In these two episodes of Udumbara Radio, RJ Shruti is in conversation with Vishwanath Srikantaiah popularly called as ‘Zenrainman’. They discuss the situation of water in Bengaluru.
Vishwanath has been working in the area of water conservation for more than 30 years. His love for water and hydrology started from his college days, thanks to his professor. Bengaluru’s population today stands at 12 million and the city needs 1,450 million liters of water per day from the Cauvery river. Three million people are dependent on borewells and tankers. About 775 million liters per day will be coming from the Cauvery in the coming 3 years. “Ideally, this is good enough but when we look at the distribution, it isn’t. Low-income neighborhoods and areas in the periphery of the city are not getting enough water. More than the environmental issue, this is a socio-economic issue. The social dimension of the issue is about equity – some water for all and no water for some. If we make sure that universal connection for both water supply and sanitation happens then this socio-economic issue is taken care of. Next, we have to make sure that the ecological issue is taken care of – that the water supply is consistent and sustainable.”
Realistic policy steps need to be taken for water. “Single houses can take care of this to one extent but with the multi-storage buildings, we should put some laws in place, like water-efficient taps, showers, flushes, and washing machines should be mandatory. BWSSB is the bulk provider of water and bulk treater of wastewater. We should strengthen BWSSB in terms of human relationship/capacities and financial matters. This will help build a resilient city.”