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Dependant on Cauvery, Bengaluru may soon go thirsty

  • The city requires 20 TMC of water. But KRS contains just 12.9 TMC of water.
  • Currently Tippagondanahalli is the only hope for Bengaluru.
Bengaluru is likely to face menace

The city of Bengaluru consumes 1400 million litres of water every day. But Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS), the main dam which supplies Cauvery water to the city, is losing depth day-by-day.


Last month Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) had written a letter to the officers of KRS and requested them to reserve drinking water for Bengaluru. But following the Supreme Court’s verdict to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu, the officers of KRS have stated that it is not possible to store drinking water for Bengaluru.


Now sources from the BWSSB say that the Tippagondanahalli reservoir, 35 km west of Bengaluru, is the city's only hope.


KRS (On the Cauvery River) is situated in Malavalli Taluk, Mandya District and Chamaraja Sagar Reservoir (the Tippagondanahalli reservoir on the Arkavati River), situated in Tippagondanahalli, Magadi Taluk are the only two water sources for Bengaluru.


The officers of BWSSB say that 45% of water which is being supplied by the board has been unaccountable i.e., the water is being lost. The main priority of the water board now is to check where water is being wasted to prevent wastage.  


Bengaluru, Karnataka's fastest growing city, seems to have forgotten to transfuse water to the ground and to improve ground water levels. Ground water level can be increased by maintaining lakes and water bodies inside and on the outskirts of the city.


The city witnesses 880 MM rain annually. 464.4 million cubic litres of water can be restored from these rains through rain water harvesting. Irrigation experts say that a plot measuring 30 X 40 can reinstate 90 thousand litres annually and plot measuring 60 X 40 can restore more than 2 lakh litres of rain water annually.


Every month Bengaluru requires 1.65 TMC of water for drinking purpose alone. Here is an analysis that shows the shortage of water for Bengaluru:


Water required for one person per day

65 litres

Number of people in Bengaluru, who are consuming water from Cauvery

90 lakhs

Water level at KRS

12.9 TMC

Dead Storage

8.5 TMC

Proportion of water that Tamil Nadu is demanding

3.25 TMC

Storage that remains in the dam after releasing water for Tamil Nadu

1.6 TMC


"The government must take initiative to save ground water in and around the city as soon as possible. The local governance should make it mandatory to all the citizens to install rain water harvesting. The government should enforce a law to implement this. Proper utilization of rainwater makes Bengalureans completely independent from KRS water," said Y Lingaraju, an Irrigation expert.


"Water in a dam cannot be used when it drops down to the level of dead storage. Hence a scarcity of drinking water for Bengaluru city seems quite certain. Tippagondanahalli reservoir is a very small dam. The water stored at Tippagondanahalli is not sufficient even for one month," said Krishnappa, Retired Chief Engineer, BWSSB

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