Bengaluru is on the brink of a water crisis, despite the monsoon. As the city expands, the dependence on Cauvery supply and groundwater grows with it, for Bengaluru lacks a sustainable approach to the use and conservation of water. Potable river water is used in everything, from meeting household needs like cleaning, washing vehicles and watering gardens, to industrial purposes. BWSSB has decided to spread awareness about using treated water for non-potable needs. It also sells treated water at Rs 360 per tanker, a major step towards conserving water. Unfortunately, there are few takers, as people are not aware of the scheme. Treated water could be a viable solution but there is a long way to go, as existing STPs treat only one-third of the waste water generated and only half of this is sold, the remainder simply let into the lakes along with untreated sewage. Aknisree Karthik reports
As Bengaluru comes face to face with a water shortage, it turns out BWSSB has a plan to save the day. The board is planning to create awareness among people about the use of Cauvery water only for drinking purposes. Currently, according to a senior officer, Cauvery water is being used for a series of non-potable purposes, from washing vehicles in apartment buildings, to watering plants. After the issue was brought to the Board’s notice, it decided to chalk out a plan to curb the wastage and create awareness around the issue, too.
“We are coming up with various awareness programmes to educate people and make sure that Cauvery water is used only for drinking and cooking,” the official said. He adds, “This has been long-pending and we will now work on it without any further delay. Our first priority is to make people aware of how much water they are wasting and then ask them to use water carefully and for the right purposes.”
Another officer mentioned imposing penalties against those who waste Cauvery water. “ Every house, apartment and business establishment should have rainwater harvesting plants installed, to store water. Most of them are already doing it. Cleaning and washing needs should be met with treated water.”
Plugging leaks in pipelines is another crucial issue. Over 30% of the drinking water supply is lost through damaged or leaking pipelines. BWSSB claims there is no leakage of water in the city these days, as opposed to a couple of years ago. It claims that pipelines are damaged only when road digging work is taken up by other civic or private agencies.
The officer mentioned that the officials from BWSSB carry out Route Checking, where any leak that is found or reported to them is attended to immediately.
Harish Chandra, an employee at a private water research agency said, “The future looks bleak and we should start using RWH and sewage treated water. The BWSSB should cap the amount for Cauvery water that is supplied. By fixing an amount, it can ensure that the water is used only for drinking and cooking purposes.”