Here’s the apocalyptic scenario. The Krishna Raja Sagar Dam, which caters to the drinking water needs of Bengalureans is going to dry up soon.
The dam level, as on Wednesday stands at 78.34 ft with a live storage capacity of 5.67 TMC. The dam will reach dead storage when its live capacity reaches 4.4TMC.
Karnataka Irrigation Minister had said that Bengaluru’s drinking water needs will be met until May and that water will be drawn from dead storage in the worst case.
However, according to dam officials, Karnataka does not have the technology to draw water from the reservoir’s dead storage.
A monumental water crisis is looming over the city and here’s what Bengalureans can do to avoid water wastage at household level.
One of the major sources of water wastage is when people use borewell or potable water to wash their front porch every day. Instead, they can use the water used to mop floors and also collect the water from the washing machine to pour on their front porch.
Most people avoid doing dishes. Instead of allowing the dishes to pile up and dry, which requires more water, residents can rinse the dishes immediately and also use minimum number of dishes.
Turn to bucket baths. Utilising one bucket of water for bathing as opposed to standing under the shower for hours is a better solution.
Kitchen water can be used to water plants as it contains nutrients that enable plant growth. Watering plants during the evening instead of morning will help save water as the heat, which dries up the soil will not occur after sun-down.
Residents must ensure that they have a rainwater harvesting system in their houses. This can help increase groundwater levels.
Avoid washing cars and vehicles daily and usage of pipes. Use buckets to wash vehicles once in two weeks or may be once in a week.
What are the civic authorities doing to check water wastage?
“We have put up posters in residential areas to make people aware of how they can contribute to avoid water wastage. Also, the BWSSB officials recently conducted a survey and found that residents had installed illegal connections where water was being drawn by certain households from the mini storage tanks. These connections were taken down,” said a BWSSB official.
Another major problem faced is water pilferage, which is prevalent in central Bengaluru on a large scale, the official added.
“In Chickpet, Kalasipalya and Chamrajpet areas, water is being illegally pilfered. These are difficult to track. Our officials had gone for inspection in Chickpet last month and had issued notices to certain traders who had illegal water lines connected to the water supply pipeline. They were taken down. However, within a month the connections are back,” the official said.
Another issue is the water wastage at construction sites. Borewell and potable water is being used at sites where multiple storey buildings are being constructed.
“The BWSSB has to supply treated water instead of allowing construction companies to use potable water. Bengaluru has been declared a grey area for borewell drilling as the groundwater levels are extremely low in the city. As per an order issued by the Department of Mines and Geology dated January 7, 2015, drilling borewells inside city limits is illegal,” said AR Shivakumar, a water conservation expert.
There are around 8,000 borewells in the city and around 700 of them do not have water. BWSSB is planning to drill an additional 300 borewells if the pre-monsoon showers fail.
Shivakumar said that although the civic agencies plan to drill additional borewells, the groundwater levels are extremely low and chances of extracting water is extremely low.
BWSSB must revive lakes and connect all catchments of lakes in Bengaluru, desilt them and install sewage treatment plants (STPs) to recharge ground water, fill the lakes and use them to meet ward-wise needs.
“The agency must promote rainwater harvesting and dual water piping systems in new layouts, especially the outskirts which depend on borewell and tanker water. Also, the newly added City Municipal Areas like Mahadevpura, Bommanahalli, Dysarayanapura, must be connected to the metropolitan areas with Cauvery water pipelines and also think about obtaining water from the TG Halli reservoir,” Shivakumar added.