Even as fears abound about the possible shortage of water to Bangalore, which currently gets the bulk of its supply from the Cauvery, the Citizens Action Forum (CAF) has come forward with alternative proposals to reduce the dependence on the river.
The proposals — already placed before Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) Minister S. Suresh Kumar and senior board officials — were presented to the media on Tuesday.
Moving away from the current excessive dependence of BWSSB on drawing water from rivers, the proposal lays emphasis on the collection of rainwater through various modes, and rejuvenation and interlinking of 184 lakes that dot the city and bringing in legislative interventions.
The projected need by 2031 is 1,890 million litres a day (mld) of water while the BWSSB is now getting 1,360 mld.
An additional 500 mld would be added by 2014, which according to experts, would suffice only till 2017.
While, according to CAF, rejuvenation of the Arkavathy river and Hesarghatta lake alone could yield 300 mld. Rejuvenation of lakes across the city could bring in 500 to 800 mld through recharging of ground water.
Instead of considering rainwater harvesting (RWH) for individual housing units, the thrust of the proposal lay in considering the 800 sq km of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) area, considering the city gets between 750 mm and 1,250 mm rainfall annually.
Using the over 1,000 km storm water drain (SWD) network and construction of reservoirs across the city, about 1,000 mld could be stored for city's water needs. This, the CAF said, is only possible if the sewage being let into the SWDs is stopped and water treatment plants are installed.
Among others, the proposal pitches for a Borewell Regulatory Authority to prevent uncontrolled exploitation of groundwater and amendment to the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act to make dual piping system in new areas mandatory, which would enable supply of treated water along with fresh water.
Placing action plan to implement these proposals, CAF has said that using Cauvery water could be kept in abeyance or during an emergency.