Saturday, April 13, 2013

~ War for Water ~

Am not sure who the F*$k should be blamed for this - Will Bangalore have to be evacuated by 2023?
“The Government of Karnataka will have to evacuate half of Bangalore in the next ten years, due to water scarcity, contamination of water and diseases.”
Bangaloreans would do well not to dismiss Balasubramanian’s peep into the future as an exaggeration of a worried mind. It is corroborated by the lab results at the Public Health Institute, and the Department of Mines and Geology of the Karnataka government. The results reveal that 52 per cent of the borewell water, and 59 per cent of tap water in Bangalore, is not potable and contain 8.4 per cent and 19 per cent E.coli bacteria respectively.
The reason: the groundwater in at least half of Bangalore is contaminated with sewage water. In 1790, a British captain had described Bangalore as the land of a thousand lakes. Today less than 200 of those 1000 lakes remain and are no more than sewage tanks. The sewage water contaminates the ground water and percolates into the borewells.

Absolutely lack of town/city planning coupled with disorganised growth across various parts has changed the face of Bangalore. What was once known as 'Garden City' or Pensioners' Paradise has turned into a dysfunctional metropolis, due to the lack of vision & concern for the city by the those who are elected to govern.

There are lot of woes which citizens of Bangalore are facing. After the being held for ransom at the hands of Land & Garbage Mafias, we will see the rise of Water Mafia. We are seeing Apartment mushrooming across the new areas of Bangalore - Marathalli, Sarjapur, Whitefield, Electronic City, Kanakapura Road, Tumkur Road, Hebbal, North Bangalore, Outer Ring Road - & also some of the builders are taking over factories or mills and converting them into townships - Mantri Mall, Brigade Gateway. I have always wondered how can the Real Estate Developers provide water for so many families who form the community in such town ships.

For the purpose of statistics, if we assume that an apartment has 3 members. Then the average water flushed = 9 times {3 per person} with 3 lts flush tanks = 27 lts. Now assume that an average township would have about 500 Apts, then the water being flushed per day equates to 13500 lts. Add to this we have 4 Wheelers which are on rise across India & on a average 5000 cars are washed everyday sending  3,75,000 litres of water down the drain.

The place I live in is better off with Cauvery water being provided on alternate days. Am sure that there are many of them living in layouts, apartments, town-ships & gated communities who are all dependent on ground water for sustenance, as BWSSB does not provide water. That's where the Water Mafia steps in. They charge anywhere between 500-800 INR {$10-$16} per tanker depending on where you live in Bangalore. Even if BWSSB aspire to do QUENCH the thirst of 8 million inhabitants, they simply cannot. Due to the fact that Karnataka hasn't had a good monsoon last year & the rivers - Arkavathi, Hemavathy, Shimsha, Cauvery - which are responsible for feeding Bangaloreans are in dire straits this year.

Even the Water Mafia will not be able to supply for long, as the ground water levels are depleting rapidly as everyone is sucking from the same water-table. Not sure how many {people living here & those governing the boards} of us really worry or care to think about such crisis looming over our future. This is definitely a CAUTION considering the fact that rivers are National resources which need to be shared amongst different States. Going by Karnataka's history w.r.t water sharing with our neighbouring States; except for Goa, we have had issues with the remaining states { Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala } at one point or another. As Maharashtra is already reeling under severe draught & according to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Center, the forecast for KA doesn't look good.

Am all for holistic planing & growth of the City or the State or the Country. If we do not have a sense of how to utilize natural resources & sustain them or If the Government cannot encourage businesses to operate from various parts of the state than just the capital of a State then who else can be blamed for this but us.

Evacuation might not happen, but War for Water amongst ourselves is a possibility in the years ahead. Use it responsibly. Educate your family, friends, colleagues, et al and conserve water.

Been reading many articles on water for quite sometime, if you have time then do go through them
Bangalore Water Supply & Source BWWSB | Aabid Surti: The painter who catches every drop The Alternative| Help us save water, pleads Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board TOI | Bangalore heading for a water crisis in May TOI | Where will the water go? Caravan | Water Crisis Boston Globe | Paani. Water needs an integrated approach as we have passed the danger mark Shekhar Kapur | Rain or Not, India is falling short of drinking water NYT | Delhi groundwater may run dry in 3-5 yrs: Study TOI | All construction activity comes to a halt in Gurgaon The Hindu | Massive March for Yamuna River Nears Delhi NYT India | 15,260 cr given for improvement of clean, drinking water facilities Tweet The Hindu | Mapping villages with water scarcity Deccan Herald | Urban Floods: Case study of Bangalore IISC

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