Bengaluru Water Crisis

‘Bengaluru Water Crisis is an Ominous Prospect For Other Metro Cities’

Vasudha Vasudev, a senior associate consultant in Infosys, Bengaluru, says the city’s crisis highlights broader issues of urban planning and sustainable resource management. Her views:

Living in Bengaluru has not only been about work but also about coping with the city’s various civic crises, water scarcity being the latest one. Over the past few months, this crisis has become more than just a concern – it is a daily in-you-face reality that impacts every facet of urban life.

Earlier, when I lived in a high-rise apartment, the situation was somewhat manageable. Our society would arrange for water tankers, and the costs were absorbed as part of our maintenance fees. However, since moving to a rented house, I have had a firsthand experience of the escalating water scarcity. Landlords now inquire about the number of occupants to gauge water usage, and this additional cost burdens both tenants and owners alike, straining our already tight budget.

The root cause of Bengaluru’s water woes lies in its unplanned urban expansion. Unlike cities built to accommodate the current population, Bengaluru’s infrastructure has been struggling to keep pace with its rapid expansion. Historically, the city relied on small water bodies and ridges that were sufficient for a smaller populace. However, its unique aquifer system now poses significant challenges.

Bengaluru’s aquifers are rocky and have limited storage capacity. While they can recharge quickly after rainfall, they deplete just as swiftly during dry spells. This contrasts sharply with North India’s aquifers, which boast greater water retention capabilities. Consequently, Bengaluru’s groundwater reserves cannot sustain prolonged periods of water stress.

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The city’s predicament is a stark warning for other urban centers across India. As cities expand without proper planning, they strain existing water resources beyond capacity. Bengaluru’s experience underscores the urgent need for sustainable water management strategies in burgeoning cities.

To address this crisis, policymakers must prioritize holistic solutions. Investing in rainwater harvesting systems, promoting water conservation practices, and incentivizing sustainable urban development are crucial steps. Furthermore, authorities must engage with communities to raise awareness about water conservation and encourage responsible water use.

As individuals, we can contribute by adopting water-saving habits in our daily lives. Simple actions such as fixing leaks, using water-efficient appliances, and minimizing wastage can collectively make a significant impact.

The implications of Bengaluru’s water crisis extend beyond immediate inconvenience. It highlights broader issues of urban planning, resource management, and environmental sustainability. Unless proactive measures are taken, other Indian cities could find themselves in similar predicaments.

For those of us living and working in Bengaluru, this crisis is a call to action. It’s a reminder that we must act collectively to preserve our precious water resources and build resilient cities for the future. Through concerted efforts and a shared commitment to sustainability, we can mitigate the water crisis and pave the way for a more water-secure India.
Bengaluru’s water crisis is not just a local issue—it’s a wake-up call for the entire nation. Let’s heed this warning and work towards a more sustainable and water-resilient future for all.
As told to Deepti Sharma

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