The project mainly looks at replenishing the ground water levels near the river basin area

If all goes well the Kumudavathi river may help in tackling Bengalurus water woes
news Environment Monday, May 09, 2016 - 17:43

If all goes well, a project aimed at rejuvenating the Kumudavathi river may help in addressing Bengaluru’s acute water shortage problem.

Since it was kickstarted in 2013, the Kumudavathi River Rejuvenation Project, has partially realized its multi-pronged strategy to revive the river which was degraded by urbanization and neglect. It is funded by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and International Association for Human Values of Art of Living (AOL).


Image source: artofliving.org

The Kumudavathi river starts from Shivagange hills in Tumakuru district, around 50km from Bengaluru city. It flows past 278 villages in Nelamangala taluk and parts of Magadi Taluk (Bangalore Rural district) and Ramanagra district.

Kumudavathi is a tributary to the Arkavathi river, both of which were the source rivers for Tippagondanahalli reservoir that supplied 30 percent of drinking water to Bengaluru city about two decades ago. However, due to rapid urbanization, both rivers have degraded, and only the Kumudavathi river has the potential to be revived.

The project mainly looks at replenishing the ground water levels near the river basin area and it involves four steps – creation of water pools (open ponds which would fill with water), fixing boulder checks, digging recharge and injection wells and afforestation, to restore the ground water, which is depleting at an alarming rate in the present scenario.

Image source: revivekumudvathi.org / iahv.org

Explaining the purpose of each of these steps, Panduranga Prabhu, Member of the Project Aggregation team said that the water pools, recharge and injection wells are built in order to replenish the ground water levels, the boulder checks are in place to reduce the silt accumulation in the rivers and afforestation is carried out to hold the soil moisture.


Image source: artofliving.org

However, in two years, the project has only been able to meet its target partially.

InstallationsProject target2014-152015-16
Boulder checks250034168
Recharge wells250034168
Injection wells50720
Water pools2001025
Saplings50000500010000


The total budget for the project is Rs 50 crores, of which around Rs 10 crores have been spent.

When asked about the date of completion of the project, K R Shettar, who is the project head told that the completion of project would depend on the funds they receive. “We are getting funds through crowdsourcing and CSR departments of various organisations. If we get more funds, we can complete the project within a shorter period of time,” he said.

However, he was not able to give a definite figure as to how much water the river would be able to generate to meet the water needs of Bengaluru. “I cannot give a figure because it depends on a variety of factors like rainfall, catchment area etc. But with three good monsoons, the ground water will see good recharge and it will increase the water levels at the Tippagondanahalli reservoir,” said Shettar.

Panduranga Prabhu said that the government has included the project under the MGNREGA but wages offered under the scheme are too low for labourers.

Nevertheless, the team is hopeful of taking the project forward in order to help Bengaluru tackle its water woes. “100 percent the project will help Bengaluru. There is no doubt about it,” said Shettar.

 

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