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Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA)

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Composition, mandate, functions and significance of CWMA.

Context: Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have strongly objected to Karnataka’s bid to seek approval for the Mekedatu dam project at the fifth Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) meeting in New Delhi. Following the objections, the CWMA dropped the discussion on Karnataka’s application.

What is Mekedatu Project?

A multi-purpose balancing reservoir project over Mekedatu, built at a cost of Rs 5,912, was aimed at solving the drinking water problems of Bengaluru and Ramnagar district. This project was also touted as one that could generate hydroelectricity to meet the power demand in the state.


Why does Tamil Nadu object?

  1. The state contended that “the proposed reservoir would affect the natural flows of the river Cauvery.
  2. It argued that Cauvery was already a deficit basin and the construction of the project, or any other project “would drastically affect the lower riparian State in getting their due share of waters.

About CWMA:

It has been created as per the Cauvery Management Scheme earlier framed by Centre and approved by Supreme Court.

Composition and Powers of CMA:

  1. The authority will comprise a chairman, a secretary and eight members.
  2. Out of the eight members, two will be full time, while two will be part time members from centre’s side.
  3. Rest four will be part time members from states.


  • The main mandate of the CMA will be to secure implementation and compliance of the Supreme Court’s order in relation to “storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters”.
  • CMA will also advise the states to take suitable measures to improve water use efficiency.
  • It will do so by promoting use of micro-irrigation, change in cropping patterns, improved farm practices and development of command areas.
  • The CMA will also prepare an annual report covering its activities during the preceding year.

Role of Central Government:

The central government will provide help in implementation of the modified award in case of any of the state /UT parties (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry) do not cooperate in implementing the decision or direction of the tribunal. Initially, centre will contribute Rs. 2 crore for the functioning of the authority.

Sources: the Hindu.