With summer in Bengaluru warmer than normal, and water supply affected due to power-related technical problems, residents especially those in the newer parts of the city have started adopting several measures to cope with the challenge.
It has been widely reported how many parts of the city especially those along the IT corridor of the city like Bellandur, KR Puram and Marathahalli have been struggling with erratic Cauvery water supply.
In one such initiative, the Bangalore Apartments' Federation which has a membership of two lakh residents who reside in 400 apartment complexes across the city had launched a Half Bucket Challenge, in a bid to ditch the shower.
Speaking about this, Srikanth Narasimhan, General Secretary of BAF, said, “I have been taking bath with half a bucket of water for quite some time and it is pretty easy. It just takes a little bit of a mindset change and focus on conservation.”
He added, “A lot of people including non-apartment residents have also taken the challenge up.”
Other methods adopted by residents include monitoring water usage by installing water meters for individual water meters for each apartment and household.
Odette Katrak, an activist and co-founder of Beautiful Bengaluru (BB), said, “We often think that the water crisis can only be solved by government intervention or by paying extra money to private water tankers. We as BB have been carrying out a daily messaging program through which we are trying to make everyone aware about their responsibility and how little changes can make a difference.”
Many residents have started using reverse osmosis-based water purifiers to reuse water for bathing and mopping purposes.
People are also installing tap aerators to curb water usage in their kitchen sink and basin tap.
Rajesh DM, who runs a company, which produces these aerators said that there has been an increase in the sale of his products in the last few weeks.
He explains, “With these installed in taps, in a minute only 3-4 litres of water is used compared to 9-12 litres of water and for the end-user, there is no difference in experience.”
With the onset of water crisis right at the start of summer has also prompted many apartments to finally initiate rainwater harvesting and reuse their water treated in their in-situ sewage treatment plant.
Residents are also rallying for limited use of washing machines and optimal usage of water for washing their cars.
Sandeep Anirudhan, the member of the Coalition for Water Security, which has been advocating for restoring open wells and lake systems of Bengaluru, said this is a good start.
“It's a good step, to generate awareness. This crisis should make people wonder where their water comes from and how those sources need to be conserved or even renewed,” he said.
He added, "If we had the awareness long ago, we would have saved the 1800 lakes in Bengaluru, and we would still have water in our shallow wells, or community wells. We should have never had shifted to piped water from Cauvery, and instead taken care of our forests and watersheds, and ensured lakes were protected. Water literacy is the need of the hour."