NewsBengaluru's Water Crisis Worsens Before Summer Arrives

Bengaluru’s Water Crisis Worsens Before Summer Arrives

Water ⁢Crisis Worsens in Bengaluru as Summer Approaches

Bengaluru, ​a prominent city ⁣known for⁣ hosting the ⁢headquarters of numerous global software companies in southern India, is currently facing a severe water scarcity crisis. Residents are expressing concerns about experiencing one ⁣of ⁤the most severe water shortages ⁣in decades, exacerbated by an unusually hot period in February ⁣and March.

Water experts are⁢ anticipating a worsening situation in April and May, with‍ the scorching summer sun reaching its peak intensity, intensifying the‍ challenges for‌ the city’s 13 million inhabitants. Over the ‍past‍ few⁤ years, Bengaluru has received ⁣minimal ⁤rainfall, partly ​attributed to human-induced climate change. As a result, ⁢water levels⁢ have drastically ‌plummeted, especially in marginalized ‍communities, leading⁢ to exorbitant water prices and a rapidly depleting water supply.

To address ‍the​ escalating crisis, city and state government officials have implemented urgent⁢ measures, such as taking⁤ control of water tankers and imposing price limits on​ water. Despite these efforts, the situation remains ‍dire, with ⁣reports indicating that​ 6,900 out of 13,900 borewells in the city have ⁢dried up, even after⁤ drilling to depths ⁤of‍ up to 457‍ meters (1,500 feet). Consequently,⁣ residents who once relied on groundwater now rely on water tankers that source water from nearby villages.

Shashank Palur, a hydrologist from Bengaluru’s Water, Environment, Land and Livelihood Labs think tank, has attributed the groundwater depletion to a ⁤combination of El‍ Nino ⁢activity and reduced rainfall in the​ region, hampering​ the expected⁢ groundwater replenishment. Additionally,‌ delays in completing a new piped water supply system ‌from the Cauvery River, ‌located around 100km (60 ​miles)⁢ away from‌ the⁢ city, have further exacerbated the crisis.

Another ‌contributing⁤ factor to Bengaluru’s water scarcity crisis is the excessive coverage of paved surfaces, ⁤which ⁤hinder rainwater absorption⁤ and groundwater recharge. According to⁣ TV Ramachandra, a ⁤research scientist at the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science ​in Bengaluru, nearly 90 percent of the city is covered ​with paved surfaces, limiting natural ​water storage mechanisms. Furthermore, he highlights a⁣ significant loss of green cover in the city over the past five decades, amounting to a staggering 70 ⁤percent.

The Indian government’s 2018 estimates ​suggest that over 40 percent of Bengaluru’s population may lack access to clean ​drinking water⁤ by the end of the decade,‌ underscoring the urgency of addressing the water crisis. While some residents resort to drilling borewells in⁣ lake buffer⁣ zones in desperation, Ramachandra advocates ⁣for​ sustainable solutions such as lake rejuvenation, rainwater harvesting, and increasing green spaces to mitigate the water scarcity issue.

Palur emphasizes the importance of exploring alternative‍ water sources, ⁢such‍ as treated wastewater reuse,⁤ to reduce the ‌dependence⁣ on fresh water resources. However, comprehensive and sustainable strategies are imperative to effectively combat the water crisis in ‍Bengaluru.

In the meantime, residents like S Prasad have begun implementing water rationing measures, including restricting water supply to households for several hours each day. The collective⁤ effort to conserve and manage water resources is crucial to safeguarding Bengaluru’s water security and ensuring a sustainable future for its residents.

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