Bengaluru has long been facing severe water crisis. According to a Niti Aayog report, the Karnataka Capital will be one of the prime metro cities that is expected to run out of water by next year itself.
While many are more concerned about this existing problem and discussing this issue, there are a few who have already started working towards saving the future by preventing the disastrous situation.
Meet water activist and urban planner Vishwanath Srikantaiah. Hailing from Bengaluru, he not only has a strategy to save the city from this upcoming severe water scarcity but has also started executing the plans to perfection. In fact, he has also achieved some great success.
Vishwanath has been working really hard and smart as a team with local communities and until now has recharged 1 lakh wells and made 10,000 wells functional.
The 55-year-old activist has also received massive support from the well-diggers in the city. Vishwanath along with his team has set the target to recharge 1 million wells in the coming days and they are destined to achieve the goal.
Giving details about how the wells are being recharged, the water activist says, “These recharge wells will use rooftop rainwater and send it into the aquifers, helping groundwater conditions to improve. It will also help the traditional well diggers get a better livelihood.”
Besides recharging wells and making them functional for regular use, Vishwanath has also designed several rooftop water harvesting structures for industries and households across Karnataka.
While talking about water conversation, the active member of Rainwater Club since 1995 has some interesting words in store. He says, “For every square meter of roof area, one has to create 20 litres of storage of recharge, and for every square meter of the paved area around the building, one has to create 10 litres of storage for recharge. The recharge well should be a minimum of 10 feet.”
The enthusiastic activist has also developed a filter called VARUN, a device which purifies rainwater and so anyone can try out his method and use rainwater for daily usage. Interestingly, he has also restored some old wells in city’s Cubbon Park.
Vishwanath knows exactly the importance of water, especially during this crisis. He says, “We identified seven wells through something called the Karagadabavi, which is one of the oldest wells, where the Karaga festival begins. We were then able to revive it with traditional well-diggers. These wells can give 65,000 to 100,000 litres of water a day for the park and is done with citizen participation. The money is being raised by the India Cares Foundation, with a group called Friends of Lakes.”
Vishwanath adds, “With the current crippling water crisis, rejuvenating water bodies, growing water-efficient crops, and recycling wastewater are possible ways to avoid the recurrence of such an acute water crisis in future.”
The water activist says, “We have been able to encourage quite a lot of people to follow various water conservation methods. We also run an ecologically-run architectural practice, where many of the components are incorporated as part of the design.”
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) including some few engineers have been constantly working to execute these water conservation tactics at the policy level which Dr. Vishwanath has been following with his 2 active members since more than 24 years.