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Bengaluru Water Crisis: Treated Water To Be Filled In Drying Lakes To Replenish Groundwater


BENGALURU: Civic authorities in Bengaluru have decided to fill the drying lakes with 1,300 million litres per day of treated water to replenish groundwater sources in the city, where about 50 per cent of the borewells have dried up. Aimed at managing the water crisis in Bengaluru, the civic body Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) will also install filter borewells and construct water plants using an innovative technology near the restored lake beds to supply water after testing, BWSSB officials said.

This initiative has been taken up in association with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), BWSSB Chairman Ram Prasath Manohar said, adding that this is expected to add about 20–30 MLD of water into the system. The Irrigation Department is supplying water in Devanahalli, where the Kempegowda International Airport is located, by treating the water from the Kote lake with a similar initiative.

As part of the plan, lakes in Bellandur, Varthur, Nayandahalli, Herohalli, Attur and Jakkur will be refilled initially, the official said. Pointing out that Bengaluru requires 2,100 MLD of potable water, out of which 1,450 MLD comes from Cauvery river, officials sought to assure that there is sufficient water in the reservoirs to last till July. The city needs about eight thousand million cubic feet (TMC) from March to May while there is 34 TMC water in reservoirs, the officials said.

The remaining 650 MLD of the city’s water requirement comes from borewell water, they pointed out. There is a 250 MLD deficit here largely due to lack of rains, depleting underground water levels and exploitation of groundwater, they added. Meanwhile, BWSSB has extended the registration deadlines for water tanker owners till March 15 aimed at encouraging more water suppliers. As on date, 1,530 tankers have registered, officials said.

In a bid to tackle the water mafia, the government has taken over private water tankers, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who is also in-charge for Bengaluru development, said. “About 50 per cent of the borewells in the city have dried up. We have decided to take control of thousands of private water tankers (by registering) to supply water from sources outside the city. We have left the pricing to officials as factors like distance travelled determines costs. Unused milk tankers will be used to ferry water,” Shivakumar said.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP has planned a protest in the city on Monday against the alleged mismanagement of the water crisis in Bengaluru. Responding to this, Shivakumar said, “If they give any constructive suggestions, we are certainly open to considering them.


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