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Kaveri Dynamic Water
Management & Livelihood
Protection System
A sustainable
solution for a 100
year old problem
The Takshashila Institution
DISCUSSION DRAFT
NOT FOR CIRCULATION
September 2016
2|
The current system has
failed
Administrative allocations have failed, and will continue to fail
Whether set by tribunal, court or negotiations, administrative allocations are fixed,
but water requirements change constantly. This is a fundamental failure of the
current system.
No amicable solution in sight...since 1892
Because there is no objective measure to allocate water drawing rights, we have
relied on arbitrary means of court judgements. However, river water allocation is
more an economic issue than a matter of justice. Court verdicts therefore have
increased resentment, periodically leading to political crises. Inter-state tensions are
not in the national interest.
Livelihoods under threat
With few incentives for farmers and consumers to conserve water, there has been
rampant overuse and dependency on water. When water supply drops, livelihoods
are threatened. This will get worse under the current system as demand for water
rises due to economic and population growth.
Environmentally unsustainable
In the cities, underpriced water and unregulated borewells have led to inefficient use
and wastage of water. In villages, a combination of unregulated use of river water
and ground water, free/subsidised electricity and fertilizers has led to unsustainable
cropping patterns. Demand is insatiable because there are no incentives for water
conservation.
The current system of water allocation
through tribunals and courts has failed
and is not a suitable model for the
future.
We must adopt a new framework to
manage the Kaveri River Basin to:
- protect livelihoods
- conserve water
- improve inter-state relations
3|
How will the new system
work?
When States draw water above their
basic entitlement, they will pay the
Kaveri River Authority (KRA).
When States do not draw their basic
entitlement (either due to insufficient
flow or conservation) they will receive
payments from KRA.
States will receive more money for
water saved than they pay for water
used.
State receives Rs 38
Cr/TMC for drawing below
basic entitlement
State can draw basic
entitlement without
charge
State can draw additional water
by paying Rs 26 Cr/TMC to
Kaveri River Fund
State can overdraw water
through a competitive water
auction
Overdraw Entitlement
(Charged)
Basic Entitlement
(No Charge)
Super Overdraw
Facility(Auctioned)
Conservation Benefit
(Compensated)
4|
How will water be
allocated?
The water allocations will be calculated
and assigned on a weekly, in advance
basis by the KRA. Weekly entitlements
will be proportional to actual water
availability.
If a state does not announce its decision
to take its entitlement, other states will
be able to purchase it from the KRA.
Reserve price for auction will be Rs 38
Cr/TMC (i.e. the rate for overdraw
entitlement)
Basic Entitlement
(No Charge)
per CWDT 2007 Award
Overdraw Entitlement
Limit (Charged
Rs 26 Cr/TMC)
Super Overdraw
Facility (Auctioned)
Conservation Benefit
(Credited at
Rs 38 Cr/TMC)
270
98
↑
Karnataka
419
69
↑
Tamil
Nadu
30
35
↑
Kerala
7
1
↑
Puducherry
All figures are in TMC
5|
Example 1: When there is a
shortfall of water
270
98
↑
Karnataka
419
69
↑
Tamil
Nadu
30
35
↑
Kerala
7
1
↑
Puducherry
As the shortfall causes States to avail
less than their basic entitlement, they
will receive compensation at
Rs 38 Cr/TMC:
Karnataka Rs 1026 Cr
Tamil Nadu Rs 1596 Cr
Kerala Rs 114 Cr
Puducherry Rs 27 Cr
243 377 27 6.3
Water
Availability
Monetary
Compensation
All figures are in TMC
6|
Example 2: When States
overdraw available water
270
91
↑
Karnataka
419
64
↑
Tamil
Nadu
30
33
↑
Kerala
7
1
↑
Puducherry
When States overdraw water above
their basic entitlement, they pay
overdraw charges of Rs 26 Cr/TMC to
the Fund:
Karnataka Rs 2366 Cr
Tamil Nadu Rs 2262 Cr
Kerala Rs 676 Cr
Puducherry Rs 26 Cr
361 506 56 8
Water
Overdrawn
Overdraw
charges
All figures are in TMC
7|
Why this will work better
than the status quo?
