About high cost of water in Bengaluru…

Unplanned expansion and faulty provision of pipelines are forcing Bengalureans to pay a high price for their water as compared to other metros, an assessment of the water supply system in the city has revealed.

“Water price in Bengaluru is around Rs 7 per kilo litre. This is the minimum price for domestic supply. Compared to other major cities, the charges are higher and more than twice that of New Delhi and Chennai. The reasons being the distance of water source, provision of pipelines and the terrain of the city. The key takeaway from my research work is that the way the pipelines are provided increases the cost of water supply along with the fact that water is pumped from a long distance,” said NS Nalini, researcher from the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

A key problem that the study identified was that the development of residential layouts and the provision of water pipelines doesn’t happen simultaneously, which leads to an unplanned pipe layout. The variations in energy consumption to get the water to its source are due to differences in routing, the distance and elevation between the subdivisions from the source. “The earlier undulating terrain, which was congenial for the creation of local water supply by means of tanks has become an impediment for pumping water from distant sources. Consequently, water supply now involves pipelines and pumping system using electrical energy to enable the water to travel longer routes,” she said.

The study says that BWSSB distributes Cauvery water to the city using the total quantity of water from four stages.

The routes of every stage, in effect, are travelling farther and farther from the source, and a significant amount of energy is required to lift the water from the source and pump it to long distances, says the findings published in International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development. The findings show that energy used for pumping the water to long distances isn’t the only reason for higher energy consumption, and water pipeline route selection process plays a critical role too.

Energy consumption increases if the routing is inefficient and if the pumps are old and not functioning properly. “Though the central and north-eastern subdivisions are far away from the source, the efficiency of routing has reduced the energy consumption,” it adds. The researcher suggested that since the development of the city is happening in an unplanned manner and some areas are away from the water source, it is important to plan provision of the pipeline as the city develops.

“It is important to understand the location of the resources and the terrain of the region. Based on these aspects the growth of the city needs to be planned,” she added

INCONSISTENCY IN PLANNING
The inconsistency between the planning policies and the metabolic process has made both water production and supply overpriced, said the research. “While such socio-economic and political processes have steered the city in a particular direction, the planners prepared the master plans envisaging the city to develop in concentric circles and as per land use zoning. These policies have made the cost of development very expensive, which is explicit in the inefficient water supply system,” said the author.

THE REASONS
* The minimum price for domestic supply of water is around Rs 7 per kilo litre, which is higher than other metro cities and twice than that of New Delhi and Chennai.
* The variations in energy consumption to get the water to its source are due to differences in routing, the distance and elevation between the subdivisions from the source.
* A key problem that the study identified was that the development of residential layouts and the provision of water pipelines doesn’t happen simultaneously, which leads to an unplanned pipe layout.
* The findings show that energy used for pumping the water to long distances isn’t the only reason for higher energy consumption, and water pipeline route selection process plays a critical role too.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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