Bengaluru is rapidly losing its groundwater. The city’s water bodies have shrunk, to give way to buildings and infrastructure projects. Come summer and Bengalureans can be seen obsessively discussing water, or rather the lack of it. Though rains bring momentary relief, what about the long-term demand?
Access to water is a human right – how can we provide every citizen with enough water for their needs, at a price they can afford?
Little has been done to find local solutions. Rainwater harvesting had been implemented in just 1.2 lakh buildings as of May 2019, according to the BWSSB. Meanwhile, big projects are on the anvil to procure water from distant sources like Yettinahole or Sharavati.
How much of Cauvery’s water can be used by Bengaluru? Who has the right to that water? How much of groundwater can we use and reuse? What should we pay for it? How can policy help?
While citizens are enthusiastic about lake restoration, rainwater harvesting, and recharging of wells, what more can be done? There are several regulatory issues involved in urban water management that need institutional and governance-related solutions; or are mere technical solutions enough?
Bangalore International Centre, in collaboration with Citizen Matters and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, is organising this edition of ‘Bengaluru Solutions’ series on ‘Sustainable, equitable access to water’. The panel discussion is open for all, and entry is free.
- Tushar Giri Nath is a member of the Indian Administrative Services, and is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). He has previously served as the Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, GoK.
- Vishwanath Srikantaiah is an expert on water conservation and a Bengaluru resident. A civil engineer and urban planner by qualification, Srikantaiah worked with Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) for 14 years before dedicating himself to solving water issues facing urban and rural communities. He is a Trustee at Biome Environmental Trust, an organisation assisting communities in water and sanitation solutions. Popularly known as Zenrainman on social media channels, his insightful articles on water and environmental issues frequently appear in mainstream news publications.
- Bhargavi S Rao works on the intersections of community action with law, policy, planning and governance, as an independent researcher and consultant. She has 25 years of experience in research, advocacy, campaigning and teaching on human rights, governance and people-centred efforts in the areas of environmental and social justice. She has worked with Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, Environment Support Group, University of Minnesota, and the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology at Indian Institute of Science. She is guest faculty and speaker at many universities abroad, and at local educational institutions and corporates.
- Shashank Atreya is a Research Fellow at Vidhi, Karnataka. He works primarily with the Karnataka government to advise various departments in the areas of municipal governance, urban development, urban transport and education.
Meera K co-founded Citizen Matters, an award winning digital news media focusing on critical urban issues, ideas and solutions for cities. She also initiated the urban data platform Open City, and Co Media Lab, a community newsroom and resource centre. Meera is the founder trustee at the Oorvani Foundation, a non-profit trust for a free and independent media. She is also an Ashoka Fellow, recognised for her work on building open knowledge platforms that allow citizens to collaborate and improve their cities.
Find more information about the event here.