Ram Prasad co-founder, convenor, Friends of Lakes
A city, for its survival, needs to look into its own history and tradition because they provide specific localised solutions to many of its problems. Take for example the water security and sustainability of Bengaluru. It is said it will run out of water just like Cape Town in South Africa. Is this going to be a reality? Maybe yes , but is there a way out? Again it’s a yes. Bengaluru envisioned by Kempegowda once had a large number of lakes. Questions like who built these lakes and what technology was used and why they were built at particular spots will take you to the Bhovi or Mannu Vaddar community, experts in digging wells, which were Bengaluru’s lifeline at one time. The community’s contribution in building lakes and kalyanis not only in Bengaluru but across India is huge.
In recent times, with the advent of deep borewells, the concept of sustainable rainwater harvesting and immediate use of this water through traditional open wells has been lost. The importance of local water is being undermined by vested interests interested in transporting it over long distances for centralised distribution.
The connection between the water source and the user is also lost this way and this in turn leads to consumption without conscience. An open well with its recharge wells brings back this lost connection. The proof of this is in Cubbon Park, Rainbow Drive, Wheel&Axel Plant and other places. Providing an easy, sustainable solution are the "Million Recharge Wells" which aim to channel the 600mm to 900mm rainfall received every year in Bengaluru into an aquifer to recharge the groundwater and to harvest it through the traditional open wells. Let’s re-establish our connection to the water source and create sustainable water security to disprove the prediction that the city will dry up like Cape Town . Let’s be a part of the Million Recharge Well Campaign....