Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Master Meterer - Krishnamoorthy

Water Metering is an often discussed topic . Apartment metering an even more interesting topic due to the complications rising out of multiple inlets.

There have been a few and often spoken about apartments that have implemented metering at a household level - namely Nestor Raga, Ashoka Windows, Samhita Square etc.

We came across this plumber - Krishnamoorthy - who in the meanwhile has implemented metering in multiple apartments. Here is the complete list. The largest is an apartment in Hyderabad - 800+ homes !!

We are also impressed with the fact that he has diligently maintained a list of all apartments where he has worked. A task we sometimes grapple with :)

And yes - for those interested Krishnamoorthy is available on 98456-82355

If any of you live in these apartments or know of people that live here, please do feel free to share your stories with us. We would really like to know how the metering has influenced the water demand, what have been the issues/learnings with the implementation, billing etc.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Session on Water Management for Women Corporators at MGIRED

Practical learnings on Water Management shared with Women Corporators and Students of Maharani College on Womens' Day at MGIRED

RWH training at CDD on 24th February 2016

Training programme on Rain Water Harvesting in rural areas was held from February 24th-26th,2016 at CASS-CDD Society ,Kengeri Satellite Town, Bengaluru. This programme was supported by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation , Govt.of India
The training programme was to give an insight to participants regarding the concept of Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) and it’s applicability in the context of rural areas.

  1. To help participants understand the concept of Rainwater Harvesting and technology for domestic water conservation and mitigation
  2. To understand  the different types of rain water harvesting system on the market,
  3. To familiarise with design and economic aspects of RWH and its significance 
The participants were Communication Specialist, Capacity Building Co-coordinator, Technical Coordinator, Training Coordinator, SW & LW Coordinator of CCDU. AE(PHED), AEE(PHED)and NGOs.

BIOME was the trainer for the above session

Friday, March 4, 2016

Asks - from the people of Yamalur Watershed

There are several issues with water management in the Yamalur watershed. Here is a consolidated list of asks from the people. Below are cut-pastes from emails

Note that these are not motherhood statements ("The government should do...."), but proposals to jointly drive the agenda, with active participation from businesses, NGOs, and activists.

That will be clear only when we develop these themes....

    1. Ensure that sewage is treated properly in private STPs:
      1. Tighten KSPCB CFE-CFO process for STP-approval;
      2. Start a formal process for STP handover to RWAs
      3. Survey all existing private STPs, and get them working.
    2. Ensure that sewage is treated properly at BWSSB plants
      1. Set up public watch committees that will carry out periodic inspection of BWSSB STPs
    3. Ensure that the rainwater, treated sewage and raw sewage are routed correctly
      1. Separate pipeline for sewage (do not use SWDs for sewage)
      2. Set up public watch teams to monitor solid waste dumped in road-side drains.
      3. Set up public watch teams to monitor sewage in Raj Kaluves and identify sources.
    4. Identify the sources of pollution that are hidden in the city (e.g. lead from batteries, heavy metals from plating shops, etc.).
      1. Conduct a city-wide GIS-survey to spot all polluting activities
      2. Find mitigation plan
      3. Implement it with area-wise citizen participation.
    5. Set a deadline to prepare plans to recycle the sewage to fulfill the water shortfall in the city.
    6. Share the Lakes Quality Data that is collected by the KSPCB - on an ongoing basis. Frequency of sample collection can be quarterly. Currently this process is is not made public or transparent
    7. Work with citizens to ensure that excess treated waste water( of appropriate quality) from  apartments/layouts is discharged into lakes or recharge wells responsibly. This will require the setting up of a close monitoring system. This will also require that the KSPCB openly acknowledge that the zero discharge policy is largely unworkable as long as apartments are only using the treated waste water for flushing and landscaping

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Kaikondrahalli Lake - Where does the water come from

