Friday, February 19, 2010

City short on water too; monsoon’s the only hope

City short on water too; monsoon’s the only hope

NR Madhusudhan
First Published : 19 Feb 2010 03:58:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 19 Feb 2010 09:15:48 AM IST

BANGALORE: Will it be a difficult summer for Bangaloreans this time? The answer is yes at least for the areas that were added to the city not long ago.

The situation is likely to improve only by the end of 2011 when the Cauvery IV stage II phase project is scheduled to be completed and the city will get an additional 500 million litres per day (MLD) and Cauvery water can be supplied to even the far flung areas.

The growing demand for water in the city and the depleting ground water levels are making the job of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) that much more difficult.

Apart from the mantra of judicious and equitable distribution to the different parts of the city, BWSSB chairman PB Ramamurthy stresses the need for all households to instal rainwater harvesting systems that was made mandatory recently.

Rainwater harvesting recharges groundwater, besides taking off the burden on BWSSB, he explains.

For the time being though, the areas on the outskirts will get their supply from the borewells. Before being merged with the city, these areas got their water supply from as many as 6,000 borewells.

To augment the supply, BWSSB got 1,536 new borewells sunk in 2008-09. It has got permission to sink 1,000 more this summer.

This time, BWSSB plans area-wise strategies to ensure equitable distribution of the available water. For this, it will be conducting division-level meetings.

On an average, the city consumes 1,200 MLD of water and BWSSB pitches in with 870 MLD, while the rest of the supply comes from private distribution agencies.

With the demand increasing substantially during summer and BWSSB having no additional water sources, it faces an unenviable task every summer.

BWSSB pumps water to the city from Torekadanahalli and Thippagondanahalli (TG Halli) reservoirs. Cauvery water is released from the Kabini reservoir to Shiva Anicut and from there it is diverted to Torekadanahalli, where it is treated.

From Torekadanahalli, the water is pumped to the city through the Harohalli and Tataguni pumping stations.

The water is then routed to the 48 ground level reservoirs (GLRs) in different parts of the city, before it makes its way to the households and other establishments.

“At present, we are getting 810 MLD of water from all the four stages of the Cauvery water project. Around 60 MLD of treated water is pumped to the city from TG Halli,” Ramamurthy said.

In addition to all these efforts, BWSSB will be hoping for early rains so that there is no major problem this summer.

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