How Bengaluru’s water crisis is rooted in the neglect of its lakes


Bengaluru’s water crisis has been in the headlines in recent weeks. The state government has been scrambling to conserve the city’s water reserves, and secure supply for the years to come.

Many rue the fact that a city that was once known for its plentiful lakes is now battling such acute scarcity. For Common Ground, Vaishnavi Rathore and Johanna Deeksha traced the history of the city’s lake system, and learnt how it was designed to help ensure that the groundwater reserves remained charged. 

But, as experts and residents noted, over the decades, lopsided development marginalised traditional communities that had played a crucial role in maintaining the health of the city’s lakes, and turned many of the water bodies into construction sites. Some citizen-led efforts to conserve lakes offer hope – but these are few in number, and have to struggle with brazen polluters and a bewildering bureaucracy.

“Working on this piece, I kept thinking how earlier generations and dynasties that ruled the region were so respectful of the lakes and planned the city around it,” Rathore said. “This is such a stark contrast to our current situation, where the lakes are almost an afterthought.”

You can read the story here.

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Ajay Krishnan,
Senior Editor

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