Wednesday, February 17, 2010

City braces for hot, dry summer

City braces for hot, dry summer

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The city seems to be in for a hot, dry summer with the storage in the TG Halli reservoir being less than half of what it was last February, and power fluctuations threatening to play havoc with the supply of water to many parts.
TG Halli, which can hold up to 74 ft of water, had only 31 ft of water in November 2009. Its storage has dipped further and was only 23 ft on February 15 as against 36 ft a year ago this day.

The poor storage of the reservoir, which accounts for 50MLD of the 900 MLD of water supplied by the BWSSB, is hitting the northern and western parts of Bengaluru the hardest.
The BWSSB which supplies 70 MLD of water to these parts, has already reduced it to 50 MLD from December. By mid-March, it could reduce the supply by another 10 MLD, leading to much hardship in these areas. Also, with pumping stations being 120 km away from the city, the BWSSB is worried that the power fluctuations may affect its water supply network.
Every pumping station, at TG Halli, Harohalli or Tataguni, requires 50 cycles of power frequency to pump 900 million litres of water a day to the city. When the power frequency fluctuates between 48.5 and 49 cycles during summer, the supply of water is cut by almost three to five per cent, explains T. Venkatraju, chief engineer, BWSSB, pointing out this only aggravates the water crisis as consumption is also very high in summer.

"We have appealed to KPTCL and Bescom to prevent fluctuations in power frequency to the pumping stations," he adds, assuring that contingency plans are being draw up to manage the water supply in the city.
The BWSSB has 40 tankers to take water to areas that are short of it, charging the consumers Rs 250 for 6,000 litres.


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