Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report


Sharachchandra Lele
Veena Srinivasan
Priyanka Jamwal
Bejoy K. Thomas
Meghana Eswar
T. Md. Zuhail
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 2013
Pages: 40

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. (pp. [i]-2)
  2. (pp. 3-4)
  3. (pp. 5-9)

    The Arkavathy sub-basin, which is part of the Cauvery basin, is a highly stressed, rapidly urbanising watershed on the outskirts of the city of Bengaluru. The purpose of this situation analysis document is to summarise the current state of knowledge on water management in the Arkavathy sub-basin and identify critical knowledge gaps to inform future researchers in the basin.

    It is hoped that such an analysis will help those studying or working on water issues in the basin itself, and also provide useful insights for other such urbanising basins.

    The Arkavathy sub-basin is located in the state of Karnataka in...

  4. (pp. 10-16)

    Whether there is sufficient water to meet the current needs of users in the Arkavathy sub-basin and which users face water scarcity, where and when, are usually the first questions raised in water-related discussions. In order to answer these questions, we need to address some conceptual challenges.

    First, defining scarcity (or sufficiency) is difficult. Clear quantitative norms exist for domestic users – 55 litres per capita per day (LPCD) in rural areas and 70–100 LPCD for small towns (GoK 2002). But no such norms exist for agricultural or industrial/commercial users or for ecological and aesthetic functions. To avoid getting...

  5. (pp. 17-19)

    The second concern is about the fairness of water allocation. Unfortunately, since there are no clear criteria for ‘sufficiency’ of non-domestic uses; there are also no objective criteria for determining whether water has been fairly allocated across users/uses.⁶ We therefore leave the question of ‘how fair current outcomes across users are’ unaddressed, and focus on estimating how water is currently allocated, and outlining our understanding of the process through which this allocation appears to be happening. We discuss this across different user groups: domestic versus industrial versus agricultural, upstream versus downstream, and within a particular user category.

    There is significant...

  6. (pp. 20-23)

    Water is a renewable resource, but current use does affect future availability, particularly in the case of groundwater. Moreover, variations in year-to-year availability (of rainfall and surface water) are high and therefore our capacity to buffer against drought years also needs to be considered. Thus, both sustainability of average use under average conditions, and resilience against major droughts are of concern.⁸

    In the Arkavathy sub-basin, there is evidence that both physical and socially acceptable limits to water extraction are being exceeded in several ways, thereby affecting future sustainability and resilience.

    1) Current surface water sources are drying up.

    2) Groundwater...

  7. (pp. 24-30)

    People living in the Arkavathy sub-basin depend on groundwater and surface water for their domestic, agricultural, commercial and industrial water needs. Water for different uses tends to be met from different types of sources (i.e., surface versus groundwater) in different locations. Taking this into account, in this section, we analyse concerns of domestic users, irrigation users and the environment (biota in water bodies) separately.

    The Central Pollution Control Board of the Government of India (CPCB) has laid down the minimum water quality criteria for each type of use (Figure 6). Both, the types of contaminants that are of concern, and...

  8. (pp. 31-31)

    We have attempted to review and summarise the state-of-the-art facilities regarding water resource management in the Arkavathy sub-basin. The water management ‘problem’ was defined using a four-dimensional framework of water scarcity, fairness, sustainability and water quality. We find that, on all dimensions, there are significant issues. While scarcity is not immediately apparent to many domestic users, the problem has already affected rural pockets, and commercial and industrial users. Similarly, there are a few major water quality hotspots in the sub-basin, water use is clearly not sustainable, and distribution among users is also not always fair. A number of studies examining...

  9. (pp. 32-32)
  10. (pp. 33-36)
  11. (pp. 37-38)