Water crisis in Bangalore - 2024

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  • SumitaS
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Re: Water crisis in Bangalore - 2024

Sharing my piece of opinion about Bengaluru water issue.
Amidst so much information about Bengaluru, this is a stock take of problems associated with this dire situation of Bengaluru. Some important points such as urban planning atrocities, change of conservative behaviour to materialised behaviour increasing per capita consumption, lack of monitoring, dying wisdom of conservation of local resources and top of it increased migration and built up area are main reasons behind it.
Read it here: www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/water/bengal...ater-for-peace-95172
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  • sreuter
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  • essential public services for all: clean waters, no waste - livable spaces.
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Re: Water crisis in Bangalore - 2024

Thank you Paresh for sharing the interview here and opening the discussion around it. 

I understand many cities and towns in Asia, Africa and Latin America are witnessing and are confronted with similar symptoms and underlying structural deficiencies of urban water services (e.g. Cape Town’s 2018 crisis). 

Lagging behind in the realization of safely managed water and sanitation for all is exacerbated by urban growth and climate change. 

The discussion reminds me that:
A number of cross-cutting elements for integrated groundwater and sanitation planning including new systems and technologies are explained in the 2022 ‘Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies for the Wider Caribbean Region’ supported by SuSanA’s Working Group 11 (e.g. groundwater recharge ‘R99, p. 138 and above mentioned integrated planning p. 177). 

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  • paresh
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Water crisis in Bangalore - 2024

Dear All,
Sharing this interview with S Vishwanath that discusses the ongoing water crisis in Bengaluru, India. As he argues, there is adequate resource available, the challenge lies in ensuring it reaches where it is needed. Important to note that the city gets water from 100 km away, and it needs to be lifted by 300 m. 
While people with water connections are unaffected, those dependent on groundwater, either borewells or tankers, face the crisis as the groundwater level continuously drops. Consequently, charges for such tankers have increased drastically for two reasons: (i) the cost of extraction of groundwater has increased and (ii) profiteering by private suppliers. 

The key initiatives he suggests are:
  • Integrate different forms of water management - rainwater harvesting, groundwater management, treated wastewater reuse, and piped water supply under one unified agency for better coordination and planning.
  • Enforce existing regulations like rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment plants, and dual piping systems in apartments and layouts.
  • Map the city's aquifers, understand their storage capacities, and plan for systematic groundwater recharge instead of indiscriminate extraction through borewells.
  • Recharge groundwater by filling surface water bodies like lakes with tertiary treated wastewater. This would help recharge the aquifers and enable apartments and private water tankers to draw more groundwater.
  • Create separate cells within BWSSB for groundwater management, surface water body management, and treated wastewater management.
  • Ensure democratic accountability by having BWSSB report to the Metropolitan Planning Committee and ward committees.
  • Promote water literacy among citizens and have them pay the true economic cost of water to make BWSSB financially sustainable.
  • Citizens should demand sustainable water plans from builders before buying apartments and put pressure on the system through public awareness and making it an election issue.
While these are long term solutions, in the short term, increasing competition, that is increasing the number of tankers supplying transported water for the peripheral areas to reduce dependence on groundwater. 

I think these are relevant for cities across the globe as both flooding and droughts are predicted to increase due to climate change. 

Curious about what initiatives other cities are taking to tackle the two diametrically opposite problems at the same time.

Regards
paresh



Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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