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Environmental carrying capacity of Bengaluru- a case study

Student Name: Ms Parvathi Jayasankar
Guide: Dr Sridar Babu M N
Year of completion: 2019


The city of Bengaluru is one of the major metropolises of south India having huge significance in the economy and cultural fabric of the country. Over the past four decades, the city has witnessed unprecedented growth in terms of population & infrastructure. Bengaluru is the only metropolis in the country which is about 100 km away from a surface water source and ground water exploitation has reached alarming levels. A sustainable water resource management is very essential for the socioeconomic growth of the city. So, it is important to study the carrying capacity of the city with respect to water to identify the critical areas, characteristics & factors affecting water availability, issues & lack of effectiveness in water supply / distribution. Present study will help to estimate the comprehensive gap for water at present and for future years. For addressing the above research objectives, the study aims at analysing supply demand gaps existing in water distribution system and assess the environmental carrying capacity for water and delineate the critical areas using GIS techniques in a composite way using the data from different sources.

The study includes a comprehensive analysis of carrying capacity for water for the city taking into account demand for the water, municipal water analysis and ground water potential. Finally the analysis estimates the supply vs demand gaps for water till the year 2031 and the ways to mitigate the gap. In the demand estimation, appropriate projection method was chosen with the determined consumption standards to arrive at water demand projections till 2031 for the city. Municipal water which accounts for 60% to 80 % of water needs of the city is brought to the city by state owned utility BWSSB is analysed using GIS techniques to find out the critical areas with respect to supply coverage and billed coverage. Ground water which is another important water source of the city is abruptly deteriorating in Bengaluru and needs careful examination. The study does water drop analysis for the period 2010 to 2015 season wise to determine the characteristics of ground water drop and the critical areas for ground water development in Bengaluru. Due to the unique importance of this resource, the study also uses statistical analysis techniques to arrive at the correlation of factors affecting ground water levels and attempts to do a prediction for ground water levels using classification algorithm C5.0.Further a comprehensive gap analysis is attempted merging the criticality of municipal water distribution and ground water availability to arrive at critical areas of the city requiring urgent attention. Steps to address the gaps extrapolated till 2031 are discussed which include capacity augmentation techniques and behaviour adjustment techniques for citizens including water conservation and preservation.

All these measures will usher a favourable climate for the continued and sustainable growth of the city. On the contrary if demand increase is left unabated without planned measures, the city will plunge into a water crisis due to critical exploitation and reduction in happiness index of its citizens.

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