`Rainwater harvesting key to end water woes'

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Bangalore city will not be able to meet its residents' piped water demands by 2050 if rainwater harvesting is not implemented and pipe leakages not contained, the Commissioner of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), M.N. Vidyashankar, said here on Saturday.

Over 800 million litres of water is pumped to the city every day of which more than 30 per cent is lost in leakages. Sixty per cent of the leakages take place between the distribution lines and the home connection galvanised iron pipes, said Mr. Vidyashankar at a seminar on rainwater harvesting organised by Tata Pipes to celebrate World Environment Day on June 5.

Pilot project

Mr. Vidyashankar, a former Commissioner of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, said the board was investing Rs. 459 crores in a pilot project aimed to bring down the percentage of leaks from 34 per cent to 20 per cent. The project is being implemented through five service stations at Ulsoor, central Bangalore, Vasanthnagar, Johnson Market, and Austin Town and serves a population of three lakh.

"So far, we have not seen any leakages in the project areas," he said. The pipes carrying water in the project areas are made of medium density polyethylene instead of galvanised iron. "This makes a lot of difference," Mr. Vidyashankar said.


B. Srinivas Reddy, Managing Director of Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board, the water problem in the districts was worsening because borewells were being sunk very close to one another.

The State Government has drafted a Bill that restricts the distance between borewells. But the Assembly is yet to pass it.

The depths to which borewells are being drilled were also increasing. In Kolar, some borewells are drilled up to 1,200 feet. In the city, they are drilled up to 800 feet.

All the panellists at the seminar stressed the need for rainwater harvesting.

A rainwater harvesting structure consists of a catchment area, a conveyance device to transport the water and a storage device. The water can either be stored in pipes or led into the well.

S. Vishwanath, coordinator and trustee of CIVIC Bangalore, a voluntary organisation, said rainwater harvesting structures were essential to solve the water crisis.

"Bangalore receives one lakh litres of rainwater every year. If even half of this is conserved by harvesting all our water problems will be solved," he said.

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