Diversion of rivers to City uneconomical: Experts

Diversion of rivers to City uneconomical: Experts

The panel, which was set up in the beginning of 2011, had to design projects to fulfil both short-term and long-term water needs of residents.

Chaired by former BWSSB Chairman B M Thyagaraj, the panel proposed construction of a dam at Mekedatu, procuring water from the tributaries of River Krishna and River Hemavati in addition to diverting water from west-flowing rivers like Netravati and Kumaradhara.

River diversion projects should be the last priority while addressing the long-term water needs of the City, considering their cost and impact on the environment, he added.

Diversion of west-flowing rivers is anti-environment, as the implementation of the project would cause deforestation, harming natural habitat of several species in its wake, the experts added.

Moreover, those who are proposing to divert west-flowing rivers to address water woes seem ignorant of the geological viability of the terrain and the damage the project can cause to the forest cover, said K C Subhash Chandra, a former scientist with the Department of Mines and Geology.The need for major projects like the proposed diversion of west-flowing rivers to resolve water crisis will not arise if water is better managed and judicious use of the available resources in the City is encouraged, he added.

In order to meet the growing demand for water, which is on the verge of becoming a scarce resource, former BWSSB engineer M N Thippeswamy suggested a few best practices adopted in foreign countries, such as reusing treated water. “First, the available water resources in the City needs to be tapped. Waste water can be treated up to tertiary level to be used for all purposes. However, owing to severe mental block towards using treated water, residents are not too enthusiastic about adopting the same,” he said.

The BWSSB should create awareness among the people about the advantages of using treated water, he added.