Rainwater harvesting in less than a tenth of households

August 24, 2017 11:50 pm | Updated 11:51 pm IST - Bengaluru

Eight years after rainwater harvesting was made mandatory in Bengaluru, the BWSSB has implemented it in 72,000 households. This is far less than the number of possible sites as the BWSSB has installed 9.4 lakh water connections in the city.

The law on rainwater harvesting applied to all new structures (after 2009) coming up on areas measuring 1,200 sq ft and above and all structures existing on sites with an area of 2,400 sq ft and greater.

BWSSB engineer Manjunath said that so far 15,000 households have been penalised for not installing RWH systems. “For these 15,000 residences, the water charges are being calculated as per commercial rates,” he said. When asked why this number was so small, he said that a survey in 2011 had shown that existing properties built before 2009 which were greater than 40x60 numbered 55,000. The survey covered core city areas and a part of outer zones of the city.

However, Principal Investigator of Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology A.R. Shivakumar, who made initial recommendations to amend the Bill in 2009, maintained that far more could be done. “There are 20 lakh properties as per the BBMP tax records, out of which less than a lakh have RWH,” he said.

According to Mr. Shivakumar, having faced water shortage, residents living in peripheral areas had been proactive in setting up recharge wells. “They come to our office, collect information and get it done. It is the core areas that residents have been reluctant to change. All you need is 3 ft diameter space to create a recharge well,” he added.

Another issue is that in many residences constructed after 2009, people built makeshift structures to get water connections approved. “Some people just connect a pipe to a small pit and flow roof water into it, this is hardly effective,” Mr. Shivakumar said.

Help desks

Two help desks, one at the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, IISc., Bengaluru, and another at the Visvesvaraya Rain Water Harvesting Theme Park in Jayanagar, provide residents with guidance on how to set up RWH system.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.