Echelon Cooperative Housing Society on BanerPashan Link Road gets its water from a tanker supplier who has doubled the charges at the start of summer. The 50-flat society is dependent completely on four tankers for its daily needs, but its members are trying to negotiate a better deal with the supplier while looking at ways to conserve water.
“We are trying to save eve ry drop. While we release water twice a day , we may do it once a day . In homes too, residents save on water by using the reject of RO filters for flushing and reusing water used for cleaning fruits and vegetables to water plants,“ Sudhir Mundkur, secretary of the society , said.
Many of the other 53 housing societies in this area rely on tankers to tide over their water requirement and pay hefty sums to the suppliers.With pipelines still being laid by Pune Municipal Corporation in this area, water conservation efforts are a high priority. The limited water and steep charges for tankers both warn of bigger crises, residents said.
Ban on car cleaning, reusing water from sewage treatment plants in toilets and for gardening and limiting outflow from taps by controlling the flow using valves are some measures societies use to minimise wastage.
Sushmita Sengupta, deputy programme manager (water) at Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, said urbanization in cities like Pune is so fast that water bodies have been lost and the area available for ground water recharge has shrunk.
“With everything choked, a Chennai-like flood situation is not very difficult to imagine.Moreover, with the civic body unable to meet the water de mand, consumers are resort to digging of borewells. Tanker suppliers too rely on the gro und water though the quality of water is not always the best.
A city-level plan to reple nish the gro undwater is necessary ,“ she said.
With complete dependence on tankers, societies have to buy water even if it is a pinch, admitted Kishore Mahajan, president of Baner Pashan Link Road Vikas Samiti. It is an association of residential societies in the area.
“The demand for water is high. Supply from the civic body is not properly managed and not equally distributed.The new water treatment plant in Warje has not really helped the city . The civic body should focus on equitable distribution of water,“ he said.
The crisis is man-made, said Col S G Dalvi (retd.), district manager (Pune) of The Climate Reality Project in India.Steps must be initiated now to avoid a worse situation in the next few years.
“We cannot blame the monsoon for the current crisis. We have not adhered to watershed management. In Marathwada, where monsoon has been deficit for the past few years, citizens and even the civic bodies have failed to recharge the rapidly falling groundwater table. We overextract ground water at an unsustainable rate leading to shortage,“ he added.
His remedy to the situation is large-scale rainwater harvesting in rural and urban areas. “It is the only solution to replenish the groundwater table. It also offers a huge job potential,“ he said. World Water Day on March 22 focuses on the importance of fresh-water and advocates sustainable management of fresh-water resources. This year’s theme is `Water and Jobs’.
Source : TOI