Tag Archives: Drinking water

WHERE’S MY WATER?

WaterBangalore is largely dependent on groundwater. The largest source of water in Bangalore apart from Cauvery water is from borewells.

We are pulling water that has been down there for hundreds of years, that is somebody else’s right as much as it is ours. And the breach of this right can be clearly seen with unequal resource allocation.

How do we get Ground water?

We all live above spaces between soil particles and cracks, fissures and faults in the rocks, which are known as aquifers. Water in these aquifers is rainwater that has trickled down and percolated into the earth. The aquifers are spread independent of property or administrative boundaries. Each time we pull out water from the ground, we are possibly denying someone else of their source of water.

The geology of Bangalore, and most of the Deccan plateau, is hard-rock geology. This type of geological setting is composed of three layers- the top soil where the plants grow, the weathered zone below the top soil and the hard rock. The weathered zone is actually crushed version of the hard rock which holds water in the pores and spaces in between the particles.

When it rains and water percolates down, it passes through the weathered zone and then into the hard rock fissures. A large connected set of fissures, in effect one single body of water under the ground, is called an aquifer. Aquifers in the hard rock are called ‘confined aquifers’ as they are under pressure. Water in the weathered zone is shallow and is referred to as shallow unconfined aquifer and they can travel laterally into the soil. Open wells up to depths of around 80 feet in Bangalore were meant to access water in the shallow unconfined aquifers. Over time these have been dried out, except in certain parts of Bangalore. After open wells started drying, people started digging borewells which were going deeper and picking up water from the fissures in rocks – or from confined aquifers. It is important to note that confined aquifers take more time to recharge the unconfined aquifers.

It’s difficult to predict where you get water in deeper confined aquifers.  At depths of 100 to 650 feet, there are a lot of fissures through which water trickles in. There is no way to predict, other than testing each site.

When you dig a borewell and start pulling water out, you are emptying the water in the aquifers which is a finite amount. The process by which water enters into these fissures is called recharge. This can be natural or artificial. Since there is only a finite amount of water underneath, we cannot endlessly keep pumping out water.

As a city, we need to understand how much water is available. This is not an easy task. All the residents in an area need to share where they have dug the bore well, how deep did it go, at what depth did they get water, etc. The data collected across the city can help get a better picture of the city’s aquifers.

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The precious pitter-patter

rainboyWe are sensitive about sharing a river. We gregariously welcome home water-tankers. We are the lifestyle-conscious Bangaloreans, who understand the water problem of this ever-expanding city like never before. But are we being tunnel-visioned in meeting our immediate water requirements and not looking at the dire dry future?

Here’s a fact. The average water consumption of a Bangalorean per day is 140 litres. The overall supply of water from the Cauvery as well as ground water sources to the city is at 1023 million litres/day (MLD). The total demand for water in Bangalore is 1342 MLD. That means 319 MLD less than the requirement or over 22 lakh people without their average quota of water.

The sudden realization is that you are one among the two million and that’s not a small number to get out of. So, how do we tackle this?

Here’s another fact. Despite a regulation from the governing authorities to set-up rainwater harvesting systems, many Bangaloreans are still ignorant about it.

We may not have abundant ground-water, but we have good god-sent monsoons. Let’s collect the rain. It’s a simple solution to a serious problem. Just like the lesson we taught the kids to put a bucket under a leaking tap; a lesson to save water and to replenish it. The rainwater harvesting system is a one-time set-up that may cost around Rs.40K for a 60X40 site/house. On a rainy day, this would accumulate 54K litres! You can save a part of this and let the rest to percolate and replenish the ground-water. This, against the cost of water-tankers at Rs.3000 for a month, is very economical. Plus, it consumes no electricity. What’s more? A water-sustained future for you and the city.

Rain rain, come again. People here are in vain.

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How companies can become energy-efficient

English: Plymouth : Plymouth Water Treatment P...

Plymouth Water Treatment Plant. A view which greets people as they enter the city.

At the wind- and methane-powered Belgium Brewery in Colorado, the water used to process beer is run through ponds where bacteria eat the organic waste, reducing strain on the city’s water treatment plant. Continue reading

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What media says about ZED way of living…

Patterns of Light

 

From outside, the Biodiversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL) office in the plush Sadashiva Nagar in Bangalore looks like any other building. But once you step inside, you realise that it is pleasantly different. A part of the premises is lit up and powered by wind energy, while a large number of flowerpots and a staircase, work as makeshift air-conditioners. And a machine that resembles a water dispenser converts moisture in the air into clean drinking water…

Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

 

 

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Drumsticks don’t just make for great taste in cooking…

Drumstick grows widely in India. The potential somehow remains unrealized of using the seed to clarify water.

Just two of a drumstick’s seeds can clean a liter of turbid water. Its beans and twigs are almost magical. You can extract oil, provide nutrition when you eat and when you can serve as a useful medicine.

The seeds have an inherent ability to purify water. The dried beans when ground to a powder, work as natural flocculation agents.

Flocculation is the first step in water purification and the plant’s seeds provide an alternative to alum, iron salts, and even synthetic polymers. These chemicals harm both environment and health. Alum salts have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

A drumstick seeds is an efficient coagulating agent when extracted. In parts of Botswana, water purification has been done with the seeds for many centuries.

It’s not as if the government is not aware of its potential. The department of drinking water supply in India compiled a two-volume compendium of rural water supply and sanitation research projects. One of the sanitation studies tested the efficacy of drumstick seeds as a purification agent in a Tamil Nadu village some years ago. Three villages along the River Bhavani were selected as they were drinking the river’s low-quality water.

Drumstick seed power significantly reduces water turbidity and bacterial count.

It’s not a complete solution, however. It cannot guarantee potable water and some additional treatment will be needed. But the important thing is that it reduces turbidity of water with bacterial reduction of above 90 per cent.

Before doing it at a village tank, a simple jar test can be conducted with seed powder with 100, 200, and 400 mg per liter of water. The jar should be stirred vigorously for a minute, followed by a gentle steering. The sample is allowed to settle for 60 minutes. The lowest and best clarification dose is chosen by the village health workers.

The government is not willing to accept it yet. It remains a viable local low-cost alternative, but outside of the government’s schemes.

(Pic source: food1.com)

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