Monday, March 22, 2010

`Harvest rain water, revive lakes'

`Harvest rain water, revive lakes'

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Although the city is looking forward to more Cauvery water, experts warn it will not be enough to meet its needs in years to come as the population too will have grown, pushing up the demand for it.
With the completion of Cauvery stage 4 phase 2 by 2012, Bengaluru, will receive another 6 tmc of water in addition to the 12 tmc it is already getting from the river, says T. Venkatraju, chief engineer, BWSSB. While this will allow the board to supply an additional 500 mld of water by 2011-12, this will not be enough to meet the needs of the projected population of 8.02 million as the city will then require still another 400 mld of water. The only solution lies in introducing proper demand management, rain water harvesting, reviving lakes and recharging borewells, say experts like S.

Vishwanath, advisor, Arghyam.

Pointing out that only one per cent of the 3000 mld of rain water the city receives every year is utilised, he welcomes the decision to make rain water harvesting mandatory for certain categories of buildings.

“People can get the quality of the rain water checked and take experts’ advice on treating it. Once this is done, they can use it to recharge the ground water which in turn will free it of chemicals like fluorides and nitrates,” Mr Vishwanath explains.

U.V. Singh of the Lake Development Authority has a unique solution for the city’s water problems. He suggests that treated sewage must be allowed to enter lakes to maintain their water levels as otherwise they will go dry.

Later, the water can be subjected to anaerobic bacterial treatment and a 1,000 borewells drilled around the lakes to supply 30 per cent of the city with water, he says.

The authorities seem to have caught on as the BBMP and BDA are already developing 29 lakes, and another 15 are listed for revival.

The BWSSB is helping the process by replacing its 25 to 30 year old sewer lines under its Environmental Action Plans, A, B and C to make sure that all the untreated sewage leads to the STPs of which there are 14 in the city and not to the city's lakes.

But the various agencies can obviously do a lot more to see that all Bengalureans get the water they need.


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