Bangalore in the world's top 11 cities to be under "water stress"

Bangalore in the worlds top 11 cities to be under water stress

India needs no UN report to tell you that India is at the door step of a crisis when it comes to water. But for what its worth, here is a report that tells India address the issue at hand.

A 2014 survey of the world's 500 largest cities estimates that one in four is in a situation of "water stress." According to UN-endorsed projections, global demand for fresh water will exceed supply by 40% in 2030, thanks to a combination of climate change, human action and population growth. (

Local officials in the southern Indian city have been bamboozled by the growth of new property developments following Bangalore's rise as a technological hub and are struggling to manage the city's water and sewage systems. To make matters worse, the city's antiquated plumbing needs an urgent upheaval; a report by the national government found that the city loses over half of its drinking water to waste. Like China, India struggles with water pollution and Bangalore is no different: an in-depth inventory of the city's lakes found that 85% had water that could only be used for irrigation and industrial cooling. Not a single lake had suitable water for drinking or bathing. (

Tweet by Erik Solheim: Is your city on this list? Water scarcity is the new normal! - on Mon Feb 12 06:56:07

The World Bank classifies water scarcity as when people in a determined location receive less than 1,000 cubic metres of fresh water per person a year. In 2014, each of the more than 20 million inhabitants of Beijing had only 145 cubic metres. China is home to almost 20% of the world's population but has only 7% of the world's fresh water. (

Rest of India is not hunky dory either

A survey conducted by Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) showed 50 lakh households in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kanpur and Madurai are water deficient. (

From as high as 18,417 cubic metres in the Brahmaputra valley, per capita water availability comes down to a low of 411 cubic metres in the east-flowing rivers between Pennar and Kanniyakumari. (

At 90 per cent, urban population was better placed than 73.2 per cent of rural population. (

Andhra Pradesh has too extremes: deficiency is a moderate 24.2 per cent in Hyderabad, an alarming 91.8 per cent in Vaizag. (

In the north, Delhi records 29.8 per cent water deficiency and Lucknow, 27.3 per cent. (

Mumbai in the west, with deficiency rate of 43.3 per cent, is similarly situated to Kolkata which clocks at 44 per cent. (

According to 2001 census figures, 77.9 per cent of India's population had access to safe drinking water. (

Nearly 40 per cent of water demand in urban India is met by ground water. (

Delhi loses at least 30 per cent of its water due to leakages in its 83.0 km long pipeline network. (

Mumbai loses about 20 per cent of its water due to leakage. (

Wildlife is impacted

With the waterbodies in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) dried up, elephants, leopards and tigers, among other wildlife, have started venturing into human habitats in search of water, creating panic among the residents of nearby villages. (

"The animals usually migrate to Karnataka when waterbodies in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve go dry during summer," said a forest official, who did not want to be named. (

We have the rivers, we have all the water, but we can't use it ourselves," Inderjeet Singh Jaijee said, claiming the loss of the river water to other states is the major reason for suicides. (

With the water shortage dictating people's lives, and many spending significant amounts of time on getting water, polygamy marriages have become more popular in the region. (

They now have to rely on the water tank, with the allowance being eight litres per person for seven days – and that's meant to cover all household needs as well. (

The department is apprehending large scale migration of animals towards perennial sources of water like Kabini backwaters, Nugu river and natural streams in Gopalswamy range. (

We have to look for short term solutions first

This grim picture comes from a report by Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.PAC), which says that the current system is incapable of keeping up with the growth of the city. (

The B.PAC report emphasises recycling water through treatment plants, rainwater harvesting and rejuvenating the city's lakes, which can add up to 500 MLD directly into the system. (

Other problems facing the ward are the slow pace of road-widening projects, inability of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to provide drinking water and thereby pushing residents towards illegal water connections in D J Halli, Sagayapuram and Kaval Byrasandra; lack of proper garbage collection and disposal. (

It would help the entire residential pocket in and around S K Garden, Tannery Road, D J Halli, if the old hospital is renovated as a general hospital," Muthuswamy said. (

But long term solutions will have to be looked at seriously

The crisis is looming large and we will have to begin working seriously towards the solutions today. We can't wake up in 2030 and say we have a problem. The work needs to start in full steam and we possibly will have a planned solution in place. But last minute is the hallmark of India and expect no better when it comes to this crisis that will make this nation suffer for the next few centuries to come.

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