Bengaluru is already facing a severe water crisis. To top it all the Niti Aayog report also says that the Karnataka Capital will be one of the prime metro cities to run out of the water by next year. While many are just concerned and discussing this alarming situation there are a few who have already started working towards improving this disastrous situation.
Meet water activist and urban planner from Bengaluru, Vishwanath Srikantaiah who not only has a plan to save the city from this impending acute water shortage but has already started implementing it and that too with great success.
Recharged 1 Lakh Wells, Made 10,000 Wells Functional
Vishwanath has been working as a team with local communities and until now has successfully recharged 1 lakh wells and made 10,000 wells functional. In this effort, the 55-year-old activist has received tremendous support from the well-diggers in Bengaluru. Vishwanath with his team has set the goal to recharge 1 million wells in the coming days.
Giving details about how the wells are being recharged, Vishwanath says, “These recharge wells will use rooftop rainwater and send it into the aquifers, helping groundwater conditions to improve. It will also help the traditional well diggers get a better livelihood.”
Apart from recharging wells and making them functional, the water activist has also designed several rooftop water harvesting structures for industries and households across Karnataka.
While speaking about water conversation, the active member of Rainwater Club since 1995 says, “For every square meter of roof area, one has to create 20 liters of storage of recharge, and for every square meter of the paved area around the building, one has to create 10 liters of storage for recharge. The recharge well should be a minimum of 10 feet.”
Filter Varun That Purifies Rainwater
The enthusiastic activist has also developed VARUN, a filter that purifies rainwater which means everyone can try out his method and use rainwater for regular use. He also has restored some old wells in Bengaluru’s Cubbon Park.
Vishwanath says, “We identified seven wells through something called the Karagadabavi, which is one of the oldest wells, where the Karaga festival begins. We were then able to revive it with traditional well-diggers. These wells can give 65,000 to 100,000 liters of water a day for the park and is done with citizen participation. The money is being raised by the India Cares Foundation, with a group called Friends of Lakes.”
According to Vishwanath, “With the current crippling water crisis, rejuvenating water bodies, growing water-efficient crops, and recycling wastewater are possible ways to avoid the recurrence of such an acute water crisis in future.”
The water activist says, “We have been able to encourage quite a lot of people to follow various water conservation methods. We also run an ecologically-run architectural practice, where many of the components are incorporated as part of the design.”
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) along with a few engineers have been working to implement these water conservation tactics at the policy level which Dr. Vishwanath has been following along with his two active members since more than 24 years. Importantly, he has also been successful at motivating others to follow the same.