Bangalore Water Index

Project number:3230
Opened by:Neha_Dar
Opened on:Thursday, 25 March 2010 - 8:53pm
Last modified:Wednesday, 19 January 2011 - 11:12pm
Operations:add Case | view all project cases

Despite the popularity of traffic and transportation subjects here, water is a rather more serious issue facing our city. Here is an ambitious but interesting project to to pool together the energy of all water enthusiasts, and first design, and then regularly publish a "water index" for Bangalore.

Think of water index as a numerical way to track the "water health" of our city. The index by itself would be a meaningless number. But if designed well, monthly or quarterly changes to the number could indicate how the city is doing on water. Such a  data driven way of tracking an important parameter of quality of life should support meaningful debates, decisions, and raise awareness on city's water woes.

There could be multiple components like water input and supply data from BWSSB, technical data (groundwater map, catchment area estimates) from research houses and NGOs (Arghyam, IISc etc), and quality of water supply as seen by citizens (and captured in some crowd-sourced way).

Join if you're interested. The project will certainly get better shaped and defined as more people join in.

[Posted by Admin on behalf of Neha, Zenrainman and few others]

Water From Rainfall in Bengaluru!

Bengaluru city spread over 600 Sq Kilometers (266 Sq. Miles) receives an average rainfall of about 900 mm (35 Inches), Annually. Since rainfall is an important source of replenishing city's water sources, here is an attempt to tabulate the monthly and annual rainfall over a period and compute the same into total water received in terms of Cubic Kilometers (KM3).

Water - Facts we should know!


"The world is not "running out water", but it is not always available when and where people need it."

"Every minute during the next 20 years, 30 Indians will leave rural India for urban areas. India will need some 500 new cities. If there were ever a time to focus on the smart growth of our urban areas, that time is now"

Meeting with Chairman, BWSSB

2 Sep 2010 15:00


  • Time: 3:00 pm
  • Date:  Thursday, 2nd September
  • Venue: BWSSB Office, Cauvery Bhavan, KG Road, Bangalore
  • Agenda: Bangalore Water Index proposal, data collection kickoff.

For reference: Proposal on Water Index

BWSSB presentation, Dec 6 2009



Dec 6 – 2009 Water Workshop

Presentation was made by BWSSB :

Meeting with BWSSB PRO

28 Aug 2010 15:00

 We're meeting with Mr. Prahlad Rao, PRO (BWSSB) tomorrow to discuss the Bangalore Water Index.

Details as under: 

Time - 3:00pm

Date - Saturday, 28th August

Venue - BWSSB, 5th floor, Cauvery Bhavan, K.G. Road, Bangalore

Leave a note/call me if you'd like to come along. Or meet us there.


Minutes of the meeting with Arghyam


Some notes from our freewheeling discussion with folks at Arghyam

Participants: Vijay, Deepak and Mrinalini from Arghyam. Manjari, Deepak and Neha

On Water Index

  •  The feedback was that we should focus on a narrower scope (say, just collecting data on rainwater harvesting)
  • If we are not able to get data from BWSSB directly are we going to take the RTI route? And if we do get data from BWSSB, will we be able to cross-verify it some way?
  • Apart from collecting all the data, having an interface for smart queries might be a useful feature to build on Praja.

On Crowdsourcing

Bangalore Water Index - Project Proposal to the BWSSB



Attached here is the project proposal we plan to go to the BWSSB with. Most of it is similar to Pranav's ppt, with a couple of edits - thanks for taking the lead on this, Pranav!

Have a look, and let us know what you think. Also - the parameters are not part of the presentation. That list will be enclosed separately.



Meeting with Prof. Mohan Kumar


Prof. Mohan Kumar, http://cistup.iisc.ernet...., Civil Engineering Dept., IISc

Participants: Shekhar Mittal, Deepak Rajanna, Manjari Vishnoi

The agenda of this meeting was to share the vision and approach of the Praja Water Index project with Prof. Mohan and to get his feedback and guidance. The feedback from Prof. Mohan was as follows

Rain Water Harvesting in Bangalore - A Report


Growth in the no. of buildings with RWH facilities over the last one year.  



