BWSSB to tap into groundwater resources in Bengaluru  

March 09, 2024 09:53 pm | Updated March 12, 2024 10:57 am IST - Bengaluru

Water from the borewells will be treated and scientifically tested by IISc scientists and then supplied for non-consumption purposes.

Water from the borewells will be treated and scientifically tested by IISc scientists and then supplied for non-consumption purposes. | Photo Credit: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.

Amidst the ongoing water crisis in Bengaluru, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) has decided to tap into the city’s groundwater resources by filling the drying lakes with 1,300 MLD of treated water. This initiative has been taken up in association with Indian Institute of Science (IISc). 

“We have 1,300 MLD of treated water available with us. If we use it to fill tanks, which have dried up, then it will get rejuvenated in 10–15 days and the groundwater level will increase in the nearby areas. We will also install filter borewells on these lakebeds,” said Ram Prasath Manohar, Chairman, BWSSB.

He added that water from these borewells will be treated and scientifically tested by IISc scientists and then will be supplied for non-consumption purposes. He said that this will add around 20–30 MLD of water into the system. In a similar initiative, the Irrigation Department is supplying water in Devanahalli by treating the water in Kote lake.  

In Bengaluru, BWSSB has chosen Jakkur lake, Attur lake, Nayandahalli lake, Chikkabanavara lake, Varthur lake and Agaram lake for this project.

BWSSB has also started supplying treated water for non-domestic purposes to those who are in need. “Those who need it can book it on our application,” Mr. Manohar said.

Cauvery water  

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Mr. Manohar said that there was plenty of drinking water available in Bengaluru. “Bengaluru needs 2,100 MLD of water for drinking, out of which 1,450 MLD comes from Cauvery. There is sufficient water in the reservoirs which will last us till July. We need 8 TMC, but there is 34 TMC water in reservoirs. There is no need for Bengalureans to worry,” he said. 

He acknowledged that the remaining 650 MLD comes from borewell water and there is a 250 MLD deficit there due to exploitation of groundwater and lack of rain. “Where borewells are depleted, people are depending on Cauvery water and this is causing a stress on the system,” he told The Hindu

He also said that the 110 villages which do not have regular Cauvery supply have been allotted 79 water tankers of 6,000 litre capacity. He also said that 582 syntax tanks of 1,000–3,000 litre capacity have been installed in slums, low lying areas and other vulnerable localities which are being filled twice everyday. 

“We are also augmenting our capacity with various means. Cauvery phase 5 of 775 MLD capacity will also be completed by May 15, and this will help us supply water to the 110 villages,” Mr. Manohar said. He added that Cauvery phase 6 will be commissioned in two years.

Deadline extended for tanker registration 

Bengaluru: While 1,530 water tanker owners have registered themselves on the BBMP portal until now, the deadline for registration for the rest has been extended up to March 15, BWSSB Chairman Ram Prasath Manohar said. He added that legal action will be taken against those who fail to register even after that. He said that with the 1,530 registered tankers, 10 MLD water can be supplied at once. He also said that 419 people have voluntarily given their tankers to BWSSB on a rental basis.  

BJP to protest

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly R. Ashok said the Bharatiya Janata Party will protest in the city on Monday, against “mismanagement of the water crisis in Bengaluru”. “The government has failed to rein in water tanker mafia and even in international media there are reports everyday that Bengaluru has gone dry. This will severely hit the city’s global image,” he said.

Responding to the BJP’s protest, Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday said that he was open to suggestions from the Opposition granted they are constructive in nature, in light of the water crisis in Bengaluru.

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