With a growing population and increasing water demands, Bangalore needs to find a way to manage its water and sewage facilities to help conserve its resources — this was the message to citizens on Thursday at a function jointly organised by the Centre of Science and Environment (CSE) and Arghyam, a Bangalore NGO, which works on issues related to water.
The motto should be to ‘turn sewage back into water’ and plan for sewage as a resource, said CSE Director-General Sunita Narain, who pointed out 78 per cent of the sewage is untreated and let into rivers, lakes and groundwater. “We should spend more on sewage rather than on water and plan to recycle and reuse every drop,” said Ms. Narain.
“Measures like rainwater harvesting, sewage management, waste segregation and recharging of groundwater must be taken up to help sustain the resources,” she said. “India should be a water prudent and water-wise country.”
A. Ravindra, Adviser to the Chief Minister on Urban Affairs, released CSE’s Seventh State of India’s Environment Report, titled Excreta Matters , on the management of water and sewage in India’s urban centres, based on a study covering 71 Indian cities. “We need a sanitation revolution,” he said, and added that it is not about augmenting the supply, but managing the demand.
According to the statistics provided in the report, Bangalore gets 900 mld (million litres a day) of water, but due to 40 per cent loss from leakage, it only receives about 540 mld. It has 3,610 km of sewerage pipeline and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) plans to lay another 4,000 km in the southern parts of the city. BWSSB Chairman Gaurav Gupta said the Rs. 180-crore pipeline project will cover of 52 sq. km. Some 65 metering systems will be set up around the area which can identify the net water consumed.
The tertiary water treatment centre set up near Lalbagh sells water to industries. “With the population increasing in size, we need to have sustainable growth. Reduce, reuse and recycle must be the motto.”