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Bangalore, and water - urgency?

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PollutionWater

Building up on their last report, Jayshree Nandi (with S Kushala) had yet another report in TOI yesterday to highlight Bangalore's water woes. This time, they quoted work from Swedish researchers (including jenny gronwall who is registered here) to highlight issues of ground water shortage, pollution and water supply issues. Sarjapur Road apartments are favorite case studies for us all - they buy water tankers, and they apparently have no clarity on when they may get water connection from BWSSB.

Read full report on TOI epaper (water clock is ticking). But let me pick out some stats for you:

  • "residents use around 400 liters water/person/day .. vis-avis the normal 150 liters (per person/day)" - Very interested in knowing the source of this 400 liter stat, and if possible, the benchmarks for the normal figure of 150 l/p/d. What are the numbers from other cities in India, and globally?
  • "Cauvery stage V phase II expected to be complete in 2012" - some date from BWSSB there.

More stats from past reports by same journalists

  • "there is almost an increase of 466% of building area or paved surface in the past three years and that is not allowing water to percolate through the soil. Of 200 tanks present in 1985, only 17 survive today, which means that the wetland area has decreased alarmingly"
  • "Many lakes were encroached for illegal buildings (54%). Field surveys (during July-August 2007) show that nearly 66% of lakes are sewage fed, 14% surrounded by slums and 72% showed loss of catchment area. Lake catchments were used as dumping yards for either municipal solid waste or building debris."

A lot of similar stats are available on Internet, wonder what the original source is. Would be great if Jenny and team can post their full research report here.

I will repeat my curiosity here - why does it have to be Cauvery water alone? A network of rain water holding water reservoirs around the city, and other rivers besides Cauvery - do those possibilities exist?

-Pranav

Comments

Naveen's picture

Cauvery - Only Reliable Source

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SB,

The answer to yr question -

"why does it have to be Cauvery water alone? A network of rain water holding water reservoirs around the city, and other rivers besides Cauvery - do those possibilities exist ?"

is already there in what you posted -

"Of 200 tanks present in 1985, only 17 survive today, which means that the wetland area has decreased alarmingly....Many lakes were encroached for illegal buildings (54%). Field surveys (during July-August 2007) show that nearly 66% of lakes are sewage fed, 14% surrounded by slums and 72% showed loss of catchment area. Lake catchments were used as dumping yards for either municipal solid waste or building debris."

I mentioned previously about the dry Hessarghatta lake after a visit there sometime last year - the sight was dismaying to me as the lake had always been full some 3 to 4 decades ago (during my schooling days).

Tippagondanahalli tank (West - off Magadi rd) & Hessarghatta lake (North - Off Tumkur rd) were majors water sources for the city then, but now, most of the rivulets feeding these tanks have been encroached upon & hence, the tanks have run dry - permanently.

Bringing Cauvery water to the city had only just begun in the 1970s & this had not been a major source for water then, except for south bangalore areas, like Jayanagar, Basavanagudi & Banashankari.

Arkavathi, a tributary of Cauvery, had been another lifeline to north rural bangalore.

The water table had also been high & wells were In abundant numbers within the city, never running out of water, even during summers - even in old & dense urban areas such as Chamrajpet & Basavanagudi.

Cauvery, flowing closeby in the south remains the only reliable source for water now for bangalore.

Other rivers originating in western ghats such as Sharavathi, Kalinadi, Mandovi, Krishna & it's many large tributaries (Thungabhadra, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha & Bhima) are too far & are hence ruled out as a source for bangalore.

This may be why interlinking of waters may be the only answer to the growing needs of water for most of our large cities, aided by conservation methods & rain-water harvesting, as succesfully done in Chennai.

Rithesh's picture

We are killing our lakes

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Naveen's picture

Doddanegundi Lake Also in Peril

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The Doddanegundi lake opposite the colony where I stay is also neglected & looks ripe for the taking by land sharks.

There is a movement by residents around the lake (including our society) to restore this once beautiful lake.

