Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunita Narain: Reinventing water-waste for Indian cities

Sunita Narain: Reinventing water-waste for Indian cities: "
India is growing rapidly in its cities. Cities require water and sanitation and while the government estimates that as much as 80 per cent of urban Indians have access to safe drinking water and 64 per cent to sanitation facilities, these numbers hide more than they tell. Shortages of drinking water cripple cities. The quality of water supplied is increasingly a problem. The fact is that the pollution of rivers and other water systems puts pressure on public water utilities to increase treatment costs. Groundwater levels are declining precipitously in urban areas as people bore deeper in search of the water that municipalities cannot supply. In all this, the waste generated by cities is not treated and adds to the burden of contamination of water bodies. Cities today have no option but to source water from further and further away. This then increases the cost of treatment and delivery of water. It also leads to inefficiencies in supply, with distribution losses estimated to be in the order of 30-50 per cent in almost all cities of the country. In other words, there is less water to supply and there is less water for which full costs have to be recovered. (snip)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Project eases water scarcity in north Karnataka The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Project eases water scarcity in north Karnataka: "
A Rs. 929.67-crore Jal Nirmal Project has significantly improved rural communities' access to potable drinking water and sanitation services in 11 districts of north Karnataka. It has reduced, by nearly 50 per cent, waterborne diseases in select villages.The project, which was launched in April, 2002, after initial delays, has covered 3,064 habitations of 744 gram panchayats in the rain-fed and arid districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Koppal, Gadag, Haveri, Belguam, Dharwad and Uttara Kannada. The International Development Association (IDA), the soft arm of the World Bank, has granted credit of Rs. 728.57 crore to the project.As many as 1,935 drinking water supply schemes and 1,069 road and drain works have been implemented by spending Rs. 587.68 crore as on June, 2007. With the execution of the schemes, the availability of drinking water in the villages has been enhanced from 30 litres per capita per day (LPCD) to 55 LPCD in the five-year period. Besides village sanitation, JNP has improved sanitation facilities in 2,000 primary and higher primary schools. (snip)

Protest against lack of water supply The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Protest against lack of water supply: "
Residents of Bharathinagar protested in front of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) Machalibetta service station on Tuesday against the lack of water supply to their area for the past 15 days. Holding empty plastic pots as symbolic of the water scarcity they have been facing, the protestors, mostly women, demanded that water supply be restored immediately. Mallika, one of the protestors, said that they had been facing problems since last year when the public tap in their area had been removed. 'We have to walk far distances late in the night when they release water. How can we do that?' she asked. Deepa, another protestor, said that the BWSSB has been asking them to install meters to get regular water supply.'But we live in rented houses. We keep changing houses. We cannot afford to spend Rs. 2,000 or Rs. 3,000 to install meters.' Baby, who has a meter installed in her house, however, said that even with meters, she had not received water for 15 days. Rajeev K.N., Assistant Executive Engineer, said that water supply had been affected because the area is at the 'tail-end' of the Cauvery water supply system. 'But water will be supplied by evening,' he said.

BWSSB first water utility to go in for credit rating The Hindu : Front Page

The Hindu : Front Page : BWSSB first water utility to go in for credit rating: "
As a measure to assess its financial strength, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has become the first water utility in the country to go in for credit rating. The Board has appointed ICRA Ltd., one of India's leading credit-rating agencies, to evaluate its financial strength in leveraging the market to raise funds. The rating will analyse the BWSSB's debt-leveraging ratio, or its borrowing capacity.Disclosing this to The Hindu, BWSSB chairperson G. Latha Krishna Rao said that this was an effort to 'find out where and how the service oriented, no loss, no profit organisation truly stands vis-À-vis other establishment s'. The rating, which should be out by November, will, according to Ms. Rao, not only allow the BWSSB to see where its finances stand, but also enable it to secure funding from the public, and financial institutions and plan its projects.'We might feel we are good, the best… but if it comes from an independent credit-rating agency, it will have that much more weight.' Ms. Rao, who has a financial background, said that the rating exercise 'will help the BWSSB to clean up its books'. It will also allow the BWSSB to 'take mid-course corrective steps if necessary'. (snip)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Repair on pipeline hits traffic

