Bangalore city is facing a grave situation in terms of water management. The city is situated on a high plateau forming part of the gneissic complex with no perennial river source in the vicinity. 65% of its total water consumption of Bangalore city, which is located at an altitude of 3,000 feet above MSL, is from drawn from reservoirs where it has to be pumped up 1000 feet in altitude over a distance of 100 km. This makes Bangalore’s water the costliest available water in all of India and Asia costing the government Rs.82/Kilolitre on actual whereas Delhi’s only Rs.28/Kl. The peripheral areas of the city, where most of the lakes are located is solely dependent on groundwater, which is an open access common property, (upto 1500 MLD) leading to over exploitation.
There are about 235 identified lakes in city which are interconnected by topography. Most of these lakes have multiple issues of constant encroachment and environmental degradation. Bangalore, with its high citizen awareness is stepping up to this challenge in a huge way. Multiple stake holders are raising funds to save these dying water bodies like never before.
At present discourse suggests that lakes can simultaneously provide recharge, flood protection, aquatic habitat and eco-system services. But some of these goals are clearly conflicting. If an urban lake is to be optimized for groundwater recharge, it must be desilted to allow stormwater to seep into the ground. However, this means the lake will be nearly empty in the dry season, which may not serve as an ideal habitat for birds and amphibians. Also, we have multiple government departments in-charge of the different components in the lake which makes it difficult to approach for an integrated development.
Hence monitoring of these lakes becomes crucial to a point where it can be the only way to suggest an apt sustainable plan at an individual/series lake level.
Here’s Jogi Nayak (www.smashingpixels.in,www.lifeisoutdoors.in) doing his bit and understanding how instrumental he can be as a concerned citizen about the environment. Thanks brother!
PS: The ratio of paddlers to the amount of water in the city/vicinity is HUGE!!