Water research institute soon

Comprehensive data base on availability and usage sought


At the valedictory function of the National Conference on ‘Urban Water Management: Challenges and Options,’ at Jnana Jyothi auditorium on Tuesday Dr Ravindra said, “The CSD will take the initiative in starting the institute. It will be an autonomous institution but will be supported by the State government and other organisations associated with water.”

At present, there is a lack of accurate data on various aspects related to water. The institute will work towards filling that gap by facilitating research and collecting data on water, he added.  

Union Secretary for Urban Development M Ramachandran recalled a study done by the department in 2007 comparing water supply in different cities. The following are the number of hours piped water supply is available per day in these cities, Chennai - 5; Kolkata, 8.3  Bangalore - 4.5;  Chandigarh - 12; Varanasi - 7 Mumbai: 4; Surat - 2.5  and Vishakapatnam - one. The poor, generally those living in squatters are deprived of these basic facilities, he added. He also called for the development of a comprehensive data base on water availability and usage throughout the country.

Maximise water resources
Expert on rainwater harvesting and Founder of Rainwater Club, Bangalore, S Viswanath called for maximising the available resources. A roof area measuring 100 square metres can be exploited to the fullest extent. It receives upto one lakh litres of rainwater annually. Upto 200 kgs of rice and vegetables can be grown on it, 200 litres of waste water can be treated, which can be used to generate electricity to fulfil the lighting requirements in one’s household and it can be used to heat 100 litres of water.”

This is relevant to a city like Bangalore since 55% of the city is roofed. The poor pay much more for water, sanitation and water-related health issues than the affluent, he added.

Dr K Najeeb and T M Hunse of the Central Ground Water Board elaborated on the topic, `Water management in greater Bangalore-present scenario and future prospects.’ 

“All houses in the City should harvest roof water since majority of houses in the City are roofed,” said Dr Najeeb.  The groundwater level in core areas of BBMP was increasing but it was unfit for usage since 70% of it is contaminated with nitrate, he added.

Dr Farooqui and K R Sooryanarayana of CGWB proved it was possible to recharge groundwater using simple techniques. “The Board had increased the groundwater table at Bangalore University, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in Hesaraghatta and the Armed Police Training School in Yelahanka by constructing check dams and adopting rainwater harvesting,” Dr Farooqui said. In all 46 papers were presented during the three-day conference.

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