urban water

Urban water management and community participation

India is fast urbanizing. Cities are growing bigger and bigger. Towns are becoming cities. With this, the challenge of ensuring everybody’s water and sanitation needs in the urban areas are met is becoming more complex. Our city corporations or town municipal councils have limited capacity to manage these challenges. With growth far outpacing these institutions’ management response to it, much of the urban populace is left to adapt and cope with institutional inadequacies. Markets – both formal and informal – evolve to provide services that urban citizens then rely on to cope with this situation.

The coping mechanisms however, are still dependent on the natural capital of the town or city – its rivers, its tanks & lakes, its groundwater and its rainfall. This natural capital asset base also needs stewardship – instead they become waste sinks & health hazards. Solutions are now necessary that can break this vicious cycle. All stakeholders – public and private – need to become part of these solutions. At Biome we research and develop these solutions. We also catalyse and facilitate co-creation of these solutions working with all these diverse stakeholders. We understand problems as not just technical or environmental problems – but equally as social problems. And in our work we endeavor therefore, that solutions are co-created with potential stake-winners and stake-losers.

Engaging with Lakes in Bangalore – full document

Chapter 01 – Understanding Lakes in Bangalore

Chapter 02 – Rejuvenating Lakes in Bangalore

Chapter 03 – Citizen Action around Lakes in Bangalore 

Chapter 04 – History and Culture of Lakes in Bangalore

Lakes Bio remediation

A program to:

a. Empower communities and create capacities in lake development and management as well as help embed the communities in the institutional process of lake development and management;

b. Evaluate the various options for handling the inflow of sewage into the lakes (with focus on bio-remediation) and recommend the appropriate methodology, budget and space requirements for some of the lakes.


Participatory Aquifer Mapping - My Well, Our Water

The role and importance of groundwater both in the urban and rural context is now being increasingly acknowledged in the national discourse on water management. While an “Aquifer understanding” of groundwater and the acknowledgement of the aquifer as the “unit” for groundwater management has gained space in this discourse, this has been very recent.


Responsible Water Management

The last decade in India has seen many conflicts – big and small – arising from waters being diverted from rural/agricultural use for urban or industrial use. This “water cost” is emerging as an increasingly critical issue at a time when India seeks to propel itself into an urban-industrial powerhouse. It is therefore important that India learns how to manage its water for this growth.

Devanahalli - Sanitation and Safety Plan

The WHO has been piloting a planning process called the Sanitation Safety Planning (SSP) process as a vehicle for implementation of the 2006 WHO Guidelines for Safe Use of Wastewater Excreta and Greywater in Agriculture and Aquaculture. The Sanitation Safety Planning approach recognizes that the underlying objective of all sanitation engineering and investment is to protect public health. This approach is a health risk management approach with an emphasis on safe use of human waste. It assists in identifying and managing health risk across the entire sanitation chain (“from toilet to table”) and guide investments in sanitation where it will have the greatest public health impact.

Phytorid at Rainbow Drive, Sarjapura Road

Rainbow Drive on Sarjapura Road with its 320+ recharge (with 400+ plots on 36 acres) wells is pretty much the oasis on Sarjapura Road where the borewells on their campus are able to yield sufficient water to fulfill their water demand. In addition to this they felt a need to recycle their waste water and use it appropriately.

The 2 existing STPs of about 200KL capacity required about Rs 1 lakh per month for maintenance and repairs and the water was not of expected quality at all times. This meant that they evaluated various technologies for the replacement of their STP. SBT (from IIT Mumbai) was the technology that they first considered in detail and then decided to drop for various reasons.

Rainwater Harvesting in a Govt School, Bijuwara, Bangalore

An initiative by Samyukth Iyer Sequeira – a grade 6 student studying in the Singapore American School – to facilitate access to water for school children in rural Bangalore, has resulted in the commissioning of a rainwater harvesting system in Govt Primary High School in Bijuwara which is around 55 kms from Bangalore city. The school has two one storey buildings with roof area around 1250 and 800 sq ft respectively.

The village Panchayat supplies water once in around 15 days and this is stored in a sump which is around 4000 litres in capacity. There is also a surface level storage tank which currently is in a state of disuse. The daily water consumption is around 1500 litres which is mainly used for toilet flushing, vessel washing and cooking.

By tapping the rooftop from the two buildings, it is possible to harvest a total of 154 KL of water annually assuming an annual rainfall of 900 mm. The downpipes from the two building would be led to a filtration chamber which is then led to a storage tank.

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