"Bengaluru will not face water crisis anytime soon, not until 2030 at least", is Bengaluru district in-charge minister K J George's response to the very real sustainability issue. The Congress leader took to his social media pages to spell out his government's plan of action to improve Bengaluru's water supply.
A report from BBC dated February 11, 2018, listing Bengaluru among 11 cities most likely to run out of drinking water has set alarm bells ringing in poll-bound Karnataka. The report has gone viral leading citizens and opposition parties alike to question the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government. District In-charge minister K J George, in a bid to douse the fire over fearer water crisis, claimed that the city's water supply will not be disrupted at least till 2030- a statement that has brought a lot of criticism his way.
"Bengaluru will not face water crisis anytime soon. The situation has improved a lot since 2012 when the city was pumping only 900 MLD (million litres of water per day) from Cauvery. I want to re-iterate that Bengaluru will have no water crisis until 2030; I agree that problem exists, but the situation isn't as bad as the news article had portrayed it to be," K J George said in a Facebook post.
He even pointed out his government's plan of action over the next few years to counter the water problem plaguing Bengaluru thanks to the disproportionate population growth leading to exploitation of water bodies.
K J George's response to BBC report: What his government is doing
Unaccounted-for Water, lost in distribution which the report has pegged at 50 per cent of the supply, has been reduced to 39 per cent and the target is to reduce it to 25 per cent by 2025.
Government plans to draw Sharavati river's water from Linganamakki dam, usage of Yettinhole reservoir project which will provide another 193 MLD by 2021, increasing the total supply to 2,368 MLD by 2023. IISC's proposal to desalinate sea water is another plan.
By 2023, Bengaluru will get an additional 775 MLD from the 10 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) allocation from the Cauvery River.
Work on groundwater rejuvenation tech including Rainwater harvesting, tech-oriented water saving methods, creating awareness about conscious water saving methods among citizens, efficient recycling and reuse of water.
Working with various authorities for revival of lakes, by pumping treated water
Pumping capacity increased by 50 per cent, since 2012.
K J George claimed that attempts are being made to ensure that every person gets freshwater supply despite a deficit of 25 per cent. "Even if Bengaluru's population grew to 20 million (two crores), the board's many projects would help it supply water until 2031. The freshwater supply per person will be around 88 litres per day with a water loss of 25 per cent," he said in his post.
Incidents of burning lakes, stormwater drain encroachments, unchecked pollutants being dumped into water bodies, lakes running dry or containing highly polluted water unfit to drink are plaguing Bengaluru- once called the city of lakes.