I will try & post a few pictures soon.

zenrainman's picture

Water issues in Bangalore

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The Stae Water Policy puts the lpcd requirement per person in urban Karnataka as 135 litres

The manual on water supply brought out by the CPHEEO suggests that in urban water supply design a figure of 135 lpcd should be used.

Our survey in some households and gated communities indicates an excess of 250 to 600 lpcd being used

Regarding rainwater - from the Cauvery at the end of ll schemes 1500 million litres per capita per day - will be pumped into the city.   What falls as rain in average year is 3000 mld , double what will ever come from the Cauvery.

We need to restore our lakes and tanks that is for sure, we hve 3000 tanks still left in the entire BMRDA planning area of approx 4500 sq km. These need to b focussed on and protected including the catchment.

Rainwater harvesting has tremendous possibility. The entire groundwater holding capacity of Bangalore runs to 1000 feet. We can if we want store all the rainwater that falls on our heads 3000 mld in this groundwater bank. This can be done by every individual,apartment and colony with a zero runoff philosophy. We also need to protect the groundwater quality from especially domestic sewge pollution , that too can be done.

There is no need to interlink rivers or focus on water from distant sources provided we reject the ' fouling of the nest' pilosophy and approach and adopt a ' protect your local water' approach.

With a little bit of common sense and a water conservation approach 80 to 100 lpcd is more than enough to meet all our water requirements. Recycling greywater is also easy if we incorporate it into the design at the planning stage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMXokubj-tg&feature=channel_page
 
and
 
 
and
 
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz_VGaPr610&feature=channel_page


are some videos for things Bangaloreans can do

cheers 
Naveen's picture

Videos about Water conservation

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Zenrainman - these are very educative videos, excellent effort.

Thanks for the links.

trimurthi's picture

Rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling

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Localized rain-water harvesting is a simple way to solve this problem, than the ambitious river interlinking project which looks more like a political avenue for money laundering and causing huge environmental problems that we don't forsee.
Action taken right before this monsoon can have a ripple effect in fixing multiple problems like: water shortage, monsson flooding, spread of water borne and related diseases, saving cauvery ecosystem, saving power, etc.. the list can just go on.

Even after a law (I should say advisory instead) on mandatory rainwater harvesting, there seems to be negligence by authorities and also citizens. Citizens prefer to invest in showpiecing the house rather than harvesting rainwater - complete apathy.

Regarding grey water recycling here is something that I would like people to take notice of:
'Urine is sterile and contains high level of vital nutrients that can be returned to soil. They also are believed to contain antibodies. Now by mixing this with feces, we are allowing the harmfull bacteria to develop resistance'
This is strong enough a reason to treat fecal waste separately and sterilize it to prevent epidemics. If other waste water source are diverted and recycled, we can achieve great savings in consumption (atleast more than 50%). Now backport this percentage to the facts and figures and you will realise the point.

I hope civic administration like BWSSB, BDA and prajas' show a sense of urgency here and start to fix this problem. We have enough expertise in people like Vishwanath Srikantaiah (aka zenrainman) and his affiliations - www.rainwaterclub.org, www.arghyam.orgwww.biome-solutions.com and numerous other people with fresh new ideas. We need an organized collaborative effort and praja.in I think is a nice platform to start this initiative.

Public Agenda's picture

Is'nt the sewerage mandatory for 135 LPCD?

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If 135 lpcd is to be provided for Mun Corp areas like BBMP as per state water policy--- water availabilty is far from that, and many people are not on the water supply and sewerage network. Does this also mean they consume less if they dont have sewerage connections?

So while an avg is worked out can we get more data at the local level based on access to network so that we can identify the need.

If people living in posh houses and gated communities have been laid off and / or they cannot pay for the home loan EMI there are many who may have gone back to home town

An additional 100000 hh are due to come on the BWSSB network since july 2008 in CMC areas so there is an actual 40% reduction in supply to core areas to meet additional demand.

 

 


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