Saturday, July 20, 2024

Bengaluru’s Silicon Valley rocked by water crisis

Water Crisis Grips Bangalore as Residents Grapple with Shortages.

Bengaluru water crisis: As shortage deepens, techies 'move away' from India's  Silicon Valley | Mint

In the bustling metropolis of Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, a water crisis has reached alarming levels, affecting thousands of residents who are struggling to secure enough water for their daily needs.

Once celebrated for its pleasant climate and verdant gardens, Bengaluru has transformed into India’s leading information technology hub, home to major companies like Infosys and Wipro alongside a burgeoning start-up scene. However, rapid and haphazard urban expansion has placed immense strain on the city’s infrastructure, with water scarcity emerging as a critical issue.

While traffic congestion has long been considered Bengaluru’s primary challenge, civic activist Srinivas Alavilli asserts that the water crisis dwarfs all other concerns. The city’s population of 15 million requires a staggering two billion liters of water daily, with over 70% sourced from the Cauvery river. Yet, disputes over water sharing with neighboring Tamil Nadu have persisted for more than a century, exacerbating the strain on this vital resource.

Groundwater extraction, facilitated by borewells and tanker deliveries, supplements the Cauvery supply, particularly in peripheral areas. However, a weak monsoon has depleted groundwater reserves, leading to the need for deeper borewells and exacerbating a daily shortfall of 200 million liters.

Water crisis: Bengaluru is running out of groundwater and it's doing little  to rectify the situation

In response, authorities have implemented measures such as regulating tanker prices and imposing fines for improper water usage, although critics question the feasibility of enforcing such policies at the household level.

The impact of the water shortage is acutely felt on the outskirts of Bengaluru, where villages merged with the city in 2007 struggle to cope with diminishing water supplies. Residents in apartment complexes and gated communities are compelled to adopt water-saving measures, altering their daily routines amidst soaring temperatures.

In some areas, residents must fetch water from storage tanks due to dwindling borewell yields, while the cost of tanker deliveries has skyrocketed. Even villages benefiting from Cauvery water diversion face challenges meeting the demands of rapid urbanization and construction.

Ruchi Pancholi, a tech professional in the Whitefield software hub, highlights concerns over rampant borewell drilling and groundwater exploitation exacerbating the crisis. While officials express optimism that the situation will improve with the completion of additional Cauvery water supply projects, Bengaluru’s population growth has far outpaced initial projections, placing unprecedented strain on the city’s water infrastructure.

Ram Prasath Manohar V, chairman of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), acknowledges the immense pressure on the Cauvery water supply system, underscoring the urgent need for sustainable solutions to address Bengaluru’s escalating water crisis.

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