Bengaluru Water Crisis | El Nino Phenomenon

Bengaluru Water Crisis | El Nino Phenomenon

After experiencing rapid urbanization since the 1990s, Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka, is now estimated to have a population of around 13 million. Following years of grappling with a power crisis, Bengaluru is now facing another severe challenge: a crippling shortage of water.

The Cauvery (Kaveri) river is the lifeline of Bengaluru, it gets water from the SOUTH WEST MONSOON as well as NORTH WEST MONSOON. The Cauvery river is experiencing lesser water than the normal condition because of lesser rainfall which leads to the less drinking water and irrigation needs.

Bengaluru's water requirement is almost 17 billion litres of water for daily needs but currently it is receiving almost 1.45 billion litres. There is large gap between the supply and demand which cause an unequal distribution of water.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru's civic body, has sprung into action. They've earmarked ₹131 crore for the drilling of new borewells in critical areas.

Following are the reasons behind the water scarcity in the Bengaluru city :

1. Reduced Rainfall + Monsoon - The city Bengaluru or the state Karnataka state has received lesser rainfall which leads to deficit in water levels of Cauvery river, which is the main source of the daily water needs of Bengaluru for drinking and irrigating the fields.

The reason for lesser rainfall is the phenomenon of El-Nino (the little boy), this phenomenon weakens the monsoon winds and creates high pressure winds over the South Asia which cause lesser rainfall in the region. In the past 123 years India has faced the El-Nino condition 22 times out of which India has received very less rainfall or drough like condition for 16 times.

South West Monsoon - 25% Deficit
North West Monsoon - 38% Deficit

2. Concretization + Aquifers +Deplition of ground water resources + Borewells -

  • Urbanization Impact: Bengaluru's rapid urbanization has led to extensive concretization, hindering rainwater infiltration and depleting aquifers.
  • Groundwater Depletion: Central government assessments reveal that all groundwater units in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts are "over-exploited," with 70% of Karnataka's extractable groundwater already used.
  • Borewell Dependency: Borewells, the primary water source for many, contribute to the crisis. Their unregulated use has led to a significant drop in groundwater levels, posing sustainability challenges for the city's water supply.

3. Pollution - Recently, a study has shown the data about the water condition of the rivers or pond in Bengaluru, almost 85% water bodies in Bengaluru city are polluted via industrial effluents, sewage water, and solid waste. This water condition makes the water untreatable and reusable by the people of the city. Hence the pollution is also a major reason behind the water scarcity condition of the city.

4. Infrastructure Issue - The Bengaluru city has experienced explosive population growth for the last 20 years which leads to the increase in the infrastructure. Water demands of the people of Bengaluru are not being fulfilled by the government bodies which makes the private bodies come into the business and supply the water to fulfill the water demand of the people. But Residents accuse water tanker suppliers of taking advantage of the crisis by charging excessively high prices. Previously priced at ₹400-600 for a 1000-liter tanker, the cost has skyrocketed to over ₹2000 in numerous areas, severely limiting residents' options.


Join Indiags Telegram Channel - Join Now