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Ground water scarcity

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According to officials from Department of Mines and Geology, the groundwater situation is in a critical condition in Bangalore. The situation has worsened in the last three years. The average annual rainfall in the district is only 600 mm to 700 mm per year. Because of the drought in 2001, 2002 and 2003, groundwater recharge has been very low!! ******This is alarming*******.

I wonder why our government or our educated bangaloreans want to do nothing about it. Yes the government probably has a rule that Rain water harvesting(RWH) facility is compulsory in apartments and so on.... but who is monitoring it????  The apartment I live in does not implement RWH... Its a shame that the governing body is unable to enforce this..

Chennai, one of the hottest cities in South India had faced a situation worse than what Bangalore is witnessing today. However the then chief minister put her foot down and made it mandatory for all house holds to install RWH systems in their homes. A deadline was given - failing which the residents would be void of electricity & water connection.. Now...This is what I call a RULE. Ofcourse, the people of Chennai are throughly enjoying the benefits of this decision made by the lady of the State "Hail CM-Jayalalitha"

ooooooh....We are ashamed to use ideas other states have implemented. Huh this is Karnataka! we are a educated lot, we belong to the silicon valley of India.... ooooh aaaaah.................. If this is the attitude the government & we carry, sorry, we are not heading towards progression.

I urge everyone who is reading this to give it a thought. Read more about Rain Water Harvesting and the BENEFITS we all will reap out of it. Again, this does not matter if one house in a colony implements it, its got be be every house. Please educate as many people on the positives of RWH implementation.

Cheers for a better Bangalore!!!

"We should feedback what we recieve from Nature"


I totally agree with you.

144 users have liked.
I totally agree with you. But I feel there is a dearth of information as far as the installation and impact of Rain water harvesting is concerned. How much is the cost of installing such system? Do we have some figures as to the impact it makes?

idontspam's picture

It is useful and the right thing to do

109 users have liked.

Try this site...

I have it in my house. I harvest and recharge the groundwater. You can choose to use it for consumption after filtering which would be wise if you are short of water in your area.

blrpraj's picture

rainwater harvesting & BWSSB

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I believe there was a circular that BWSSB will not sanction fresh connections without rain water harvesting. I had to google around to find that article -

I found an interesting video on youtube about it -

BWSSB itself has a page devoted to this on it's site -



silkboard's picture

important issue

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Thanks for the post Chetana. This (ground water management, water supply, distribution as well) is such an important issue for city's growth, but doesn't get the coverage and attention it deserves.

Do we have good studies to understand the magnitude of the problem?

  • Ground water table indicators for 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and now?
  • Percentage of households that draw water from ground vs those that depend on piped supply
  • Quality of ground water in diff areas
  • Quality of BWSSB's supply in diff areas?
  • Level of enforcement of RWH legislation? Who is required to enforce it? BWSSB itself, BBMP, or pass the buck back to the city police (I doubt).

Unless someone spots scantily clad women swimming inside BWSSB's pipes or lakes, I don't think mainstream media is going to take interest and track all of city's water management activities for us.

jennypinto's picture

water issues

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great to see a discussion on water is one of the first on the election site!! for those interested, there is a small hub of activity in water issues, in bangalore that is quite active . you can get a lot of info from, and even join vishwanath who founded and leads it is a water conservationist is a fount of information and knowledge & the most approachable and helpful person you can find. harvesting rainwater is the easy, and so is re-cylcing, whether in apts or single house, even post-construction. all it needs is a recognition of the magnitude of the problem and a will to be part of the solution!
lightness of being
idontspam's picture

Unless someone spots

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Unless someone spots scantily clad women swimming inside BWSSB's pipes or lakes


ROTFLMAO... or you could try a rave party inside the pipes...

Comparison with Rural India

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One more stat I would be interested in is the average amount of water used by some one in a city like Bangalore as compared to someone in Rural India. I think the difference would be mind boggling!

zenrainman's picture

Rainwater harvesting

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A quick reply to the questions raised by readers

Average amount of water used by a citizen in Bangalore :  250 litres per person per day
Average amount in rural Karnataka: 40 litres per person per day

Ground water table indicators historically : Both the Central Ground Water Board and the Dept of mines and geology track it through
monitoring wells . Data not easily accessible :)  However
ground water tables are falling in the outskirts of the city  and RISING in the heart of the city (mostly through leaking water pipes and sewage not collected properly)
Ground water quality : On the decline with NITRATE contamination from domestic sewage reported in more than 65% of bore wells
Percentage of people who draw groundwater : Approximatley 25% Most people also use it as a supplement
BWSSB water has residual chlorine and is therefore good wherever supplied and this is monitored regularly

Thiings to remember
BWSSB does a herculean job in getting water to  the city from a source far away

BWSSB has every connection metered Bangalore is one of the only city in India to have this at such a scale
The increasing block tariff is one of the best in India
Water is hugely subsidised for the middle and upper class. If you consume 25,000 litres a month you get a subsidy of more than Rs 450/- a month and annually Rs 5000/-  

Every new house has to have rwh both BBMP and BWSSB make it mandatory . No the police don't eneter the picture but
hey citizens have rights as well as responsibilites and while we see a clamour for rights the responsibility thing is what will
drive society towards positive action :)   

Rainwater harvesting makes a huge difference individually and if done collectively even more

Here are some more youtube movies for you

and many more if you search for zenrainman on including greywater reuse and ecosan


s_yajaman's picture

Thanks zenrainman and IDS

119 users have liked.


