Years of groundwater overexploitation has depleted Bengaluru’s natural reserves by alarming levels. Reeling under acute water crisis, citizens are largely dependent on private water tankers to meet daily requirements.
Thus, in an effort to bolster water conservation, the Karnataka government is planning to introduce a law that would make installation of water meters mandatory in all buildings, whether old or new.
"All buildings having a built-up area of more than 2,500 square feet or having more than three apartments will come under this law. It will be effective from 2020," Tushar Girinath, Chairman of the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board said.
As per a report by The News Minute, the meters will help charge individual households for their water usage, instead of billing the entire building, which is divided uniformly among all residents.
This will help individuals use water more judiciously and may bring down wastage considerably, given that people will track how much they use.
The move was welcomed by Odette Katrak, the co-founder of Beautiful Bengaluru, who has long urged people to adopt sustainable measures.
"There are only a small fraction of people who care for the planet. Changes happen only if it pinches them. The same has been observed when implementing the plastic ban. People had gradually started bringing their own bags when they had to repeatedly pay for the reusable bags at stores," he said.
Apart from water meters, all new buildings will also have to install a dual piping facility and rainwater harvesting system, with a holding capacity of 60 litres or more.
In Bengaluru, 36 percent of the water sourced from the Cauvery river reportedly remains unaccounted for. It is believed that 25 percent of the unaccounted water is wasted in leakages, while the rest is used but not billed.