Thursday, April 01, 2010

Water woes: Cauvery share nearly up, groundwater drying up

Water woes: Cauvery share nearly up, groundwater drying up
City faces an arid future
Bangalore, March 31, DH News Service:

Bangaloreans are reeling under an acute water shortage like never before. Borewells are drying up, water mafias are invading neighbourhoods and street wars triggered by water problems are breaking out everywhere. With the City bursting at its seams, the water crisis is surely not going to disappear in a hurry. Deccan Herald takes an insightful look at the problem in all its shades through a new series 'Thirsty City.' Over the next few days, our reporters will visit the areas in deep trouble, speak to the affected people and discuss viable solutions with experts. You could send in your valuable feedback, views and suggestions to dhreporting@gmail.com

With yet another summer scorching the City, the situation on the water front appears quite precarious again.

With just 910 Million Litres Per Day (MLD) supplied to the City against the required daily demand of 1,200 MLD, the existing water shortage scenario is likely to get aggravated when the warm conditions result in an increase in usage of water.

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu is aware of the challenge. On Wednesday, he met BWSSB Chairperson P B Ramamurthy and all chief engineers on steps needed to be taken to handle the crisis.

Naidu ordered that the 17 special officers appointed recently to monitor and inspect water distribution in different areas, to report at their respective service stations at 6 am, daily. He also directed that water tankers be kept in ready mode to supply water to areas facing acute water shortage.

For the water-starved areas of the City, relief is due only late next year when the Second Phase of the Cauvery Water Supply Project IV Stage is likely to be commissioned.

“That would provide an additional 500 MLD of water to the City daily,” said a top source.
However, that is when the City would end up utilising the last drop of the 19 TMC feet of water awarded to it by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had urged during the recent Assembly session that alternative water sources need to be identified to manage the demands of the City.

One such solution

The ongoing Rainwater Harvesting Scheme is just one such solution. With the deadline for making it mandatory fast approaching (May 27), residents are slowly waking up to the seriousness of the matter.

“Only 11,000 houses have opted for RWH as of now,” said a top BWSSB source.
On the impact this could have on the City’s water scene, he said that each house could help in saving upto 5,000 litres of water during every rainy season.

“If 11,000 houses can each save this quantity of water, it would definitely help in redressing the scarcity to some extent,” he said.

On the other hand, the groundwater level in the City is fast depleting due to overexploitation.

The scene is acute in the newly added BBMP areas. The absence of supply of Cauvery water here has made this form of water the main water supply for all purposes. Unscrupulous businessmen have made the total exploitation of groundwater found in their plots a big business.

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