Thanks for that piece of data.  I agree that water is far too subsidised for the people who can most afford it.   Unless we pay a fair value for this, we will tend to waste it.

IDS - would appreciate it if I can pop by to get some tips on RWH.  I want to install it in my mother-in-law's house, but have not had much success with resources.  Is it a DIY project or is professional help mandatory? 


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

rmb's picture

A report on Ground Water Scenario of Bangalore available at

99 users have liked. Though slightly unrelated, it talks about the monitoring wells and have some data about those. After reading the comment by Vishwanath I remembered about this report.
idontspam's picture

It could be DIY if you get the fundamentals

112 users have liked.

IDS - would appreciate it if I can pop by to get some tips on RWH.  I want to install it in my mother-in-law's house, but have not had much success with resources.  Is it a DIY project or is professional help mandatory?

It could be DIY if you know what you are doing, but there are techniques that have been practised by the pros that you may spend your time breaking your head over. PM me for a visit to my place. I am not qualified to give tips on RWH as I got professional help from folks who work with Vishwanath. Mine is a simple system of capture and recharge. There are other possibilities Vishwanath can show if you can get him to have you over at his place.

zenrainman's picture

Rainwater harvesting/groundwater recharge

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Here are a couple more films in Kanndda on rainwater harvesting in Bangalore



Srivathsa , it is not really DIY but folks at the should be happy to design alongwith a group called labournet
where we are trying to professionalise services but also create livelihoods opportunities for plumbers with ecological initiatives

btw if people are really serious about saving groundwater one major threat is the quality issue . In Bangalore domestic sewage is the single largest contaminant of groundwater so why not try Ecosan ?
Here is how

and finally things about all the things which are invisible such as virtual water, the amount of the stuff that is needed to grow say rice, global warming , climate change, irregular rainfall, carbon emissions,fertilser subsidies, food crisis,peak oil et al
and so at one stroke why not save the world one roof at a time ?? :):):)


PS Remember to have fun especially when things go a bit wrong, it's nothing compared to what Madoff/Satyam did to us

soorya_kedlaya's picture

water supply to bangalore

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kedlaya once bwssb has clarified that they will not be able to supply water beyond yelahanka except to bial and ground water level in doddaballapur and devanahalli is worse than south bangalore. supply of cauvery water is easier to south bangalore than north bangalore. then why government is allowing all builders/developers/companies to go to north bangalore ? are they trying to cheat public to invest their hard earned money in that area?
Srivatsava's picture

Yelahanka-Devanahalli belt

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During the years 1988-92, my father was a manager at the Yelanka branch of a nationalised bank. He recounted that there was a RBI recommendation, based on a geo-agency report, that no loans be given for borewells in the Yelahanka-Devanahalli zone. This was based on the fact that the ground water was completed exploited, and the minimum distance between two borewells was not at all honoured.
      If this was the recommendation 20 years ago, I can imagine the water situation there after the unabated 'development' in the past decade. I can understand that 4000acres of agricultural land was taken over for an airport, but what is the need for every other infrastructure project there. The hardware park, star hotels, race-course, excessive housing layouts etc will only strain the water situation further.

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

zenrainman's picture

Devanhalli- water situation

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The Central Ground Water Board has notified the Devanhalli taluk area as a 'dark' zone, meaning withdrawal of water far exceeds natural recharge rates. Once the CGWB notifies an area as drk NABARD notifies it for no further loan sanction for bore wells.

One answer to the development in that area will come from nature alone. A second answer is to reuce demand to the optimum, harvest every drop of rain and recycle water. With that it should be possible for low rise low density developments to manage for water. This is of course true for the rest of the city too.

Nethravathi link

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Dr Paramasivaiah, retired Chief Engineer of the Irrigation department, GoK suggests that the Nethravathi river could meet the water requirements of Bangalore Rural district and parts of Chickballapur district.

GIRISH KUMAR R's picture

Rainwater Harvesting design

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 Hey folks,

I am a mechanical engineer passed out in 2008 from PESIT. I have worked for a year and now I have quit to start a venture in environmental solutions field. I have been trained by an NGO called TIDE in complete designing and implementation of Rainwater Harvesting at houses as well as large areas and buildings. I am looking for people really serious to get RWH implemented at their places.

I also seek support from environmental friendly folks like you to support me in this regard. Though I have a commercial intention, I have chosen this field because I am keen on creating awareness around people.

Hope I will get all of your support. Any detailed information required, you can mail me at

Thanks people

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