To encourage the use of rainwater harvesting, the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is planning to offer a 5% discount on monthly water bills to properties with rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems.
National Water Mission, BWSSB, and Biome Environmental brainstormed the idea during a virtual session titled “Catch the Rain, Bengaluru”.
If offered, the rebate on the water bill will be similar to the concession for BBMP on property taxes paid before the due date and is expected to encourage more property owners to install RWH systems.
The idea was proposed by National Water Mission director G Asok Kumar, and BWSSB chairman N Jayaram responded by saying the proposal would be discussed at the next board meeting.
Those who implement RWH have received an appreciation certificate from the BWSSB so far.
While BWSSB has suffered losses due to Bengaluru's reliance on the Cauvery River and other water sources, Jayaram believes RWH can help the city.
He gave an example, saying that it costs Rs 95 to supply 1,000 litres of Cauvery water to Bengaluru, but only Rs 7 is collected from citizens.
Further added that if RWH is not implemented with citizen participation, the city's exponential growth will pose a challenge.
Cauvery water is delivered to the city from a distance of 90 km, according to Jayaram. Bengaluru receives approximately 1,440 MLD of water, with an additional 600 MLD drawn from the ground.
To promote RWH, the board has implemented a number of awareness programmes, including taking citizens and students to the Sir M Visvesvaraya Rain Water Harvesting Theme Park.
Bengaluru, according to the BWSSB, spans about 800 square kilometres, but the BWSSB jurisdiction currently covers 570 sq km, serving a population of 80.5 lakh people, while others, particularly those living in apartments, continue to rely on water tankers.
Bengaluru's average daily water consumption is 65 lakh litres.
BWSSB has about 8,000 active borewells in the city, according to Somashekar, but many of them dry up during the summer.
He also mentioned that they have about 27 RWH models for citizens, which can help them not only reuse water but also recharge borewells