Basic water security
States will have access to the basic entitlement (fixed, when there is adequate flow,
and proportional, when water is inadequate) without paying any charge. The basic
entitlement is in accordance with CWDT 2007 award for all parties. Overdrawing is
permitted on a charged basis.
Livelihood Protection Insurance
States will receive compensation payments during periods where the water flow is
below their basic entitlement. States can use these funds to protect the livelihoods of
those adversely affected by water shortages, invest in water infrastructure and use it
as budgetary support.
Better inter-state relations
Instead of confrontation and acrimony over just entitlements, States will be able to
benefit from the Cauvery river in an amicable manner. States will realise the value of
the scarce water resources and avoid extravagant claims.
Efficient water-use
States can decide how much water they require and plan the water intensity of their
agriculture and industry. They will be entitled to overdraw and super-overdraw water
should they need more water. With negative incentives for overdraw, the States can
gradually move their economies towards lower water dependence.
States’ autonomy protected
States will have full autonomy on how to spend the payments received from the
Kaveri River Fund. States can construct additional reservoirs to better manage their
entitlements.
The proposed system of water allocation
is superior to the status quo:
- better secures the livelihoods of people
who depend on the river
- more efficient use and optimum
allocation of water
- improves social stability and builds
social capital
8|
How will the new system be
set up?
Capitalising the Kaveri River Fund (KRF)
To be sustainable we estimate that the KRF needs to be initially capitalised at Rs
21,000 Cr. Over a ten-year period, the estimated maximum capitalisation will be
around Rs 68,000 Cr.
Union-State partnership in governing the KRF
The Union government and the governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and
Puducherry will be equity holders in the fund; the Union government will hold a 49%
share, and the remaining will be subscribed by the State governments either equally
or according to their individual decisions. The KRF will be administered and managed
by the Kaveri River Authority.
International financial institutions like the World Bank, ADB or the AIIB may be
approached for financing the setup of the system.
Making the Fund sustainable
In addition to receiving income from water allocations and auctions, and expenditure
on paying states conservation benefits, the Fund could manage the risk of water
shortage by investing in contrarian assets (e.g. water treatment plants and
infrastructure) that will appreciate faster than the depletion of Cauvery water.
Investing in Water Resources Management
Accumulated surpluses from the Fund could be used for investing in construction of
storage reservoirs, educating farmers & citizens on water conservation and financing
livelihood transitions to low-water economies.
A Union-State partnership under the
aegis of the KRA
- KRA will administer the allocation
system and manage the Kaveri River
Fund
- use modern technology to monitor
flows and utilisation
9|
Risks & Challenges Groundwater
Groundwater (borewells) are highly cost-effective as such water is not priced;
because of subsidised electricity, the cost of extracting groundwater is as low as 0.05
paisa per litre. For the system to be effective, all states must regulate groundwater
use and rationalise electricity prices.
Entitlement levels
The basic entitlement, overdraw & super-overdraw levels are set using data from the
CWDT 2007 award and the demands of the States. These may not be at levels that
will ensure the sustainable operation of the water sharing model. It is advisable to
review these levels after a period of three years.
Water scarcity
By many estimates, the river is likely to provide less water while population and
economy will register growth. The Fund may not be sustainable in the face of more
payouts than incomes – it is advisable to review the overdraw charges every five
years.
Agriculture Policy
A deeper underlying issue is the pattern of agriculture in South India: managing water
resources better requires rationalisation of the prices of electricity and fertilisers and
proper setting of the Minimum Support Prices.
Ecology
One reason attributed to low rainfall in the catchment area is massive deforestation
and unplanned urbanization in Western Ghats. While it is difficult to directly link this
phenomenon with reduced rainfall, the long term impact of this is catastrophic.
To ensure that the system works well,
Union and States must make some
adjustments to their agriculture,
electricity and fiscal policies.
10|
Implementation: 5 steps 1. Immediately. State governments must set up a Kaveri River Authority (KRA) with
the participation of the Union government, to adopt the new river water
management system.
Chairmanship of the KRA should rotate between CMs of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu,
Kerala and Puducherry. KRA will be an independent steward and administrator of the
water sharing system. States will retain all powers of construction of reservoirs, dams
and water use.