MoM from meeting with Prof. M.Sekhar


Notes from our meeting with Prof. M. Sekhar, Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engg., Indian Institute of Science.

Participants: Shekhar Mittal, Neha Dar, Deepak Rajanna.

Our discussion mainly revolved around the IISc report on groundwater commissioned by the BMRCL. See Two important sources of information exist on the ground water situation in Bangalore.

1. The Department of Mines and Geology which has 8 collection points spread around Bangalore city that capture information on the ground water on a monthly basis. However, this data might not be available to the general public in it's raw form. Prof. Sekhar has given us references in the department who will be able to lend us the reports that they generate out of this data. See page 26 for more information; the "plus" signs on the map indicate the sampling locations.

2. IISc's ground water report for BMRCL. The main focus of the IISc Report is the impact of the underground sections of the metro on the ground water flow in Bangalore.

Need Volunteers for Sample Collection


Building on to the post made here and here

Janaagraha is collecting collecting info related to BWSSB water supply in all the wards. They need volunteers who  agree to get pressure meters installed in their houses and provide water samples to Janagrahaa. Janagrahaa folks will come to your house and install the meter themselves. You won't have to do anything.

The data generated will be useful for the water index which we are doing at Praja as well.

Volunteering for this requires no effort at all so I hope anybody who sees this post should agree to doing it.

Kindly make a comment giving your details: Area of Residence, Ward Number if you know it, contact details etc.



Shekhar Mittal


Meeting with Gautham Ravichander from WISA-Janaagraha


I met Gautham Ravichandar who is co-ordinating the new WISA project at Janagrahaaa. I wanted to find out the extent to which they are tracking water in their index and see if there is any way we can collaborate.

So, WISA has hired around 50 people who are going to each and every ward to collect the required info. Once TOI publishes the data they plan to make it open for everyone. I am not sure whether they will make it online but people can go to their office and access that data.

Their focus is more on creating some sort of a quality of life index. The categories they are going to cover are 

1. BWSSB Supply - 1 thing to notice is that the plan to track the BIS Benchmarks measuring with the help of a NABH accredited lab.

2. Parks and Playgrounds

3. Sewage and Sanitation - Public Toilets

4. Mobility

5. Environment - Air Pollution, Green Cover

Bangalore Bore well data


Total number of borewells in all BWSSB zones: 







BWSSB Data collection form

The data that we will ask from BWSSB on a regular basis. I think this is too much in detail, we will have to shorten up a bit. But it is a very nice starting point. So lets get the ball rolling.

Meeting with Prof Sekhar Muddu

19 Apr 2010 18:00

Prof Muddu is a hydrogeologist at Civil Deptt IISc.

One can read about him here

All those who can make it, please confirm.



MoM with Prof TV Ramachandran


Attendees: Neha Dar, Jim Gowda and myself.

We meet Prof Ramachandran from Center for Ecological Studies, IISc this saturday. Even though, he blasted us for not doing anything after our last meeting with him (read about it here), he spent over 2 hours with us discussing this project among other things. I like to call this meeting "He pulled up our socks" session.

Some of the points which were discussed are

Meeting with Siva from Indian Statistical Institute

14 Apr 2010 17:00

Venue: Cafe Coffee Day at Outer Ring Road near Bellandur Junction

Info about him can be found here

The agenda is to figure out the representation of the parameters/data that will be collected for the water index.

MoM - Meeting with Mr. Thippeswamy


Attendees: Shekhar Mittal, Jim Gowda, Zenrainman Sir, Manjari Vishnoi, Neha Dar


We met Mr Thippeswamy, Retd. Chief Engineer (BWSSB) on Saturday at IISc. Meeting minutes captured below.

