BWSSB augments supply with an additional 235 mld from Cauvery IV Stage Phase II

Even as water has become scarce in several districts, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officials claim the situation is comfortable in the city this year.

Although the consumption of water is high during summer and the demand this time has touched 1,500 million litres of water per day (mld), the BWSSB is now drawing an additional 235 mld through the Cauvery IV Stage Phase II. It was drawing 125 mld from Phase II till last year.

Besides the water-level at the Shiva Balancing Reservoir (SBR), from where water is supplied to the city, is also “normal and safe” at 83 feet, according to official sources in the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL).

Exuding confidence that the city will not face the usual “summer crisis” this time, BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief T. Venkataraju told The Hindu that the total supply to the core areas had increased from 1,000 mld to 1,270 mld this year.

But residents of newly added areas (the erstwhile seven city municipal councils (CMCs), one town municipal council (TMC) and 110 villages that were brought within the city limits) continue to depend on borewell water, Mr. Venkataraju said.

This is because of lack of infrastructure (pipelines) and reluctance of a majority of residents to obtain metered connections, he said.

The BWSSB recently convened a meeting with the BBMP and Ground Water Authority officials to discuss measures to improve water supply to the 110 villages. “We are ready to provide Cauvery water at Rs. 19 per kilo litre if the BBMP agrees to supply it through hired tankers. This will ensure that water supplied to villages is safe and free from contamination,” he said.

Last year’s crisis

Last year the city plunged into an unprecedented water crisis after the water-level at the SBR fell two-and-a-half feet below the minimum level. Following this, BWSSB officials had written to the CNNL to enhance the quantum of water released from the Kabini and the KRS dams to a minimum of 600 cusecs at the SBR. They had also got power production stopped at four mini-hydel plants to divert 50 cusecs (122.32 mld) of water to Bangalore.

While the Cauvery IV Stage Phase II has been envisaged to enable the BWSSB to draw an additional 500 mld of water, the Board has been able to draw a total of 360 mld so far. “Nearly 40 per cent of the water that we are currently drawing goes waste because of leaking pipe joints and corroded pipelines. We will be able to draw the entire 500 mld only after strengthening the water supply infrastructure in all areas that fall within BBMP limits,” Mr. Venkataraju said.

As of now, the BWSSB is pumping the entire 1,270 mld from Thorekadanahalli.

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