Current Affairs

Bengaluru’s Severe Water Scarcity

What is causing it?

Reduced Rainfall and Empty Water Reservoirs:

1. Insufficient rainfall in recent monsoons has impacted the Cauvery River, a primary 
water source for Bengaluru.
2. Karnataka experienced a 38% deficit in north-east Monsoon and a 25% deficit in 
southwest monsoon rain.
3. Water levels in key reservoirs like Harangi, Hemavathi, and Kabini are at only 39% of their total capacity.

Depletion of Groundwater Sources:

1. Rapid urbanization has led to the concretization of natural landscapes, reducing groundwater recharge.
2. Increased reliance on borewells for water exacerbates groundwater depletion, with many borewells drying up.

Inadequate Infrastructure:

1.Bengaluru's infrastructure has not kept pace with its population growth, hindering efficient water distribution.
2. The completion of Phase-5 of the Cauvery project is expected to alleviate some water supply issues by May 2024.

Climate Change:

1.Changing weather patterns, including erratic rainfall and prolonged droughts, 
attributed to climate change, reduce water availability.
2. The El Niño phenomenon has been linked to poor rainfall in the region.

Pollution of Water Bodies:

1. Industrial discharge, untreated sewage, and solid waste dumping have polluted water sources, making them unfit for consumption.
2. Around 85% of Bengaluru's water bodies are contaminated, according to a study by EMPRI.

Legal and Political Challenges:

1. Disputes over water sharing between Karnataka and neighbouring states, particularly regarding rivers like the Cauvery, complicate water resource management.
2. Tussles between central and state governments over funds allocation for drought  relief exacerbate the situation.

Bengaluru's water scarcity crisis stems from a combination of natural factors, urbanization, inadequate infrastructure, pollution, mismanagement, and legal disputes. Addressing these challenges requires comprehensive measures and collaboration between stakeholders to ensure sustainable water management.

Bengaluru's Severe Water Scarcity (UPSC)