A summer of drought and despair: A solution
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns, Top Stories

A summer of drought and despair: A solution

March 22, 2024

In view of the severe water scarcity staring us in the face, this summer, specially in Bengaluru, a city of 1,50,00,000 population and of huge industrial hub, water management experts have come up with many suggestions similar to band-aid to a broken limb.

Some such quick-fix (is it  really?) suggestions are:

1. Tapping the lakes. But how many lakes are there? Where are the Raja Kaluves?

2. Systematic flood retention mechanism. This is done by inter-connecting the lakes. But where are the ‘live’ lakes on the ground? There may be 1,000 lakes on maps of Maharajas’ days.

3. Constructing underground reservoirs. This is based on the gradients to get water to underground reservoirs with gravitational power, not electric power (motor).

4. Look for open land (private and government) to be used for constructing these underground reservoirs (legal hurdles to be tackled).

5. Make permeable footpaths to build underground reservoirs (imaginary suggestions for mundane on the ground problems!!).

6. Create artificial  lakes (90 percent of natural lakes have become housing and industrial colonies) to reduce flooding during heavy rains.

7. Recharging the groundwater using treated (waste    and sullage water) water. This requires specialised and costly technology.

8. The most simple and commonly tried method to procure and store water is rainwater harvesting. In Mysuru S. Shamsundar and U.N. Ravikumar (formerly of NIE) are among the advisors. This also helps in reviving groundwater and feed the borewells in  summer, specially.

9. One expert suggestion is hydraulic connectivity between rainwater harvesting pits (or call it recharge pits) using perforated or permeated pipes or gravel-trenches. Gosh. Enough.

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10. No. Not yet. And there are rainmakers working on miracle research projects. One says it is possible to make water from air and solve the problem of water scarcity. After all, what is water? H2O = two particles of Hydrogen (found in air) and one particle of Oxygen. There was news that battery operated vehicles could dispense with the costly batteries and run on energy produced from air — call it Sai Baba miracle if you like!

Now the question. Why none of these solutions is tried though the water problem has been haunting Bengaluru like a scourge for many decades now? All these suggestions seem to me like the grandma’s story of Jack and the Beanstalk about reaching moon. But here it is all about making money for the ubiquitous consultants, experts, contractors, government engineers and, of course, politicians. These suggestions are like the magic beans, nothing beyond.

Recently, I read a book The Rainmaker: Miracles And Healing Stories Of Om Swami. There is an episode where the Swami and his disciples see “Mountains aflame and well past saving by human intervention.” It was not humanly possible to douse the raging fire moving at the speed of wind. And at the urging of a disciple, Swamiji brought rain and saved the green forest.

To be brief, Swamiji was chanting a mantra. The wind blowing in high velocity was tamed. Then clouds came and the rain. Why not invite this miracle maker as State guest? Or Rishyasringa of Hindu mythology, known to bring rains wherever he went, if possible? A statue of Rishyasringa is in the lobby of Kalamandira in our city. A lateral thought strikes me like a divine revelation. Why not build a temple for Rishyasringa and offer special prayers every summer?

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However, the real solution for water problem is here as suggested by my friend V.R. Venugopal in his article titled “A permanent solution to Cauvery water dispute” that was first published in Star of Mysore dated 9th October 2023. But nobody cared to take it forward!

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