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Repair on pipeline hits traffic: "
It was wastage of precious water. As Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) struggled to plug a leaking water supply line, precious drinking water flooded the busy T. Chowdiah Road and surrounding areas on Sunday.Even as BWSSB tried to arrest the leak near Bangalore Development Authority office, water supply was affected in Sadashivnagar, Sanjay Nagar and other surrounding areas.BWSSB personnel pumped out water stocked in the cement pipeline since the supply was stopped. 'We are yet to reach the leaking point, which is 2 metres below the surface level,' a BWSSB official said. (snip)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Deccan Herald - Thirsty Bangalore to get recycled water

Deccan Herald - Thirsty Bangalore to get recycled water: "
Bangaloreans will get to drink a mixture of recycled water and rain water in future.The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), in a bid to meet the water supply-demand for the next 20 years, has decided to focus more on water-recycling technologies instead of tapping new water sources to enhance the supply of potable water.This decision has come against the backdrop of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal's verdict (which is being challenged before the Supreme Court) allotting a meagre quantity of water from the Cauvery river for Bangalore city for drinking purpose.Announcing the plan to supply 600 MLD of recycled water for potable purposes after reviewing BWSSB's projects in Bangalore on Thursday, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said sewage water would treated by using ultra filtration (UF) water recycling technology to enhance supply of potable water. (snip)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Deccan Herald - State to have policy on rain water harvesting

Deccan Herald - State to have policy on rain water harvesting: "
Water table reports in Karnataka reveal a bleak future. Rain water harvesting seems to be the only viable option, as the state government is seriously working on a policy on rain water harvesting (RWH).The RWH policy is being created to mandate rainwater harvesting for residences, commerical buildings, industrial complexes, public buildings and parks, a top official of the Urban Development department said. (snip)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Bangalore team visits RWH structures in city, The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Chennai News

The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Bangalore team visits RWH structures in city: "
Bangalore is bound to go the Chennai way with regard to rainwater harvesting soon. As a precursor to making harnessing of rainwater mandatory, as in Chennai, a team of officials from Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) visited Chennai Metrowater's Rain Centre in Anna Nagar on Thursday to study the concept.The 30-member team, including plumbers, also toured a few other Metrowater rainwater harvesting (RWH) projects and models adopted in some houses and multi-storeyed apartments in Anna Nagar.Briefing the team, Metrowater officials said that given the average annual rainfall of about 1,200 mm in the city, an area of about 2,400 sq.ft. would receive about 2.67 lakh litres of rain water. Of this, at least 60 per cent can be recharged with proper RWH system.BWSSB chief engineer (Quality Assurance Wing) R.Vasudevan said the groundwater extraction in Bangalore was so much that the water level had dipped to about 300 feet below ground level. BWSSB supplied about 900 million litres of water a day (mld) against the demand of 1,300 mld. 'We depend on the Cauvery water drawn from 100 km away from the city. Due to this, about 75 per cent of the [BWSSB] revenue is spent on electricity charges,' he said.Therefore, it has been decided to make RWH mandatory in Bangalore to arrest groundwater depletion, he added. (snip)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Barely a drop to drink: Business Standard

Subir Roy: Barely a drop to drink: "
This is what Bangalore weather used to be like most of the year, said my neighbour and long-term resident, pointing to the overcast sky, the slight nip in the air and showers every so often. I couldn't agree with him more. But what neither he nor I could figure out was why there should be such an acute water shortage even when we are in the middle of a monsoon that has arrived on time and is behaving so well. There is an easy correlation between the rains and water supply in Karnataka which lives by its reservoirs. When these are doing fine life is bountiful. As the dry months inch towards the arrival of the monsoons, water in the reservoirs is preserved and taps run dry. Nobody complains as instead of saving for a rainy day, you are readying for the day when the rains may fail. But when it is raining so good, the reservoirs are approaching their high water mark and even neighbouring states are getting their share of the river water without any shouting, why on earth should water supply be so appalling? (snip)

Water supply to Bangalore to be augmented The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Water supply to Bangalore to be augmented: "
BANGALORE: An additional 500 million litres a day of Cauvery water will be supplied to Bangalore city from the second phase of the fourth stage of the Cauvery Water Supply Scheme, which will become operational 2011-12, Home Minister M.P. Prakash said on Tuesday.Replying on behalf of the Chief Minister during question hour in the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Prakash told Vatal Nagaraj (Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha) that the estimated cost of the second phase was Rs. 2,830.70 crore. The first phase of the fourth stage would be completed in September and it would augment water supply by 100 million litres a day. Bangalore had been getting drinking water from the Cauvery since 1974, he said. (snip)