THE Cauvery dispute has gone through so many convolutions by now. Although the main water-sharing dispute is still before the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, and the final award is awaited, the Supreme Court recently discussed a secondary issue relating to the implementation of the Interim Order (1991) of the Tribunal.

The essence of the Cauvery dispute is a conflict of interests between Tamil Nadu that has a long history of irrigated agriculture and has in the process been making substantial use of Cauvery waters, and between Karnataka that was a late starter in irrigation development but has been making rapid progress and has the advantage of being an upper riparian with greater control over the waters.

Unfortunately, the dispute over the rights over the Cauvery has not been resolved yet, partly since the Cauvery is a fabled river with strong historical, religious, and cultural associations in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Over the past two sensitive decades, the Supreme Court and the Cauvery River Authority have intervened on several occasions to have the States agree on the right splits.

Perhaps this is the time to think about alternative approaches that nay assist in solving the issue. One of which is to utilize the technique of water desalination.

Israel, with no significant water resources, has faced water scarcity for many years before it decided as a strategic decision to examine water desalination process. By using Sea Water Reverse Osmosis technology, Israeli Ashkelon seawater desalination plant produces 13% of the country’s domestic demand. The technology covers the use of membrane desalination units and facilities seawater pumping, brine removal, raw water pre-treatment and product water treatment. Today, there is no problem of water scarcity across Israel for both agriculture use and drinkable water.

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka may benefit from the experience and technology Israel and Israeli technologies have to offer in this area. For further information, relevant Indian contacts are invited to be in touch with the Economic and Trade Department at the Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru.

For further queries, contact;

Veshalakshe Gajaraj – Trade Officer, Bengaluru