Bengaluru/New Delhi: “Live and let live", was the advice given to Karnataka on Friday by the Supreme Court, which is hearing a case over the Cauvery river water dispute wherein Tamil Nadu is seeking the release of at least 50 TMC of water from the neighbouring state.

Karnataka has time till Monday to inform the apex court on how much water it can release to Tamil Nadu.

“We will inform the Supreme Court about the ground realities we are facing in Karnataka and our inability to release water due to low water levels in our own dams," M.B. Patil, state minister for water resources, said on Friday.

In its affidavit submitted in the SC, Karnataka said the catchment area of the Cauvery river had not received adequate rainfall, so much that there would be a shortage of drinking water.

Patil said that there would be no issue if there was sufficient water but there is only around 50 TMC of water in the reservoir and Tamil Nadu is demanding almost all of it.

Tamil Nadu maintains that southern India has received adequate rainfall and there has been a deficit in the water released by Karnataka in June, July and August.

Since June, Karnataka has released around 30 TMC of water, Patil said.

“On a daily basis we are releasing about 6,000-7,000 cusecs of water and Tamil Nadu already has around 34 TMC of water which will be sufficient for around three months of agriculture," he said.

The Karnataka government—facing its second successive drought year—has already put regulations in place on water guzzling crops such as sugarcane and paddy to conserve water for drinking.

Agriculture production in the state is likely to come down to 11 million tonnes this year from the last year’s figure of 12.6 million tonnes, as per the state’s latest budget.

The case will be heard again on 5 September, after Tamil Nadu files its response to the affidavit given by Karnataka.

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