  • Mr. Thippeswamy reviewed our initial list of parameters and had the following remarks:       

             (1) Coverage - As per the Act, BWSSB must provide water supply to Bangalore Metropolitan Area. Only 50% has been covered.

             (2) Unaccounted for Water: This is really a subset of Non-revenue water. Both physical and commercial. Water is also lost due to cleaning of reservoirs, unexpected pipe bursts, supply to fire hydrants, etc.

             (3) Slum Coverage: It is not the BWSSB 's prerogative to proactively provide coverage to slums. Slum Clearance Boards/BBMP/BDA come to them with proposals, which they then implement.

Meeting Mr Tippeswamy

10 Apr 2010 11:00

A meeting has been set up with Mr Tippeswamy (Ex-Bwssb) tomorrow. Thanks to Swati.

The venue is the IISc Cafeteria.

Time is 11am.

Kindly confirm who all are coming.

Incremental List of Parameters

The following is an incremental list of the parameters we plan to track as part of the water index. We shall continue to add parameters until we finalise a stable index.

Request Praja members to review this list, focusing on
* Any broad category that has not been covered.
* Any parameter that has been left out.


To add to the list,

edit this wiki page and enter your suggested parameter(s) under the sixth category (Additonal Parameters). Please enter clear and concise parameters/descriptions. Rap on the knuckles for vagueness. :)


The first five categories form the initial list. Additonal parameters suggested by Praja members form the 6th category:

1. Pipe Water

    a. Hours of Supply

    b. Coverage - Percentage of households having a bwssb connection.

    c. Unaccounted for Water- Calculated by measuring the amount of water that BWSSB bills to the amount of water that it supplies.

2007-Benchmarking and DAta Bood of Water Utilities in India (ADB-UDD).pdf4.59 MB


Certainly interested, thanks

Certainly interested, thanks Vmenon! Will call you for details.


water index..maybe some inuputs from my side


Assume you are piloting this project.Can a put you in touch with a true gentleman , who was piloting the project and technical aspects of the project called GBWASP( greater bangalore ater and sewage project).This was part of the janagrahha involment in citizen partciapation module in the project.Janaagraha's involvement was cut short amid controversies and government indiffrence to a partcaption model, but that another story.

This gentleman however might still have data on the water project, how much water there actaully was to distribute,what were the projects on stream for creating water availabilty etc.The involvement was  5 years ago so might also be dated.

If interested can put you in touch , but offline,

a brief interview with him might help.

my cell 9886031420   


Involving local colleges?

Since this may involve a lot of work, doing this along with local colleges would be nice. It could be NGOs, citizens, and govt agencies supplying data, data collected and shared via the website, and then, and index calculated from collected data. Students could help with collecting the base data, and calculating the index.

join if you can help create content

Sanjay, I would say join as long as you can (at a minimum) spend some quality thinking time and help create some content.

In my mindm, the whole idea of this index is to influence public opinion, public policy and legislation. If you tell people too many technical things about Water issues, its gets confusing. Bu if you just say that water index is deteriorating month over month by 5%, that is easier to grasp. Think of WPI/CPI for a parallel.

And naturally, we can't do this in pure Praja mode (all part-timers), will expect to be lead by folks from the likes of Arghyam.

Sounds like an involved project

 I am very interested in learning more about this project, but cannot commit any time as of now to participate. Will join when things ease up a little in the rest of my life.  Is there an option to be a passive member watching from the sidelines?  I can read material and provide constructive feedback ("arm chair criticism"), especially in the definition phase.

This is not easy at all.  Firstly, reliable data may be hard to come by -especially for ground water and geology and water quality.  BWSSB data of course is another piece.

Secondly, there is a burning need to influence public opinion, public policy and legislation.  How do we intend to use this index to accomplish that?



All the best Neha

Neha, zenrainman sir - all the best. Not an easy job, but would be good to design and tune an index! comment guidelines

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