Bengaluru is the third most populated city in India. The Karnataka capital is also the fifth largest metropolitan city in the country. The large scale development in the city and huge population growth has escalated the demand for drinking water.
But it seems that the city is not prepared enough to handle this growing demand for clean drinking water. Here are the reasons why!
1. BBC Lists Bengaluru In List Major Cities
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) came out with a list of 11 major cities in modern times that are most likely to run out of drinking water. The report put forth on February 11, 2018, says that Bengaluru will fall 50% short of fulfilling its demand for fresh water by 2030. The study has been conducted by the Asian Development Bank in 2010.
2. Spike in Population Growth, New Property Growths
According to the BBC’s report, the spike in population growth has triggered new property developments. This indirectly has put stress on the administration of Bengaluru to manage the sewage and water systems.
The population of the city doubled from 5 million in 2001 to 12 million in 2017. At this annual growth rate of 4.23%, Bengaluru’s population will reach 21.15 million which is the current population of Sri Lanka.
3. Poor Plumbing
Even though the population and properties have developed rapidly in the last few years, the same cannot be said about the overall infrastructure of the city. Bengaluru still lacks proper water distribution provision.
It is not equipped to meet the highly evolved demands for water requirement. Moreover, poor plumbing and usage of cheap plumbing materials are also not helping to save water loss through leakages and pipe bursts.
4. Water Availability Will Be A Third Less Than Required
According to the city profile study conducted by World Bank-backed 230 Water Resource Group in 2016, the water availability in Bengaluru will be a third less than required. The 230 WRG says that by 2030, the city will require 51.38 thousand million cubic feet of water per year.
5. 85% Water Bodies Useful Only For Irrigation & Industrial Cooling
A survey conducted by Bengaluru’s Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) in 2016 revealed some shocking facts. The survey says that around 85% of water bodies in the city that includes micro ponds, medium-sized water pools for cattle and 398 lakes have water that can be used only for irrigation and industrial cooling.
6. All Lakes In Bengaluru Unsuitable For Bathing Or Drinking
The survey also says that all the lakes in the city are unsuitable for drinking or even bathing. It means the lakes cannot be used for covering up the shortage of water that Bengaluru is poised to face by 2030. Some of the major reasons for water pollution includes construction debris (33%) and domestic waste (44.5%).
7. Cauvery Water Shortage
According to a retired IAS Officer, V. Balasubramanian at present it is possible to draw only 29 feet of water from the river Cauvery. By 2031, the city will face a shortage of 72 mld. But the BWSSB has the capacity to supply water only for two-thirds of the population.
Balasubramanian believes that if the government does not come up with a comprehensive plan for addressing the water crisis in the coming 10 years, half the population will have to leave the city for lack of drinking water.
8. Recommendations Not Being Implemented
A member of lake expert committee, T V Ramachandra said, “The report on Bellandur Lake has been submitted to the government a year ago. The government took more than six months to just go through it. Government agencies are not fully implementing recommendations.“ In the absence of implementations of recommendations, it will be quite a tough fight for the Bengalurians to fight water scarcity.
9. Funds Have Vanished
Rainwater harvesting expert A.R. Shivakumar said that the funds that were meant for the rejuvenation of groundwater and lakes have vanished. According to Karnataka BJP election in-charge Prakash Javadekar the Centre came out with a detailed action plan and also granted Rs. 890 crore for saving the lakes of Bengaluru. However, he believes that the state government is yet to take any action.
10. Roads And Pathways Causing Hurdle In Rainwater Harvesting
Most of the roads and pathways in Bengaluru have been asphalted which is now proving to be a major hurdle for rainwater harvesting. Due to the asphalted layer rainwater cannot seep in and instead of the water being saved, it leads to flooding.
A report says that every year around 23 tmcft of rainwater just goes down the drain.