CII has started the Karnataka State Water Network and has identified water sustainability zones in Bengaluru.
With a desultory monsoon drawing to a close, drought grips many parts of India including Maharashtra and Karnataka. The impact of the drought is primarily on agriculture in the rural areas but its impact is also on urban areas and on industry, as water as a resource becomes in short supply. While mitigation measures are many and relief reaches out to farmers, cities too need to think on how to manage drought in an era of climate change.
One way to manage large urban areas is to think about smaller watersheds within and manage them as water sustainability zones.
This is precisely the objective of the CII in Karnataka which has started the Karnataka State Water Network (www.kswn.in) to bring together industry, community and government to plan and manage water sustainability zones within Bengaluru.
The zones chosen by the industry champion include:
- Electronics City
- the International Airport area,
- the area around Bharat Electronics
- the area around Sarjapur Road
- Peenya Industrial Area
and finally a more generic area which includes the lakes of Bengaluru.
A platform is now created where communities can usually come around lakes and address the major water challenges occurring around managing waste-water, restoring groundwater, helping protect and preserve a lake, supplying drinking water and other such issues.
That the dialogue has begun between various stakeholders is a starting point. Implementation ideas are also being drawn up which will result in action on the ground which will make sure that the social and ecological aspects of water management are included as much as the economic aspect of water.
Best practices of industries within their fence are being shared and broader understanding of challenges beyond the fence is also being understood.
This means that competitive use of water is giving way to understanding what it means to enter a domain of sharing water.
Critical technical issues such as the treatment of industrial effluents, the management of waste-water, the understanding of aquifers and groundwater, demand management and recycling and reuse of water are all being taken up by the various sustainability zones and their champions.
Industry in turn learns how societies and government perceive and deal with the commons and what the challenges involved are.
This partnership approach is one way of managing water as a resource in an era of climate change, and is water wisdom.
Cities too need to think on how to manage drought in an era of climate change