Comfortable situation is owing to its proximity to Karanji lake
While other parts of the city face a water crisis, the century-old Mysore zoo, which has a daily water requirement of eight lakh litres, has so far managed to keep its head above water.
This is where the zoo’s proximity to the Karanji lake comes in handy. The lake recharges the groundwater level in the zoo’s vicinity, and as a result, the zoo only needs to depend on the five borewells (its major source of water), even though many borewells in other parts of the city have gone dry.
The zoo has also implemented steps, such as rainwater harvesting, to conserve water. The Mysore City Corporation usually supplies about 75,000 litres of Cauvery water to the zoo through a separate pipeline. However, it now receives only 40,000 to 50,000 litres.
The zoo always requires more water during summer as the small ponds in the animals’ enclosures have to be filled.
Owing to the severity of the heat this year, ice blocks are being placed in the ponds.
The water in Karanji lake is contaminated, and can be used only for watering the zoo gardens.
A source in the zoo told The Hindu: “fortunately, we have not faced a water crisis. We get some Cauvery water. The yield from all the five borewells is good, thanks to the lake, and even the groundwater in areas such as Nazarbad gets recharged.”
There are three ponds inside the zoo to prevent wastage of water. “A huge amount of excess water from the lake was going waste (into the storm-water drain that passes through the zoo premises) in the absence of a proper water conservation system. By constructing ponds, we have been able to conserve this water and improve the groundwater level,” the source added.
Over 2.5 lakh litres of water is drawn from the lake every day to meet the zoo’s requirements. The zoo has proposed to remove silt entering the lake from the storm-water drain to increase the lake’s storage capacity. For visitors’ convenience, filtered water dispensing units have been installed on the zoo premises.