Kaikondrahalli Lake is situated right off Sarjapur Road and can be considered as one of the more vibrant lakes that are existent in Bangalore. The lake is full of water throughout the year, boasting higher water levels during the rainy seasons. The lake is predominantly taken care of by a citizen run organization known as MAPSAS. And as a result, strict protocols have been implemented to ensure the preservation of  the lake and the supported ecology. Fixed public timings and the lake area being completely fenced has ensured the lake to thrive and provide us with beautiful visuals. However, the lake is in constant danger having being surrounded with immense urbanization. With a great deal of apartment dwellings around the lake, high amounts of sewage will bound to be a problem that might pose a threat to the lake's liveliness, if not already being the case. With all these variables in mind, a team from Biome Trust have identified the lake as a key study area to perform certain activities that can enable us to be more informed with respect to the lake. Our immediate goals are to be able to conclude the water balance of the lake, that can shed light on how Kaikondrahalli Lake receives its water and where does it flow out from. This would be highly beneficial as it can also aid in the tracking of the quality of water that will find its fate into the lake. Finally, these characteristics of the lake will enable in coming up with conclusions regarding the aquifer or groundwater nature of the area. Such information can fuel our broader study of the 'Participatory Aquifer Management', that have specific goals of understanding the characteristics of the various aquifers present in our study area which can in turn enable us as citizens to make better and sustainable decisions while extracting from such a scarce resource of water. The following findings is what was collated from our previous visit to the lake and will certainly be updated on this page as more information is known.

The following diagram depicts the lake along with the various aspects that have been identified and labelled as deemed appropriate.


As it can be seen above, there are a total of 8 inlets that we identified for the lake. Given below is information on each inlet.

  • Inlet 1- This inlet appears to not be providing any water to the lake, even in the rainy seasons.
  • Inlet 2- Previously, there used to be water that would flow from this inlet. However, after an adjoining wall was built upstream of that inlet, which serves as a boundary for a neighboring apartment complex, no water seems to be flowing through here anymore.
  • Inlet 3- No water appears to be contributed to the lake from this inlet.
  • Inlet 4- Previously again, water used to flow through here from the storm water drains of Shubh Enclave layout present right next to the lake. However, no more water flows through the inlet anymore. This was seen to have stopped once the elevation of the lake boundaries was done on which the trail around the lake is present. 
  • Inlet 5- This inlet can be considered one of the main inflow of water into the lake. It appears to be one of the entry points of the water that flows from the upstream Kasavanahalli Lake and neighboring upstream storm water runoff. 
  • Inlet 6- This inlet can also be considered another main flow of water into the lake, like inlet 5. The previous year has seen this inlet's flow to have risen even further and sacks have been put to control the flow. 
  • Inlet 7- Water used to flow from here from the neighboring property. However, after the owner conducted an expansion in construction in the property, no flow into the lake has been seen.
  • Inlet 8- The neighboring land area is inhabited by a lower income community. As a result, all stormwater runoff from there has been seen to flood their habitation. Closer to the lake, an opening is existent that connects to this inlet, which is blocked. Whenever required, the blockage is removed to drain that area, which is when the water enters the lake.  
Sewage Diversion Pipes

The purple lines on the diagram signifies the sewage diversion drains that are present. The sewage that is flowing from upstream of the lake and as well as from the dwellings present in the western side of the lake are diverted into this pipe, ensuring the water does not enter the lake. A diversion pipe also cuts through the wetland area from the east, carrying the sewage that is built up from that side. This pipe finally connects to the main sewage pipe present in the western boundary of the lake.

Outflow on the Northern side of the Lake

On the norther side of the lake, there appears to be a swamp area that is full of life of various species. The sewage from the diversion pipe in fact flows into this area. The water trickles through the swamp and finally makes its way into the main sewage flowing pipes that cuts through Sarjapur Road. This pipe with the sewage finally makes its way towards Saul Kere and finally Bellandur. 


A functional borewell is present on the eastern side of the lake. From the minimal information present, it was found out that water is being pumped and supplied by the panchayat of the area. The borewell if given the right permission, would be a crucial aspect to study further, which would give us information on the relationship of the lake with the deeper aquifer present. 

Shallow Wells present in the School

There are two shallow wells that have been constructed within the school boundaries. With preliminary tests been conducted on of the wells that is being pumped currently, there has been clear indications of a fast recuperation rate in the well when pumped. In other words, the well is being replenished by the ground very rapidly when water is removed. This gives an idea that there seems to be a shallow aquifer area present, with the capability of the land underground there to hold water. Further detailed studies will be conducted utilizing those wells which will enable us to make more educated conclusions while also possibly understanding the relationship of this shallow aquifer with the lake. 


A small water body has been created on the north eastern portion of the lake strictly for the purpose of immersion of idols during festivals. It has been forbidden to perform the rituals in the main lake itself, and hence the pond was created for this very purpose.