Reviving water bodies is the key to mitigating water scarcity. In Bengaluru, India’s IT capital which faces a recurring water crisis, an initiative by real estate giant Puravanakara, is ensuring the availability of lakhs of litres of water every day to the residents of the Hunasamaranahalli locality.
In partnership with the Biome Environmental Trust and Hunasamaranahalli Town Municipal Council (TMC), Puravankara has revived six open wells and has also set up a rainwater harvesting system for Sonnappanahalli Government Higher Primary School (GHPS).
Up to 2 lakh litres of water is pumped daily from one of the revived open wells and it is supplied to the community by the TMC.
A pipeline is being laid from another well to pump water to a few other wards. This well has the potential to yield up to 1 lakh litres of water per day. Water meters have been installed on the pumping lines to monitor the volume of water pumped out of these two wells and, consequently, from the aquifer. Water is drawn manually using a pulley and a bucket from three other wells. From the sixth well, water is pumped to a few homes, and the community also uses it by drawing from the well manually.
At two of the wells, the local community has insisted that authorities do not install electrical pumps as it often results in water wastage, leaving them without water during summer months.
The works were supported by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions from Puravankara Limited and its subsidiaries Provident Housing Limited, and Starworth Infrastructure and Construction Limited.
"Water is central to our CSR efforts focused on rejuvenating natural aquifers through reviving wells and rainwater harvesting. Conservation initiatives like these are very important to us for the sustainable growth of Bengaluru," Abhishek Kapoor, CEO of Puravankara, says.
The projects will enrich communities and address broader environmental challenges, he says.
The Bengaluru city faced a shortfall of 650 million litres per day (MLD) in 2021 and this is likely to go up by 1,450 MLD by 2031, according to a survey by the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB). Revival of water bodies, like wells, ponds and lakes, remains the key to mitigating the water crisis.
Vishwanath S, Founder Trustee of Biome Environmental Trust, says Biome seeks to demonstrate that water sustainability and ecological sustainability can be achieved by adopting a livelihood-based approach involving the traditional well-digging community. "Shallow aquifers, represented by open wells, are climate resilient and climate mitigating, which is being demonstrated in the project at TMC Hunsamaranahalli,” he adds.
The rainwater harvesting system, storing rainwater drawn from 2,250 sq ft of the rooftop, as well as redirection of overflow from the sump, to a recharge well of 4 feet diameter and 15 feet depth has been implemented in Sonnappanahalli GHPS.
This system has the capacity to harvest 1.80 lakh litres of water in a year. The school has also adopted aerators to reduce water usage and is on its way to becoming a model school in demonstrating water conservation practices.