Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Why Bangalore is facing acute water crisis ?

BBC shocked the world some months back releasing the list of cities that is going to face water shortage soon.  Cape Town is South Africa is facing an acute water crisis which is said to aggravate in April, leading to civil strife and even fight between communities for drinking water.

The other day I was discussing the water issues of Bangalore with some of the younger members of the population and I was startled to see their awareness of the problem and some simple remedies which they suggested to solve it.

The catchment area of Vrishbavathi river, which waters most of Bangalore before joining with Akravathi river, gets almost 5 million litres of waste water daily. Drinking water scarcity is the natural result of all this damage being done to our drinking water resources.

The more important reasons for this threat on our drinking water resources pointed out by them were,

1. Government inaction in responding to the civil needs of the public, corruption in such infrastructure projects and in laying of pipes and usage of inferior quality pipes, which ruptures during summer or on application of a heavy lead, further accentuating the problem.

2. Unrestricted waste disposal : Industrial and domestic wastes being dumped into fresh water resources leads to poisoning of the existing water resources, thus making the resource unfit for human consumption

3. Too much bore wells in the city : The water table in Bangalore is at an alarming depth of 950 m plus, ie. to arrive at water one has to give for as deep as a kilometer. The lowering of the water table has been accelerated by unrestricted borewell digging, licensed and unlicensed.

4. Wanton filling of lakes : Bangalore was once upon a time full of lakes, but now the pressures of urbanisation and the greed of real estate dealers has resulted in many of these lakes being filled up giving way to newer and newer housing societies and residential apartments, in flagrant violation of housing and land development rules.

5. Poor Rainwater harvesting : Bangalore does not have a strict rain water harvesting policy, even though of late the corporation has mandated that all new buildings and high rises should have rain water harvesting systems, the old buildings still do not collect the flowing rainwater and instead depend on corporation water for all daily needs including washing and toilet needs

6. Improper or lack of proper waste water treatment plants : except for some residential properties that have excellent water water treatment plants, most of the residential buildings and industries in and around Bangalore, dump their unprocessed water into potable sources polluting the water and putting the population depending on that source at great risk.

7. Badly maintained waste treatment plants : even the waste treatment plants which are working are badly maintained resulting in occasional release of waste water into potable water resources.

8. Badly maintained piping system : the pipes in the city are not maintained properly resulting in occasional cracks, leakages resulting in huge well treated potable accounted water getting wasted.

9. Mixing of drinking water with effluents : Most of the poor quality pipes that were installed have been damaged and they allow effluents and waste water running in parallel pipes or through the vicinity to mix causing untold health hazards

10. Poor investment in public infrastructure - the poor investment in public infrastructure combined with the disease of corruption, leads to a society which has got no hope for the future.

It is up to our young population to find out ways to come out of this problem and help the nation to go forward and prosper.

Ge..

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