BENGALURU: The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has reduced the pumping of water from Cauvery river by 60 to 65 million litres of water per day (MLD) since October from its regular quota of 1,400 MLD.
The move has been effected to prepare the water supply board to handle any future emergencies arising due to water shortage as well as ensure usage of water saved through the ongoing Unaccounted For Water project, said Engineer-in-Chief (EIC) Kemparamaiah.
Speaking to Express, the EIC said, "Barring four festival days, we have been pumping between 1,335 MLD and 1,340 MLD of water in October and are continuing the same in November too. We hope to reduce the water pumped even further in the coming months."
While the EIC has assured that the move has nothing to do with water shortage, there are concerns over an impending crisis. There has been an 18% deficit in the Southwest monsoon while the advance of Northeast monsoon has been weak. In October, the state received only 28mm rainfall. Water levels in major reservoirs are alarming too. The level in the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) reservoir has fallen below 77 feet against a capacity of 124.80 feet. Dead storage at the reservoir is 74 feet.
However, EIC Kemparamaiah said that the BWSSB had already reduced the pumping of water from Cauvery to 1,350 MLD in September as well. "We reduced that quantum further by 10 to 15 MLD in October."
Asked about the reasons behind it, he said, "We are readying ourselves for future emergency. If we are suddenly told to reduce the pumping of water by 100 MLD some day, it could have a major impact on water supply in the City. So, we are gradually gearing ourselves for it as part of our contingency plan." This would also help the BWSSB identify areas that are likely to be impacted in case pumping is reduced and to keep in place alternative arrangements for it.
The additional water saved through the Unaccounted For Water (UFW) project has emboldened the Board to go ahead with reduced pumping. "The project has helped us save 75 MLD of water as on date and we are using that to compensate for the reduced pumping."
Meanwhile, the BWSSB office has started receiving a litany of complaints from K R Puram and B Narasipura (East Zone) and Shanti Nagar and C V Raman Nagar (South East Division) over water shortage after the reduced pumping work has been undertaken. "We are redressing them by trying to divert more water to these areas. This has helped us analyse the areas that will be affected immediately in case of reduced water supply."