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Day Zero in Bengaluru: Addressing Water Crisis



  Mar 11, 2024

Day zero and Bengaluru



Day zero refers to a hypothetical day in a city or region when the public water supply runs out, making it nearly impossible to access clean, treated water through taps. It's a critical juncture that highlights the severity of a water crisis.

Cape Town, South Africa, famously faced the threat of Day Zero in 2018 due to years of drought and unsustainable water consumption. The city implemented drastic water restrictions and public awareness campaigns to avert this scenario.

The term "Day Zero" is now used as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of water mismanagement and serves as a wake-up call for cities facing water scarcity.


Bengaluru is in the throes of its most severe water crisis in history. The city is facing a situation similar to Cape Town's "Day Zero" scare in 2018, where the metropolis almost ran out of usable water. This precarious situation stems from a confluence of factors.

One major reason is Bengaluru's dependence on distant water sources, leaving it vulnerable to fluctuations in rainfall and upstream water usage. Uncontrolled urban sprawl has exacerbated the problem. The city's once plentiful lakes and wetlands, which served to replenish groundwater and regulate water flow, have been destroyed by development. This has significantly crippled Bengaluru's natural capacity to store and manage water.

The authorities are scrambling to find solutions. They've initiated water conservation campaigns, cracked down on water polluters, and even ordered the removal of encroachments on water bodies. Resident welfare associations are also taking matters into their own hands. They've implemented water rationing and banned non-essential water use like car washing. Some communities have even gone as far as deploying security personnel to monitor water consumption and ensure compliance.

These measures are crucial to address the immediate crisis. However, long-term solutions are also needed. The city must find ways to harvest rainwater, replenish groundwater sources, and develop sustainable water management practices. Otherwise, Bengaluru's water woes may become a permanent feature.


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