Homes and gardens

A window of opportunity during a crisis

Bengaluru can show the rest of Indian cities how to be truly resilient and sustainable regarding water use. By

The recent crisis in the Cauvery water issue is a wake-up call for Bengaluru too. The single point dependence on the river to meet all its water demand leaves it in a precarious position when rainfall fails in the basin.

It will now have to look at a three-pronged approach more seriously if it has to be meeting the water demand of its rising populace

Rainwater harvesting will need a single-minded push to cover as many of the properties as can be with RWH structures in a time-bound manner. Lakes and tanks will also need to be cleaned up to ensure that they receive waters which fall on common properties such as roads, playgrounds and open spaces.

Groundwater management will become very important. The Ground Water Authority now created and functioning will have to move fast to bring some form of regulation to the entire groundwater extraction and use process. Recharge of rainwater will have to be made mandatory for all new as well as the old borewells which may number as much as 400,000 or more.

Waste-water reuse

Waste-water reuse has the single largest potential. More than 1,100 million litres per day of waste-water is being generated in the city. These will need to be treated and brought back to the hydrological cycle of consumption for the city by further filtering it through constructed wetlands and filling lakes . Filled lakes have good recharge potential when desilted, so lake maintenance will also need focus.

Industrial effluents will need to be systematically segregated from domestic waste-water and not allowed to pollute either surface water or groundwater sources.

A close coordination between institutions like the newly formed Lake Conservation and Development Authority, the BWSSB, the BBMP and the Pollution Control Board will be called for and such a coordination unit needs to be set up immediately.

By using the crisis to focus attention on solutions, Bengaluru can open the way to show the rest of the Indian cities how to be truly resilient and sustainable regarding water.

zenrainman@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2020 9:06:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/A-window-of-opportunity-during-a-crisis/article14928470.ece

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