Water reuse will stave off shortage - Bangalore - Cities - The Times of India
Bangalore pays the least water tariff compared to other developing cities of the world; it doesn't even have control over
water usage. While there is a cry over the looming water shortage, experts give good news -- that Bangalore faces no water crisis. They say it's bad management practices that are driving us towards an imminent dry situation.
Jan-Olaf Drangert, senior researcher at the department of water and environmental studies, Linkoping University, Sweden, was in the city to conduct a research on the water situation.
He told `The Times of India' that Bangalore should focus on water reuse and demand management to mitigate the crisis.
Drangert has authored several books on water management and is currently writing a paper on recycling and reuse of water. Excerpts from an interview:
Q. What're the crucial issues with water supply that you saw in Bangalore?
A. There is no doubt a dearth of water but I haven't seen much work on the demand management side. Only 15% of the water bill goes into sewage treatment, and treatment costs are high. There should be a system of progressive tariff. The tariff here is just between 3% and 10% of what we pay in the West. Consumption here, however, is almost equal to that of Europe. So the current slab should be maintained for the lower middle-class but increased considerably for upper income levels.
Q. How can water be managed prudently?
Per capita use of water is usually 150 litres per person per day. This applies to Europe too. But there are households that consume more and waste water. Servants who are at home most of the time need to be trained in careful use of water. Reuse is the most practical solution. I know there are hygiene concerns in India and people usually don't want to use it for household work. But reused water can be used for gardening, irrigation, flushing, etc. Many apartments in Bangalore are resorting to this option.
Q. What's the progress in Bangalore on water reuse?
I'm happy to hear that the BWSSB chairman plans to focus on waste water reuse. But the huge blank space lies in the household sector. Reuse needs to be popularized among households. Cauvery water is pumped from a far away place and is inadequate. The bed rock is hard and groundwater levels have gone down. The best way is to reduce demand and focus on reuse. If your apartment is looking at reuse, then use less pollutants, biodegradable soaps and detergents. This will enable recycled water to be used for different purposes.