2. Within 3 months. Union & State governments to set-up and capitalise the Kaveri
River Fund (KRF)
KRF should be professionally managed with a mandate to protect livelihoods of the
people of the Kaveri Basin against adverse water circumstances.
3. Within 6 months. States to set-up Kaveri River Management Cells (KRMCs)
State KRMCs execute water drawing procedures, administer states’ Kaveri budget
allocations and carry out the bidding at water auctions.
4. In 1-2 years. State governments must decide their state-level water management
and livelihood support policies.
5. Ongoing. Union and State governments to launch education campaigns on the
new system and water conservation practices.
It is possible to improve the way the
Kaveri River Basin is managed within
a period of 2-3 years at an initial
outlay of Rs 21,000 Cr. The 10-year
total outlay will be less than Rs 68,000
Crores. All outlays must be shared
between Union and 4 river basin states
Additional
Information
12|
Additional Information How states should manage their fund
States should use the compensation to invest in infrastructure that will make the
economy less water-intensive and more water-efficient. In extreme cases, funds can
be used as cash payouts to those whose livelihoods are drastically affected by water
shortages. States should set up similar dynamic water management systems.
How do we estimate overdraw charges?
Overdraw charges are calculated on a willingness to pay (WTP) estimate: a state can
pay around 5% of its annual expenditure if it wants to draw water to its maximum
claim.
Litre saved is more valuable than litre purchased; so compensation for
underutilisation is 1.5 times the overdraw charge.
Future adjustments
KRA can raise or lower the overdraw charge according to the scarcity of water; based
on a nonlinear scale; i.e. if volume falls by 10%, unit charge should be raised by more
than 10%. It is not necessary to change the entitlement levels.
Construction of reservoirs
States can be permitted to construct new reservoirs along the river basin as long as it
fills them using its basic entitlements, or pays overdraw charges.
Measurement points & Open data
States must increase the number of measurement points along the river basin and
make them available to the public on a real-time basis.
Some ideas on how to refine and fine-
tune the implementation
13|
Additional Information Allocating non-normal flows
Water allocation when quantities are below or above the Basic Entitlement will be
pro-rated accordingly, with compensation for shortfalls and charges for overdraw. If
there is surplus water beyond the combined overdraw limit, it will be auctioned.
Some ideas on how to refine and fine-
tune the implementation

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Kaveri Dynamic Water Management & Livelihood Protection System

  • 1. Kaveri Dynamic Water Management & Livelihood Protection System A sustainable solution for a 100 year old problem The Takshashila Institution DISCUSSION DRAFT NOT FOR CIRCULATION September 2016
  • 2. 2| The current system has failed Administrative allocations have failed, and will continue to fail Whether set by tribunal, court or negotiations, administrative allocations are fixed, but water requirements change constantly. This is a fundamental failure of the current system. No amicable solution in sight...since 1892 Because there is no objective measure to allocate water drawing rights, we have relied on arbitrary means of court judgements. However, river water allocation is more an economic issue than a matter of justice. Court verdicts therefore have increased resentment, periodically leading to political crises. Inter-state tensions are not in the national interest. Livelihoods under threat With few incentives for farmers and consumers to conserve water, there has been rampant overuse and dependency on water. When water supply drops, livelihoods are threatened. This will get worse under the current system as demand for water rises due to economic and population growth. Environmentally unsustainable In the cities, underpriced water and unregulated borewells have led to inefficient use and wastage of water. In villages, a combination of unregulated use of river water and ground water, free/subsidised electricity and fertilizers has led to unsustainable cropping patterns. Demand is insatiable because there are no incentives for water conservation. The current system of water allocation through tribunals and courts has failed and is not a suitable model for the future. We must adopt a new framework to manage the Kaveri River Basin to: - protect livelihoods - conserve water - improve inter-state relations
