Managing Lake Water Quality

Chairs : Dr. Priyanka Jamwal (ATREE, Bengaluru) and Dr. Sharachchandra Lele (ATREE, Bengaluru)

Water quality Management in Bangalore Lakes

Summary : Bengaluru city like any other city in the developing country is experiencing rapid growth. The city infrastructure is unable to keep pace with the pace of urbanisation. As a result, about 60% of the wastewater flows untreated into the lakes (erstwhile irrigation tanks) in the city. The lakes are seen as an ‘urban commons’ that are important for environmental amenities, groundwater recharge, fisheries and livelihood generation to a small extent. At the state level, several institutions have varied stakes in lake water quality management. For example, BWSSB is responsible for treating the wastewater, KSPCB is responsible for monitoring the quality of water that enters the lakes and the lake water quality itself. The state fisheries department manages the fish in the lake. In the last decade there has been a significant movement by citizen groups and NGOs for the revival of polluted lakes. But revival and maintenance is not easy. Few lakes that have been revived including the Jakkur Lake are also facing severe water quality issues (hyper eutrophication and cyanobacteria bloom). Consequently, the question arises as to what should be the water quality goals if the lake water is to support and fulfil the above-listed uses, and how should those goals be achieved.

Concerns : The current water quality management framework of India lacks the definition of "clean water" for surface water bodies, and there are no use-specific standards. For instance, the standard for "minimum water quality" for groundwater recharge not clear. There is equal ambiguity as to how to achieve any given standard, given the multitude of sources feeding the lakes, the costs of treatment, the challenge of maintenance, and episodes of flooding.

In this session, we will discuss the themes related to lake water quality management in such scenarios: current challenges faced by stakeholders, proposed approaches and the possible use of technology to address these concerns.

Key Challenges


Use of Technology