'Be innovative in water management'

'Be innovative in water management'

'Be innovative in water management'
Rohini Nilekani, chairperson of the Arghyam Foundation that works on sustainable water management, called upon the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to adopt innovation and a new mindset to work towards water management, given the expected water crisis in urban India.

Addressing BWSSB engineers at the ‘World Water Day’ programme, here on Tuesday, Nilekani said BWSSB, which supplies water to the City, needs to think of cost-effective methods to ensure better water management.

“India is expected to become water-scarce by 2020. This is mainly because of the groundwater exploitation. Although the City sees a good rainfall, not even half of it is harvested. In Bengaluru alone, there are about 4 lakh private tubewells and 40 % of City’s population depends on groundwater, while only less than 60% of them use Cauvery water”, she pointed out.

Narmada water
“The groundwater in Bhuj in Gujarat was depleting, since 80% of the residents consumed groundwater while only the rest of the population used Narmada water. We set up recharge wells through community partnerships and encouraged residents to give up tubewell water. This has yielded better results”, she said sharing her experience of water management initiatives. She complemented similar initiatives taken up in Sarjapura.

Only on paper
Dr T N Venu Gopal, hydrologist said the Karnataka Ground Water (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2011 had remained on paper and was not properly implemented, during the panel discussion.

“The groundwater is highly exploited in different parts of Bengaluru. Unfortunately there is no penalty,” he rued. He suggested that the government give incentives for the best water conservation initiatives. Sharathchandra Lele, a researcher, asked the BWSSB to adopt strategies to reduce water consumption.

“With the help of citizen forums, ensure that the treated water is re-used and not let into lakes or water bodies,” he suggested.