Bengaluru thirsts this summer - Water tanker standard rates , Role of residents to conserve water

As the summer of 2024 unfolds, Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India, faces a daunting challenge: a severe water crisis. This crisis is not just a seasonal anomaly but a clarion call for immediate action and long-term sustainability measures.

The primary reason for Bangalore’s water woes is the lack of rainfall. The city has experienced a severe drought, leading to plummeting water levels in the Cauvery River, which is the main source of water for the region. Additionally, the over-extraction of groundwater has resulted in the drying up of borewells, further exacerbating the situation.

The forecast for the water crisis in Bangalore is grim. The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre (KSNDMC) reports that the water levels in Cauvery Basin reservoirs are at a mere 39 percent of their total capacity. With the monsoon season providing insufficient relief, the situation is expected to worsen in the upcoming summer months.

In an effort to mitigate the water crisis in Bangalore, the government has taken a significant step by standardizing the rates of water tankers. This move aims to prevent price gouging and ensure that water is accessible to all residents at a fair price.

Bengaluru thirsts this summer - Water tanker standard rates , Role of residents to conserve water


Standardized Water Tanker Rates:

  • For a distance within 5 km:
    • A 6,000-litre water tanker will cost Rs 600.
    • An 8,000-litre water tanker will cost Rs 700.
    • A 12,000-litre water tanker will cost Rs 1,000.
  • For distances beyond 5 km and within 10 km:
    • A 6,000-litre water tanker has been fixed at Rs 750.
    • An 8,000-litre and 12,000-litre tanker will cost Rs 850 and Rs 1,200 respectively.

These rates are inclusive of GST and are applicable for a four-month period as part of the government’s response to the crisis. The district administration, following an appeal from the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), has deployed around 200 private tankers on a contract basis to supply water to the city.

This decisive action is part of a broader strategy to address the water shortage and provide relief to the residents of Bangalore during this challenging time. The standardized rates are expected to alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by households and businesses, ensuring equitable access to this essential resource.

Addressing Overcharging by Water Tankers

In response to the water crisis and the subsequent regulation of water tanker rates, the government has established a complaint process for instances where tankers demand more than the standard rates. Residents of Bangalore can report such cases to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). The BWSSB has been vigilant in monitoring the situation and ensuring that private tankers adhere to the prescribed rates.

If you encounter a situation where a water tanker is overcharging, you can take the following steps:

  1. Note the Details: Record the tanker’s number, the company name, and the amount demanded.
  2. Contact BWSSB: Reach out to the BWSSB’s helpline or customer care number to lodge a complaint.
  3. Provide Evidence: If possible, provide any evidence such as a receipt or a recorded conversation to support your claim.

The government’s proactive measures, including the establishment of control rooms and helpline numbers, aim to tackle the water crisis effectively and ensure that residents are not exploited during these challenging times.

Water Conservation

During this crisis, every drop counts. Here are some tips to conserve water:

Certainly! Here’s a comprehensive list of water conservation tips for residents, households, and commercial centers in Bangalore during the current water crisis:

For Residents and Households:

  1. Fix Leaks Promptly: A single drop per second can waste more than 25 liters of water a day.
  2. Reuse RO Wastewater: Collecting wastewater from RO plants for non-potable purposes can save a substantial amount of water.
  3. Monitor Water Usage: Share monthly water usage statistics with family members to encourage conservation.
  4. Install Water-Saving Devices: Use low-flow water aerators and water-saving showerheads to reduce water wastage.
  5. Adopt Rainwater Harvesting: Collect rainwater for use in gardens and for recharging groundwater.
  6. Take Shorter Showers: Use a bucket for bathing to significantly reduce water usage.
  7. Full Loads for Washing Machines: Only run your washing machine with full loads and adjust water levels for smaller loads.
  8. Reuse Water: Collect water used for rinsing fruits and vegetables and reuse it for watering plants.
  9. Water Plants Wisely: Water gardens during the early morning to minimize evaporation.
  10. Adopt Water-Efficient Habits: Simple actions like turning off the tap while brushing teeth or fixing leaks promptly can make a difference.

For Commercial Centers:

  1. Install Water Meters: Encourage accountability by charging for actual water consumption, which can lead to up to 35% less water use.
  2. Rainwater Harvesting: Implement systems to collect and use rainwater for non-potable purposes.
  3. Water Reuse and Recycling: Treat and reuse water, especially in industrial and commercial sectors.
  4. Efficient Irrigation: Use drip irrigation and smart systems for landscaping to minimize water wastage.
  5. Protect Water Bodies: Maintain buffer zones and manage waste around lakes and rivers.
  6. Water-Efficient Fixtures: Use fixtures that reduce water consumption in buildings.
  7. Groundwater Recharge: Implement techniques like percolation pits and recharge wells to replenish aquifers.
  8. Educational Campaigns: Raise awareness about water conservation among employees and visitors.

Implementing these measures can significantly contribute to alleviating the water crisis in Bangalore. It’s crucial for everyone to participate in water conservation efforts to ensure a sustainable water supply for the city.

Community Initiatives for Water Conservation

In the face of Bangalore’s water crisis, the city’s residents have taken innovative steps to conserve water. These community-driven initiatives serve as inspiring examples that others can adopt:

  • Rainwater Harvesting and Groundwater Recharging: Some apartments have implemented rainwater harvesting systems and are actively recharging groundwater using aquifers. This not only provides an alternative water source but also helps replenish the city’s groundwater levels.

  • Water Rationing and Usage Restrictions: Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) have introduced water rationing and banned non-essential water usage activities like car washing and swimming. They have also suggested the use of disposables and wet wipes to reduce water consumption.

  • Monitoring and Regulation: To ensure compliance with water-saving measures, some gated communities have deployed security personnel to monitor water usage. They have also warned residents that failure to reduce consumption by a set percentage may result in additional charges.

These initiatives highlight the collective effort and creativity of Bangalore’s residents in addressing the water crisis. By sharing and implementing such measures, communities can work together to navigate through this period of scarcity and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Water crisis in Bangalore is a complex issue that requires both immediate relief efforts and long-term strategic planning. It is a wake-up call for residents, authorities, and policymakers to come together and forge a sustainable path forward for the city’s water management. The crisis is not just a test of resilience but an opportunity to innovate and adapt for a water-secure future.