According to the tribunal’s order, of the 740 thosand million cubic feet (TMC) of water available for utilisation –


419 TMC  was awrded to Tamil Nadu

270 TMC to Karnataka

30 TMC to Kerala

7 TMC to Puducherry

The remaining 14 TMC was reserved for environmental protection.

19 March 2013

  • Tamil Nadu moves the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the water ministry for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.

28 May 2013

  • Tamil Nadu moves the Supreme Court, seeking Rs. 2,480 crore in damages from Karnataka for not following the orders of the CWDT.

What is the present Supreme Court Verdict?

  • The Court declared Cauvery a “national asset”.
  • It upheld the principle of equitable apportionment of inter-State river water among riparian States.
  • The judgement concluded that the CWDT did not take into account Tamil Nadu’ s stock of an “empirical” 20 TMC of ground water.

More water for Karnataka

  • The judgement clarified that Karnataka will now have an enhanced share of 14.75 tmcft water per year while Tamil Nadu will get 404.25 tmcft, which will be 14.75 tmcft less than what was allotted by the tribunal in 2007.
  • The origins of the dispute over the sharing of Cauvery waters date back to the agreements of 1892 and 1924 between the Kingdom of Mysore and the Madras Presidency.


  • Bengaluru is located at an elevation of 900 m above the sea level on a hard rock (granite-gneiss) terrain and has always been a city of rapid development.
  • However, the city has no perennial river flowing within its 100 km vicinity to supply water.
  • The early founders and the colonial rulers of Bengaluru plugged this crucial hole through building a strategic network of lakes.
  • In the 21st century, Cauvery water has surely became more crucial than anything else to meet the huge water requirements of the city.
  • Bengaluru’s population increased by 65% to reach 8.5 million, the highest spike among all Indian cities and is projected to cross the one crore mark by 2020.

Population in Bengaluru

  • 10,000 farmers protest unequal water distribution in drought-hit state.
  • Farmers argue that dire water crisis could have been avoided and govt had taken care of the villages as much as the industrial houses, residents in Bengaluru.
  • City of burning lakes : experts fear Bangalore will be uninhabitable by 2025 report published by Indian Institute of Science (IISC).

City of Burning Lake - Bengaluru

Possible Solution

  • There are about 5 lakh houses in Bengaluru, each having an average roof area of 100 sq m.
  • With 830 mm of average rainfall per year, these rooftops could harvest about 40 mm3 of rain water. Even a 70% of it could meet the annual requirement of 6 Lakh people.

Tamil Nadu Farmers

  • In Tamil Nadu, farmers have lost an entire crop season to the Cauvery row.
  • The river enters Tamil Nadu through Dharmpuri district.

16 February 2018

Karnataka has big win in Cauvery Dispute today(16th February 2018).

Karnataka will now get 14.75 TMC water more and decline  14.75 TMC water from Tamilnadu.

Karnataka – 284.75 TMC

Tamil Nadu – 177.25 TMC

Kerala – 30 TMC

Puducherry – 7 TMC

 All the best for your upcoming exam!!

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