Background/ Project Rationale:

  • The 42 square km area around the Sarjapura Road/Bellandur Main Road, spanning 8 microwatersheds  is currently almost completely dependent on ground water to fufill  its water requirements.
  • The water is sourced either from private borewells or from private tanker operators and the borewells are of depths upto 1500ft.
  • There are 15 lakes in this area and most lakes have problems of either lack/blockage of water channels that lead rainwater into the lakes - which leaves the lakes dry, encroachments that leave lesser area for the recharge zones of the lake  or entry of treated/untreated sewage water into the lake.
  • Due to the lack of an underground sewerage system in the area, treated or untreated sewage also often times reaches these lakes.  
  • This part of Bangalore is seeing rapid urban development and with it a decrease in green/permeable areas, an increasing water demand as well as increasing waste water streams. There are some communities that have learnt/are learning to manage their water very wisely.
  • Large parts of the community in the area is currently very vibrant and is looking for sustainable long term solutions to manage water as locally as possible.
  • It is in this context that a project has been envisaged that brings together various stakeholders that are working locally in this area to come together to share knowledge, understand and manage their water (especially ground water) wisely

Benefits from a multi-stakeholder engagement for the initiative:

Groundwater availability in the area is currently not well understood. Government agencies like the CGWB are responsible for the understanding of the ground water in the area, however their scope of study is more macro and hence not of much relevance to a smaller 42sq km community. The BBMP is responsible for storm water drains and lakes and the BWSSB is responsible for providing water for domestic consumption as well as treating waste water. The KSPCB ensures that waste water is treated to required standards before being discharged outside of the campus. Parallely there are are service providers like borewell diggers, tanker operators, water quality testing labs, hydrofracturing and camera inspection experts who also hold with them an on-ground understanding of the ground water. There are communities that have experimented with large scale ground water recharge and waste water treatment successfully and want to share their knowledge and experiences  Groundwater does not follow the boundaries that are marked on ground and its direction and nature of flow is not well known. The management of ground water hence automatically necessitates the coming together of these various stakeholders. Specifically, the benefits are

  • Sharing of knowledge that resides with various stakeholders
  • Empathy with the fact that ground water, lakes, storm water drains, solid waste management etc.  are all connected and hence developing an understanding and management of all water resources is required.
  • Ability to influence policy and enabling environments based on on-ground learnings


Long Term Objectives:

  • Creating a framework for understanding and managing ground water and aquifers
  • Embedding knowledge, working models  and tools in the community that can allow for acceptance and implementation of best practices for integrated urban water management (eg - Responsible Water, Bio remediation for treatment of waste water, re-imagining lakes etc)
  • Influencing policy that ensures local sustainable water management

 Action Plans:

  • Assess water carrying capacity of the area; develop a groundwater map and involve the community in a collective effort towards water management in the area
  • Explore waste water treatment and reuse opportunities
  • Lake rejuvenation initiatives
  • Storm water management; development and maintenance of recharge pits
  • Meeting with The Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) to involve builders and encourage responsible water management by residential complexes

Sarjapur Community Site Visit

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