BENGALURU: On Sunday, Bengaluru’s reputation took a hit when the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) listed it alongside other cities across the world for reportedly having acute problems of water scarcity. As a result, on Monday, officials went into damage control mode and emphasised that though problems existed, the situation was not as bad as the news article had portrayed it to be. In the article, Bengaluru was included under the heading: ‘The 11 cities most likely to run out of drinking water - like Cape Town.”
Development Minister K J George and BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath countered these claims by stating that the publication’s results were based on a survey done in 2014, and the situation had improved since then. They also listed a host of measures designed to improve the city’s water supply to cater to its increasing population. The Minister said water losses due to leakage, which the report had pegged at 50 per cent of the supply, had been reduced to 39 per cent and the target was to reduce it to 25 per cent by 2025. He also touched upon rainwater harvesting measures, the proposal to draw Sharavati river’s water from Linganamakki dam to Bengaluru, usage of Yettinhole reservoir, IISC’s proposal to desalinate sea water and use it.
“We are taking all of these measures, so there is no need for any fear. If the publication had contacted us, they would not have carried such a report,” he said. Girinath pointed out how the situation had improved since 2012, when the city was pumping only 900 MLD from Cauvery. “So our pumping capacity has increased by 50 per cent, but population increase is lower. Last year, even though water levels were low, we could manage the supply,” he said.