When the city is facing a shortage of water , nearly 40 per cent of its supply from the river Cauvery is lost through leaking pipes in the distribution system. Although the BWSSB began a project to reduce the Unaccounted For Water (UFW) in 2013 when the leakage was as high as 48 per cent, it has been able to cut it down only by 8 per cent in all these years.
So far the UFW project has been completed in Bengaluru South, Benga luru East and some parts of central Bengaluru and the BWSSB claims it’s already saving 150 million litres of water as a result of it.
Defending the slow progress, a senior engineer of the water board says plugging leaks is not easy. "All the pipes that were laid decades ago need to be replaced. In the core regions of the city, where there are narrow roads, it is difficult to rush with the project as there are a lot of logistical issues involved," he adds, explaining, “Besides replacing old pipes, we need to plug leaks, install meters for connections that don’t have one and ensure that there is no water theft. Every drop of water needs to be accounted for.”
Moreover, he maintains, leaks cannot be fully plugged. "There will still be a certain percentage of leakage. Even in a very developed country, you find leaks in the water supply system. It is quite common. Our intention is to reduce the leakage from 48 per cent to 16 per cent, which is quite good for a city like Benga luru, which has a lot of illegal connections,” he adds.
Currently, work is underway on extending the UFW project to Bengaluru North, South East and parts of central Bengaluru....