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Understanding wastewater reuse as a climate change mitigation strategy - Bengaluru and hinterland

Wastewater flows from cities have been seen as a pollutant for long, destroying rivers and lakes. As cities grow, the volume of wastewater only increases. Farmers along the course of the wastewater flows from Bengaluru have been informally using it as a fertilizer rich, drought proof, perennial water supply, even as their borewells dry up. This has been problematic especially through heavy metal contamination in the food chain. However, the positive aspects of reuse have not been deeply examined.

The Government of Karnataka has taken up a massive transfer of treated wastewater to fill up lakes in the surrounding drought prone districts of Kolar, Chikballapur and Bengaluru Rural. This is then expected to recharge aquifers and to be used by farmers as groundwater based irrigation. The project seeks to understand the social and ecological impact of this wastewater use, both informal and formal, and to what extent is resilience provided towards the impact of climate change.



Vishwanath is co-founder and Director of the Biome Trust. The Trust works on issues of sustainable water management in both urban and rural areas of India. From policy advocacy, to helping practice on the ground in the better management of rainwater, groundwater, surface water and lakes. It lays special emphasis on livelihoods as a part of the sustainable water solution. Hence farmers are seen as part of the solution for wastewater reuse and rainwater management, well diggers as part of groundwater and rainwater management through the digging of recharge wells and fishers and grass cutters are seen as part of the solution of wastewater and lakes management. It has 15 years of work to its credit and has put many of its efforts in public domain through the website

Additional writing / Articles

Vishwanath has a Masters in Urban Planning from CEPT, Ahmedabad.

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