Bengaluru is among the 10 cities in the world that might be on the verge of an imminent acute water crisis, just as the one faced by Cape Town in South Africa, a CSE-assisted environment magazine has claimed. “The number of waterbodies in Bengaluru has reduced by 79 per cent, due to unplanned urbanisation and encroachment, while built-up area has increased from eight per cent in 1973 to 77 per cent now,” claimed Down To Earth, the magazine that the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps publish.
According to a statement issued by the CSE ahead of World Water Day, the water table in Bengaluru has shrunk from 10-12 metres to 76-91 metres in just two decades, while the number of extraction wells has gone up from 5,000 to 0.45 million in 30 years. Bengaluru’s population might reach 20.3 million by 2031 and is growing by 3.5 per cent annually, the CSE statement said.
“Cape Town in South Africa is facing the prospect of all its taps running dry by June-July this year,” it claimed. “Many of the world’s leading cities will see Cape Town-like water crisis in the not too distant future. Ten cities across the world are facing ‘Day Zero’ (when taps are expected to run dry) and severe water shortage will hit them in the not-too distant future, unless cities innovate, diversify supply sources and use water judiciously,” it said. Besides Bengaluru, other cities facing a similar situation include Beijing (China), Mexico City (Mexico), Nairobi (Kenya), Karachi (Pakistan), Kabul (Afghanistan) and Istanbul (Turkey), the statement said.