Dispute over river water

‘Without water, everything dies. No one ‘owns’ water. It might rise on your property, but it just passes through- you can use it but it is not yours to own. It is part of global commons, part of your life support system’.   —- Marq de Villiers.

 River Danube

Located in Central and Eastern Europe, today it flows through 10 countries originating in Germany. Flowing over a distance of 2860 Km touching the border of Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine before emptying into the Black Sea. Its drainage basins extend into nine more countries.

So far we haven’t heard any disputes over this river water.

 River Rio Grande

Rising from  the San Juan Mountains of South Central Colorado in the US and flows into Gulf of Mexico covering the distance of 3050Km passing through eight states.

The border disputes erupted when it has changed course several times from 1927 and 1970. It was not technically a dispute as both sides Texas and Mexico were having a point regarding the status of its discovery and was resolved by a treaty ceding the land to Mexico in 1970.

 River Nile

It was termed as ‘Egypt was the gift of Nile’. Today it belongs to Africa. Passing through ten countries Nile flows into the Red Sea. The once colonial countries in Africa have got a rebirth. Let them enjoy this river.

 River Cauvery

The origin is at talakaveri, Kodagu in Karnataka and flows through Karnataka and Tamilnadu touching Hemavathy Dam Krishnaraja Sagar dam and Mettur Dam and finally empties into Bay of Bengal. A mere length of 765 Km. This river basin covers four states, viz; Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry.

The dispute over its drops is for the past 50 years, never resolved or doesn’t want to get resolved.


गंगा च यमुने चैव गोदावरी सरस्वती |
नर्मदे सिंधु कावेरी जलेस्मिन संनिधिम कुरु ||

 When we think that our rivers are divine, why this bloodshed?

 Is it not a shame on our part to fight over this water? When it floods, the people who mooted the fight will disappear and the fight is stopped and forgotten and when there is not enough water by our own misuses, they appear again and we fight like kilkenny cats and die. The blood and adrenaline of the sons of the soil erupt as someone else fires their tail ends and watch the drama of destruction. Karnataka destroys Tamil Nadu and vice versa. Always the main targets will be interstate vehicles and shops and malls. A kind of sadistic pleasure is derived in destroying national and others properties. Ultimately who is the loser? Will they burn their near and dear ones alive? What is the use of becoming a martyr? The torched bus depot had a deserted look of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

நெஞ்சு பொறுக்கு தில்லையே  இந்த

நிலைகெட்ட மனிதரை நினைத்துவிட்டால்

கண்ணிலாதவர் போல்  பிறர்          

காட்டிய வழியிற் சென்று மாட்டிக்கொள்வார்

நண்ணிய பெருங்கலைகள்

பத்து நாலாயிரம் கோடி நயத்துநின்ற

புண்ணிய நாட்டினிலே  இவர்

பொறியற்ற  விலங்குகள் போல வாழ்வார்  Bharathi

 Within this 765 Km, even a depute like, as Hoggane is a Kannada word and Kal is a Tamil word, will arise and everybody will fight. Will these mortals be remembered for the clamour they created on streets? By looting will it end the thirst and hunger? Someone else will loot them and the drama continues.

 Why there is shortage of water?  We destroyed the flora in the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats and this reduced the amount of rain fall. By cutting trees we filled our stomach. For how long this will last?

Stop this dispute and nationalize the rivers and link them first with all the rivers with the available resources rather than building concrete jungles. Let there be more agricultural lands. At this point let us remember our great Bharathi and fulfill his dream.

வங்கத்தில் ஓடி வரும் நீரின் மிகையால்
மையத்து நாடுகளில் பயிர் செய்குவோம்


Let us remember the great poem recited at UN written by our Kaanchi Paramaachaarta Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswathy.


1.maithreem bhajatha akhilahRthjaithreem
aathmadaeva paraanapi paSyatha
yuddham thyajatha spardhaam thyajatha
thyajatha paraeshvasamamaakramaNam

2.jananee pRthhivee kaama-dughaasthae
janakoa daevaH sakala dayaaluH
‘damyatha,daththa,dayadhvam’ janathaa
Sraeyoa bhooyaath sakala janaanaam


The treaties and tribunals pose a question as basic as water itself: Who owns our rivers? The historic water rights will become merely hypothetical. In the context of a difficult history, violence is a possibility, but good solutions for all can be achieved through diplomacy and proper leadership.

Scarcity will end only when the entire human species get extinct from this globe.


Even after 70 years after independence, if we are not going to resolve now, then when?

By Sundareswaran Date: 13th Sep 2016.


Source: Some data from Internet and newspapers.

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