Since attaining its independence in 1947, India has faced ongoing difficulties related to interstate water issues. Numerous disputes have arisen as a result of the difficulties in sharing and managing water resources across state boundaries. We examine some of the most important interstate water conflicts that have influenced India’s sociopolitical environment in this lengthy essay. These disagreements underline the necessity for fair water resource management as well as the complex interaction of interests among the states.
- Vansadhara River, where Andhra Pradesh and Odisha compete
Both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha are crossed by the Vansadhara River, which has its source in the Eastern Ghats. The allotment and exploitation of the river’s waters are the subject of contention. Odisha has resisted Andhra Pradesh’s contention that it should receive the majority of the river’s flows. Despite court fights and tribunal interventions, a permanent resolution to the problem is still elusive.
2. Cauvery: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Puducherry
The Cauvery River conflict is one of the longest-running and most divisive in Indian history. The parties involved in this conflict over the river’s waters include Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, and Karnataka. The equal sharing of the Cauvery River’s waters among these states, especially Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, is at the center of the controversy. Tribunals and court cases have been up often as potential solutions.
3. Odisha vs. Chhattisgarh in the Mahanadi Basin
Another hot spot in India’s water issues is the Mahanadi River, which rises in Chhattisgarh and flows into Odisha. Concerns regarding decreased water flow have been voiced in Odisha due to Chhattisgarh’s development of dams and barrages upstream. The necessity for interstate collaboration in river basin management is brought home by this debate.
4. Godavari: Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Maharashtra
One of India’s longest and most significant rivers, the Godavari River traverses many states. Its waters are jointly owned by Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. There are still issues with allocation and consumption, and the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal has been helpful in resolving these problems.
5. Narmada: Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan have been at odds over the Narmada River, which is famous for the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The distribution of water for drinking, agriculture, and industrial purposes has long been a contentious issue. Although the Narmada Tribunal Award made an effort to establish a framework for sharing the river’s waters, difficulties still exist.
6. Mullaperiyar Dam: Tamil Nadu against Kerala
Kerala and Tamil Nadu are parties to a unique litigation regarding the Mullaperiyar Dam. The dam, which is located in Kerala but is under Tamil Nadu’s administration, has sparked worries about safety for Kerala while being essential for Tamil Nadu’s water demands. The protracted legal dispute is centered on concerns with maintenance, safety, and water sharing.
7. Babhali Barrage: Maharashtra vs Andhra
Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are involved in the Babhali Barrage dispute. Water supply to Andhra Pradesh has decreased as a result of Maharashtra building a barrage on the Godavari River. Legal disputes that have resulted have shown how important upstream and downstream collaboration is for river management.
8. Krishna River: Formerly Andhra, Maharashtra, and Karnataka
Water sharing disagreements have occurred along the Krishna River, which is shared by Maharashtra, Karnataka, and the former Andhra Pradesh (which is now divided into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana). Conflicts have been exacerbated by reservoirs and dams along the river, forcing court interventions and discussions.
9. Mahadayi: Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka
Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra are involved in the Mahadayi River conflict. Goa has voiced resistance to Karnataka’s intentions to divert river water for drinking and agriculture. The difficulties in balancing water requirements and environmental preservation are highlighted by this argument.
10. Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan with Ravi & Beas
Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab all share the waters of the Ravi and Beas rivers. Water usage disputes, particularly those involving irrigation, have existed for a long time. The need for a fair distribution system still has to be addressed urgently.