Jakkur Lake in Bengaluru has won the second prize under the promotion of citizen and state action of water conservation augmentation, and preservation’ category by National Water Mission (NWM). The particular award is given for rejuvenating the 160-acre lake which happens to be a 200-year-old lake.
Rejuvenating the Lake
Various stakeholders joined hands to protect the lake and its existence. The preservation model has also been appreciated by the Jal Shakti team for perfectly engaging the citizen groups and the government as the custodians of the lake.
“It took time, but the effort has been worthwhile. Our team collaborates with BBMP, which is the custodian of the lake, under an MoU and all other stakeholders (elected representatives, BWSSB, KSPCB, Fisheries, BESCOM, the forest department,fishermen, grasscutters and local self-help groups),along with a local NGO, Satya Foundation, to conserve and preserve the water body and make the locality water resilient,” says Dr Annapurna S Kamath, Founder Trustee of the trust, which was part of the project.
It has taken years to rejuvenate the lake. In 2008, Bengaluru authority rejuvenated the lake by constructing a wetland in the lake to filter water a stormwater drain (SWD) intel and ensured that nitrates, phosphates, and heavy metals did not enter the main water body. But due to garbage dumping and other ill-treatment, the water lake lost its quality.
Flora and Fauna back into play
“Citizen participation and engaging the government is the key. Jakkur lake has been a model for Integrated Urban Water Management System. This is a 160-acre urban lake with a 5 km perimeter and hence, anything that has worked for Jakkur should work for any lake in the city, state, and country,” Dr. Annapurna said.
The benefits of the lake have been sighted as it helps in recharging the groundwater, open wells and borewells near it. “The lake helps in recharging groundwater of at least seven million liters per day (MLD). We have close to 20 open wells and more than 200 borewells in areas around the lake (Jakkur, Sampigehalli, Agrahara and Shivanahalli villages), which get recharged by the lake. Incidentally, the lake now houses more than 500 species of flora and close to 200 species of fauna, including aquatic animals,” Anupama concludes.