  • 3. 3| How will the new system work? When States draw water above their basic entitlement, they will pay the Kaveri River Authority (KRA). When States do not draw their basic entitlement (either due to insufficient flow or conservation) they will receive payments from KRA. States will receive more money for water saved than they pay for water used. State receives Rs 38 Cr/TMC for drawing below basic entitlement State can draw basic entitlement without charge State can draw additional water by paying Rs 26 Cr/TMC to Kaveri River Fund State can overdraw water through a competitive water auction Overdraw Entitlement (Charged) Basic Entitlement (No Charge) Super Overdraw Facility(Auctioned) Conservation Benefit (Compensated)
  • 4. 4| How will water be allocated? The water allocations will be calculated and assigned on a weekly, in advance basis by the KRA. Weekly entitlements will be proportional to actual water availability. If a state does not announce its decision to take its entitlement, other states will be able to purchase it from the KRA. Reserve price for auction will be Rs 38 Cr/TMC (i.e. the rate for overdraw entitlement) Basic Entitlement (No Charge) per CWDT 2007 Award Overdraw Entitlement Limit (Charged Rs 26 Cr/TMC) Super Overdraw Facility (Auctioned) Conservation Benefit (Credited at Rs 38 Cr/TMC) 270 98 ↑ Karnataka 419 69 ↑ Tamil Nadu 30 35 ↑ Kerala 7 1 ↑ Puducherry All figures are in TMC
  • 5. 5| Example 1: When there is a shortfall of water 270 98 ↑ Karnataka 419 69 ↑ Tamil Nadu 30 35 ↑ Kerala 7 1 ↑ Puducherry As the shortfall causes States to avail less than their basic entitlement, they will receive compensation at Rs 38 Cr/TMC: Karnataka Rs 1026 Cr Tamil Nadu Rs 1596 Cr Kerala Rs 114 Cr Puducherry Rs 27 Cr 243 377 27 6.3 Water Availability Monetary Compensation All figures are in TMC
  • 6. 6| Example 2: When States overdraw available water 270 91 ↑ Karnataka 419 64 ↑ Tamil Nadu 30 33 ↑ Kerala 7 1 ↑ Puducherry When States overdraw water above their basic entitlement, they pay overdraw charges of Rs 26 Cr/TMC to the Fund: Karnataka Rs 2366 Cr Tamil Nadu Rs 2262 Cr Kerala Rs 676 Cr Puducherry Rs 26 Cr 361 506 56 8 Water Overdrawn Overdraw charges All figures are in TMC
  • 7. 7| Why this will work better than the status quo? Basic water security States will have access to the basic entitlement (fixed, when there is adequate flow, and proportional, when water is inadequate) without paying any charge. The basic entitlement is in accordance with CWDT 2007 award for all parties. Overdrawing is permitted on a charged basis. Livelihood Protection Insurance States will receive compensation payments during periods where the water flow is below their basic entitlement. States can use these funds to protect the livelihoods of those adversely affected by water shortages, invest in water infrastructure and use it as budgetary support. Better inter-state relations Instead of confrontation and acrimony over just entitlements, States will be able to benefit from the Cauvery river in an amicable manner. States will realise the value of the scarce water resources and avoid extravagant claims. Efficient water-use States can decide how much water they require and plan the water intensity of their agriculture and industry. They will be entitled to overdraw and super-overdraw water should they need more water. With negative incentives for overdraw, the States can gradually move their economies towards lower water dependence. States’ autonomy protected States will have full autonomy on how to spend the payments received from the Kaveri River Fund. States can construct additional reservoirs to better manage their entitlements. The proposed system of water allocation is superior to the status quo: - better secures the livelihoods of people who depend on the river - more efficient use and optimum allocation of water - improves social stability and builds social capital
  • 8. 8| How will the new system be set up? Capitalising the Kaveri River Fund (KRF) To be sustainable we estimate that the KRF needs to be initially capitalised at Rs 21,000 Cr. Over a ten-year period, the estimated maximum capitalisation will be around Rs 68,000 Cr. Union-State partnership in governing the KRF The Union government and the governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be equity holders in the fund; the Union government will hold a 49% share, and the remaining will be subscribed by the State governments either equally or according to their individual decisions. The KRF will be administered and managed by the Kaveri River Authority. International financial institutions like the World Bank, ADB or the AIIB may be approached for financing the setup of the system. Making the Fund sustainable In addition to receiving income from water allocations and auctions, and expenditure on paying states conservation benefits, the Fund could manage the risk of water shortage by investing in contrarian assets (e.g. water treatment plants and infrastructure) that will appreciate faster than the depletion of Cauvery water. Investing in Water Resources Management Accumulated surpluses from the Fund could be used for investing in construction of storage reservoirs, educating farmers & citizens on water conservation and financing livelihood transitions to low-water economies. A Union-State partnership under the aegis of the KRA - KRA will administer the allocation system and manage the Kaveri River Fund - use modern technology to monitor flows and utilisation
