Cauvery water war: When did the dispute start and where are we now?

The Cauvery dispute started in the year 1892, between the Madras Presidency (under the British Raj) and the Princely state of Mysore when they had to come to terms with dividing the river water between the two states.

Since that day, Cauvery water has been a bone of contention between the two states. In the year 1910, both states started planning the construction of dams on the river. The issue was presided upon by the British who also decided which state would receive what share of the water. In 1924, an agreement was signed between the two states where the rules of regulation of the Krishnarajsagar dam were pointed out. In a report published by The Times of India, senior counsel AK Ganguly pointed out that the clause 11 of the agreement provided ” for such modifications and additions as may be mutually agreed upon as the result of reconsideration” after a passage of five decades, this revision clause was only applicable to projects other than KRS. The core of the agreement was the conditions governing the construction and operation of KRS and that could not be subject to any review. Hence the 1924 agreement gave both — the Madras presidency and the Mysore state — rights to use the surplus waters of the Cauvery.

Madras had objected to the construction of the Krishnasagar dam and hence the agreement gave them the liberty to build the Mettur dam. However the agreement also put restrictions on the extent of area irrigated by Madras and Mysore using the river water.

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