Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to advise Karnataka to release the Cauvery river waters as per the orders of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).
In a letter to Modi on Friday, the text of which was released to the media on Saturday, Jayalalithaa complained of wilful default by Karnataka in not adhering to the schedule of release of Cauvery water as stipulated by CWDT in its final order dated February 5, 2007.
“The government of Karnataka, which is the upper riparian state, is duty-bound to ensure the stipulated monthly flows in 10 daily intervals during every water year, as per the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, dated February 5, 2007,” she said.
“I would like to bring to your notice that, as against the quantity of 94 TMC ft. of water due to Tamil Nadu at Billigundulu as per the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, as on August 31, 2015, only a meagre quantity of 66.443 TMC ft. has been realised. Thus, there is a huge shortfall of 27.557 TMC ft,” Jayalalalithaa said.
Urging Modi to intervene and advise Karanataka to make good the shortfall of about 27.557 TMC ft of water up to August 31, 2015, Jayalalithaa also pointed out to her repeated requests for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.
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.
“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.
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.
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)