It was realised during the earlier phases of the Forum’s work, especially in the context of issues like the Mullaperiyar, Babhli or Polavaram, that water conflicts occurred suddenly and in an unforeseen manner. These conflicts become urgent issues that may require prompt intervention on various scales. So it was discussed that the Forum should have in the current phase an uncommitted flexible fund for such opportunistic interventions. The first such avenue for intervention chosen by the Forum in this phase has been the issue of water sharing between the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Given the recent decision to split the state of Andhra Pradesh into two states, the question of how water is to be shared betwen them is of great importance. This is especially true given the historical disparities in water sharing between the various regions of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.
The Forum initiated the first of its opportunistic interventions of this third phase in December of 2014. A meeting was organised on the theme ‘Water sharing between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana’ and several civil society organisations and academics from the two states were invited and there were more than 35 in attendance. The meeting was held on Osmania University’s campus. The Late Prof. Ramaswamy Iyer provided context to the discussion on water sharing with his introductory talk on the experiences of other states on the same subject. The meeting concluded with a decision that the Forum would draft a report that would serve as both a framework for resolving age old issues as well as offer inputs from the participants to the issues of immediate concerns. The participants also decided to form an informal group to engage with water sector issues in the region.
Since the first meeting, subsequent meetings have taken place in Rayalseema in February and then in Hyderabad in June and August 2015. It was decided in these meetings to narrow down the scope of the report to just the Krishna river since the main issues were surrounding the Krishna’s waters. The Forum has been working at putting together relevant data on the subject. The process of drafting the framework that would be put forth in the report is also in progress.
The first consultative meeting at the Osmania University Campus, Dec, 2014