Bengaluru will not run out of water if we did these three things

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about how Bangalore will run out of water soon. I find that strange, in a city where we get as much rain as piped water supply, and in a region with an abundance of water bodies. We could easily create one more Cauvery – and that would be enough to sustain the next 10 million people added to the metropolitan area, not just in Bangalore, but in surrounding towns and cities too – if we simply did all the right things.

1. Watershed improvement and local supply from the region’s largest lakes
(600 MLD, conservatively)

2. Rainwater Harvesting in at least 50% of buildings in the city.
(150-200 MLD)

3. Dual piping retrofits in all industrial areas in the Bangalore Metropolitan Region.
(15 MLD added per year, 150 MLD in 15 years)

4. Dual piping and low-flow devices in all future buildings
(15 MLD added per year, 150 MLD in 15 years)

5. Groundwater recharge 
(500 MLD in 15 years)

6. Use of treated waste-water
(1000 MLD in 2-5 years)

I am hopeful that the government will launch the Matthondu Cauvery scheme which can achieve these gains, right here, without the need for expensive infrastructure to bring water from Shimoga or the west coast. In fact, those regions should be able to use their waters for their development, and that too would lighten the load on Bangalore.

Our preparedness can make all the difference between a risky future and a risk-free one. We could even provide water equitably to everyone if we did these things.

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About Ashwin Mahesh 96 Articles
Ashwin Mahesh has been involved in public policy for Bengaluru through his work with the Karnataka government. The views expressed here are his own. He is a member of the Lok Satta party. He is also CEO of Mapunity Information Services, and a director at Oorvani Media, publisher of Citizen Matters and India Together. He is also a visiting faculty with the Centre for Public Policy at IIM Bangalore.

1 Comment


    We tried to run a campaign as visualised in the above URL along with the Water Literacy Foundation. The idea was to promote township-level rainwater harvesting (not individual plots/buildings) spread over hundreds of acres. We addressed a gathering of plot owners there and although many people from that gathering signed up, the sign-ups did not progress further for want of further awareness and also for the lack of urgency/seriousness on the matter of Water Shortage in Bangalore City!

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