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In the wake of Cauvery Issue, Bengaluru wastes 50 Percent of water it gets from the river

Over the next nine years, the city's water demand is predicted to be three times more than supply

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Migrant workers in Mysore. Flickr

KARNATAKA, September 16, 2016: As Karnataka continues its legal battle over the Cauvery, the state’s capital- almost entirely dependent on the river- wastes half the water it receives, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of water-use data.

The only Indian city that wastes water at a greater rate is Kolkata. And the situation in Bengaluru will only worsen.

Every Bangalorean- 8.5 million people live in India’s third-most populous city- should get 150 litres of water per day. But what she gets is 65 litres, the equivalent of four flushes of a toilet. Water is supplied, on average, thrice a week.

Over the next nine years, the city’s water demand is predicted to be three times more than supply.

Its population density 13 times higher than Karnataka’s average, Bengaluru consumes 50 percent of Cauvery water reserved for domestic use in Karnataka. As much as 49 per cent of this water supplied is what is called “non-revenue water” or “unaccounted for water” — i.e., water lost in distribution — according to the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) data.

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“Inequitable supply to different parts of the city — ranging from one-third to three times the average per capita daily supply — makes this worse,” Krishna Raj, associate professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru, and author of a 2013 paper on the city’s water supply system, told IndiaSpend.

Bengaluru’s water loss is the second-highest among Indian metros: Kolkata leads at 50 per cent. The wastage figure for Mumbai is 18 percent, New Delhi, 26 per cent and Chennai, 20 per cent. Across the world, cities lose only about 15 to 20 percent of their supply, said the ISEC study, which pegged Bengaluru’s losses at 48 percent three years ago.

Former BWSSB chairman, T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, admitted to a loss of about 46 percent water at a conference in February 2016. “Of 1,400 MLD (million litres per day) of water pumped to the city, 600 MLD goes to waste,” he said.

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The ISEC paper attributed the wastage to two types of distributional losses: First, damages, and leakages in the water supply system and, second, unauthorised water connections.

“Water leakages largely take place at distribution mains, service pipes and stand posts and together account for 88.5 percent of water spillover, the rest being low leakages at the main valve, meter joint stop valve, ferrule, air valve and others,” the paper said. “This huge loss is directly attributed to the water seepage at various stages of supply.”

Of the 270 thousand million cubic ft (TMC) of Cauvery water allotted to Karnataka by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Raj estimated that, roughly, about 80 percent is used for agriculture and industry (down from over 90 percent in 2007). This leaves about 20 percent for rural and urban domestic use, of which Bengaluru records the highest demand.

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The city receives about 19 TMC of Cauvery water. Recently, the Karnataka State Urban Development Department provisionally raised supply by an additional 10 TMC to meet the needs of 110 villages added to the metropolitan area in 2007. A formal proposal to raise the city’s water supply to 30 TMC from the Cauvery basin has been forwarded to the central government.

Sourced from a distance of 100 km, up to a height of 540 m, the BWSSB spends nearly 60 percent of its budget in pumping water to the Bengaluru metropolitan region. With groundwater reserves overexploited and polluted, and its other two ageing reservoirs — the 120-year-old Heseraghatta and 83-year-old Thippegondanahalli of Cauvery’s Arkavathi tributary — unreliable, Bengaluru is almost entirely dependent on the disputed river.

The large water losses, which ISEC has recorded for the last five years at least, offset any efforts to augment water supply through various stages of Cauvery river water supply projects. Thus, efforts to enhance per capita water availability to 150 litres per capita per day (LPCD) to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) and Central Public Health and Environmental Organisation (CPEEHO) standards remain unfulfilled.

“After Stage IV Phase II of the Cauvery Water Supply Scheme (CWSS) was commissioned recently, Bengaluru now receives 1,350 MLD of water daily,” said Raj. “For the city’s population of 8.5 million (Census 2011), this quantity officially raises per capita water availability to 158.82 litres, which is more than sufficient to meet the WHO and CPEEHO standards.” (IANS)

  • Manthra koliyer

    The cauvery issue has seriously caused lots of troubles.

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Making India Proud: 8-YO Indian Expat Student Collects 15,000 Kg Paper Waste in Dubai

An eight-year-old Indian expat student has collected nearly 15,000 kg of paper waste in Dubai

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Student, Paper, Waste
Tony won the paper section in the individual category for her efforts in collecting a total of 14,914 kg of paper waste. Pixabay

An eight-year-old Indian expat student has collected nearly 15,000 kg of paper waste in Dubai as part of the Emirates Environmental Group’s nationwide recycling campaign.

The student, Nia Tony, was honoured during the 22nd edition of the Emirates Recycling Awards in Dubai on Monday, reports the Khaleej Times.

Through this United Arab Emirates (UAE)-wide campaign, the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) was able to reduce projected carbon emissions by at least 73,393 metric tonnes.

The eco-friendly drive had three categories – corporations, academic institutions and individuals/families – and the materials that were collected included paper, plastic, glass, cans, mobiles, among other items.

Student, Paper, Waste
An eight-year-old Indian expat student has collected nearly 15,000 kg of paper waste in Dubai. Pixabay

Tony won the paper section in the individual category for her efforts in collecting a total of 14,914 kg of paper waste.

“I was campaigning around my area to collect paper, so that it can be recycled. Every week, I would go out to collect newspapers, magazines, and other paper that people were throwing away or didn’t want to keep.

“I think it’s important for children, like myself, to start recycling and spreading awareness about the environment from an early age, so we can acquire the habit of living green as we get older,” she told the Khaleej Times on Monday. (IANS)