Bangaloreans Suffer Due to Diminishing Groundwater

City Environment

With no perennial water resources and ever-growing population, Bangalore will collapse: Expert.

Bengaluru, Nov.17, 2018.

Groundwater rejuvenation is poor in Bangalore; overexploitation of the groundwater by the government and the citizens has led to a massive fall in the levels of groundwater in the city. The latest Niti Aayog report ranks Bangalore amongst the top in poor water management index. Remedial measures taken by the government are unsustainable.

BM Manjunath, Public Relations Officer of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) said that “The reports regarding groundwater decreasing and people suffering date back to 2014 and now the government has taken apt measures to save water. The Cauvery 5th stage project, where the water from the Cauvery river will be used by the people, is an excellent and efficient project. Even if the population is 20 million by 2031, 88 litres water can be supplied to each person.” He further stated that Rainwater Harvesting is being promoted by the government and NGOs are creating awareness to save water.

The Yettinahole project, proposed in 2014, aims to supply drinking water to drought-prone areas in Karnataka, by harnessing water from the Western Ghats. Manjunath said, “Currently the water supplied to each person in the city is 1400 million liters per day, after the Yettinahole project this can be upgraded by 193 million litres per day by 2021. The Cauvery project, starting from 2019 is set to eradicate all water crisis by the end of the year 2023.”

Vinod Nag, a resident of Hebbal told the Softcopy, “The Cauvery water is contaminated and insufficient. We get water every alternate day; the water is supplied for 1.5 hrs only and the initial 2-3 buckets of water we collect have contamination, one can easily detect a foul smell. We have been facing this problem since 3-4 years and have filed complaints several times, but there has been no action taken by the BWSSB.”

Recently, there have been cases where bore wells have been set up in the middle of the road. This happened in Marathahalli and BTM 2nd stage layout. The residents living nearby were not informed and the drilling caused noise pollution. Even after several complaints, BWSSB has taken no action.

Regarding the bore well issue, Manjunath informed the Softcopy, “We stopped drilling roads for bore well after 2010, only 30-40 were dug last year when Cauvery River had only 70 ft water left. We inspect sites before digging a bore well; no private contractor can dig without BWSSB permission.”

Akshay Heblikar, the founder at Eco-watch, an environmentalist, said that the Groundwater in Bangalore is depleting and will exhaust after 2025. The BWSSB is not doing anything; 70-80% of bore wells are dysfunctional because the groundwater has already been exhausted. People don’t take Rainwater harvesting (RWH) seriously since they can’t meet all their demands. Also, people have exploited groundwater to such levels, that it is diminishing day by day. Cauvery is a failed project since the river basin has shrunk to 30% already, and also its exploitation is unethical since its major function is to provide water for Agricultural purposes and flow into other states like Tamil Nadu. Soon the river will go dry or have less water. Digging bore well is not a sustainable measure but a temporary remedy; it is bad for residents and is unethical since roads cannot be dug up in the middle to provide water. Also, authorities should plan and investigate the site before drilling roads. Bangalore will soon collapse because of no water resources.