Bengaluru can do without Mekedatu water: Experts

Bengaluru will not need drinking water from the proposed Mekedatu balancing reservoir, feel experts and officials from the Water Resources Department.
A huge crowd taking part in the Mekedatu padayatra en route to Ramanagara on Tuesday | EXPRESS
A huge crowd taking part in the Mekedatu padayatra en route to Ramanagara on Tuesday | EXPRESS

BENGALURU: Bengaluru will not need drinking water from the proposed Mekedatu balancing reservoir, feel experts and officials from the Water Resources Department. They point that no water audit has been done for the City to accurately ascertain the quantum of water the city will need. Instead of utilising the existing infrastructure to the optimum, the government is working on creating new infrastructure without any proper study, they noted.

A researcher from IISc pointed, “The government is looking at the area for tapping rain water. But ecological aspects need to be understood. The government has brushed aside a proposal to divert used water from Bengaluru to TG Halli, treat and re-use it. It is ideal to use existing infrastructure, save money and meet the city’s water needs.”

Noted environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said there is no check on the progress of Yettinahole project, drains remain encroached and the Arkavathy basin is lost due to unplanned development and encroachment, he noted.

According to government estimates, by 2030, Bengaluru needs 2,020-2,030 MLD of water. At present, Bengaluru draws 1,450 MLD from Cauvery river and will get 750 MLD by March 2023 under the Cauvery 5th stage. Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board officials claim that 35-40 per cent of the work is completed.

Water Resources Department officials admitted, “No water or land audit has been done for the city. The BWSSB’s projections have not been reviewed or questioned. If you closely assess developments over the years, no water recycling, borewell recharge and re-use of treated water assessment has been done.”

Meanwhile, Water conservation expert S Vishwanath said Karnataka has a share of 282.75 tmcft of storage water from Cauvery river but only 110 tmcft is being stored. To store its full share, the state needs the dam at Mekedatu. Drinking water projects do not need environmental clearance.

Quenching B’luru’s Thirst

  • City gets 1450 MLD per day
  • Required by 2030: 2,020- 2,030 MLD
  • City to get 750 MLD by March 2023 under Cauvery 5th Phase
  • 20,000 borewells in Bengaluru recorded by BWSSB
  • 600-650 MLD water supplied through borewells, private tankers
  • 1,000 MLD water treated daily, 400 MLD utilised in city, 600 MLD sent to Chikkaballapur and Kolar for utilisation
  • Lake water quantity not accounted for utilisation
  • Yettinahole to supply 5 tmcft to Bengaluru

How Much We Need

  • As per global standards, a person needs 100 litres per day
  • BWSSB calculates demand on 70-year-old formula, where person needs 150-200 litres per day
  • In rural areas, a person utilises 55 litres per day
  • Calculation is on water needed for flushing sewage - 135 litres per person a day, in absence of tech

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