Will Bangalore be the 1st Indian City to run out of water?

India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore has a problem: It is running out of water, fast.

Bangalore is in extreme situation, groundwater levels in Bangalore are depleting and receding further down.

The groundwater which could be extracted at 100 ft. , 20 Years back in Bangalore has now reached to depths of 1,000 ft. in Bangalore. In some areas such as Whitefield, it cannot be found at depths of 1,500 ft. as well.

With city growing at much faster pace, hustled along by its technology sector, made it ripe for crisis. Multiplying urban patterns, Bangalore’s population nearly doubled from 5.7 million in 2001 to 10.5 million today. By 2020 more than 2 million IT professionals are expected to reside here.

Booming technology sector in Bangalore, is adding more people to Bangalore’s population.

Veena Srinivasan, Programme Leader – Water, Land and Society at ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment) is of the opinion that the 2020 timeline is alarmist, but added that current groundwater usage in cities like Bengaluru was unsustainable.

The number of extraction wells have gone up from 5000 to 4,50,000 in 30 Years.

In Bangalore, where an estimated 40% of the population is dependent on ground water for its survival, this is a major crisis.

To further aggravate the problem, the population of Bangalore is increasing at 3.5% annually and is expected to cross 2Crore people by 2031.

Less than 50% of the spaces are doing rain water harvesting currently.

Water-bodies used to cover 3.4% of Bangalore. Now that has gone down to <1%

Image: Wikimedia Commons // A report by the World Resources Institute (WRI India) notes that groundwater stress in and around Bengaluru is critically high as the groundwater aquifers are overexploited.

Bangalore is at a critical stage of water stress and moving soon towards a condition of water scarcity. To save Bangalore from this everyone from Government agencies to citizens both requires at the level of restoring and rejuvenating the resource as well as networking with nodal agencies to manage the water well and form a sustained environment for future.

Urban Waters Bengaluru are trying to dig a million wells in Bengaluru to enable capturing rainwater and ground water recharge. Let’s hope this mission is successful and can save Bengaluru in time.

We need to appreciate the work done by such communities and extend our help and support to every Water Warrior in Bengaluru to turn this around.

Help us Raise & Share these Alarm Bells and let’s make a world a little better every day. 

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