  • 9. 9| Risks & Challenges Groundwater Groundwater (borewells) are highly cost-effective as such water is not priced; because of subsidised electricity, the cost of extracting groundwater is as low as 0.05 paisa per litre. For the system to be effective, all states must regulate groundwater use and rationalise electricity prices. Entitlement levels The basic entitlement, overdraw & super-overdraw levels are set using data from the CWDT 2007 award and the demands of the States. These may not be at levels that will ensure the sustainable operation of the water sharing model. It is advisable to review these levels after a period of three years. Water scarcity By many estimates, the river is likely to provide less water while population and economy will register growth. The Fund may not be sustainable in the face of more payouts than incomes – it is advisable to review the overdraw charges every five years. Agriculture Policy A deeper underlying issue is the pattern of agriculture in South India: managing water resources better requires rationalisation of the prices of electricity and fertilisers and proper setting of the Minimum Support Prices. Ecology One reason attributed to low rainfall in the catchment area is massive deforestation and unplanned urbanization in Western Ghats. While it is difficult to directly link this phenomenon with reduced rainfall, the long term impact of this is catastrophic. To ensure that the system works well, Union and States must make some adjustments to their agriculture, electricity and fiscal policies.
  • 10. 10| Implementation: 5 steps 1. Immediately. State governments must set up a Kaveri River Authority (KRA) with the participation of the Union government, to adopt the new river water management system. Chairmanship of the KRA should rotate between CMs of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. KRA will be an independent steward and administrator of the water sharing system. States will retain all powers of construction of reservoirs, dams and water use. 2. Within 3 months. Union & State governments to set-up and capitalise the Kaveri River Fund (KRF) KRF should be professionally managed with a mandate to protect livelihoods of the people of the Kaveri Basin against adverse water circumstances. 3. Within 6 months. States to set-up Kaveri River Management Cells (KRMCs) State KRMCs execute water drawing procedures, administer states’ Kaveri budget allocations and carry out the bidding at water auctions. 4. In 1-2 years. State governments must decide their state-level water management and livelihood support policies. 5. Ongoing. Union and State governments to launch education campaigns on the new system and water conservation practices. It is possible to improve the way the Kaveri River Basin is managed within a period of 2-3 years at an initial outlay of Rs 21,000 Cr. The 10-year total outlay will be less than Rs 68,000 Crores. All outlays must be shared between Union and 4 river basin states
  • 12. 12| Additional Information How states should manage their fund States should use the compensation to invest in infrastructure that will make the economy less water-intensive and more water-efficient. In extreme cases, funds can be used as cash payouts to those whose livelihoods are drastically affected by water shortages. States should set up similar dynamic water management systems. How do we estimate overdraw charges? Overdraw charges are calculated on a willingness to pay (WTP) estimate: a state can pay around 5% of its annual expenditure if it wants to draw water to its maximum claim. Litre saved is more valuable than litre purchased; so compensation for underutilisation is 1.5 times the overdraw charge. Future adjustments KRA can raise or lower the overdraw charge according to the scarcity of water; based on a nonlinear scale; i.e. if volume falls by 10%, unit charge should be raised by more than 10%. It is not necessary to change the entitlement levels. Construction of reservoirs States can be permitted to construct new reservoirs along the river basin as long as it fills them using its basic entitlements, or pays overdraw charges. Measurement points & Open data States must increase the number of measurement points along the river basin and make them available to the public on a real-time basis. Some ideas on how to refine and fine- tune the implementation
  • 13. 13| Additional Information Allocating non-normal flows Water allocation when quantities are below or above the Basic Entitlement will be pro-rated accordingly, with compensation for shortfalls and charges for overdraw. If there is surplus water beyond the combined overdraw limit, it will be auctioned. Some ideas on how to refine and fine- tune the implementation