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. 

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