Bengaluru is being sucked dry daily thanks to the rampant, unchecked drilling of borewells. To add to that, the fear of an upcoming drought in Karnataka has led the BWSSB and BBMO to plan 300 more borewells to meet the city's drinking water needs. 


However, environmentalists and activists warn that such unchecked drilling of the Earth will lead to a serious environment danger in the future. The risk may also include loss of the fossil water (water embedded in rocks) loosening and damaging the earth around the city, possibly triggering an earthquake. 


The city has already over 2 lakh borewells. Of these, the BWSSB has 7,000 borewells, through which it supplies water across the city. The rest of the borewells are drilled by private entities and, allegedly, by the water mafia. Individual homes also take permission from the mines and geology department of Karnataka and drill borewells.

 

The city exploits two kinds of water. First is dynamic water, which available on the surface of the earth and gets replenished if the drilling is done only up to 50 to 60 feet. The second is static water, which gets deposited over 100 feet below. This should not be over-exploited as once the water is drained, vaults are formed underground. 


"In case if there is a slight tremor, the vaults created by the exploitation of the ground water will aggravate the shockwaves, and result in a much larger earthquake," said Dr Yellappa Reddy, Environmentalist and former Chairman, Karnataka  Lok Adalat. 


He also added that the BWSSB and BBMP should be held responsible for all the water related diseases striking Bengaluru as they have failed to check the supply of fossil water, available 500 feet below the earth. 


"This water is very old and it has a high level of dissolved elements and molecules. If consumed, dental fluorosis, Skeletal fluorosis and cancer can be caused by such water," said Dr Reddy.


Echoing similar sentiments, Ram Prasad, Convener, Friends of Lakes, said that instead of allowing any new borewells, the government should recharge existing borewells and strictly implement rainwater harvesting rules.


"The encroaching and illegal quarrying in Bengaluru and its surrounding has resulted in a loosening of earth. If we continue to remain silent about such kind of mass drilling, soon we will end up in great misery," he said.


"It is time to enforce rules like mush recharge of sewage and rainwater harvesting at apartments, complexes and big malls and big schools," said Dr Yellappa Reddy.