Quality of water in Pune
Pune has been traditionally known to have a good supply of water. Blessed with a number of rivers and dams, Pune has access to good water. People used to say “Punyacha hawa pani changala aahe” or “Pune ka hawa paani accha hai” or “The air and water in Pune is good”.
Some important dams around Pune are Temghar – on the Mutha. Varasgaon – again on the Mutha, on which Lavasa city is developed. Khadakvasla dam, also on the Mutha, and Khadakwasla lake and the vicinity is a popular and accessible chill out spot for Punekars. Pawana dam on the Pawana river which makes PCMC possible. Mulshi dam and Panshet dam.
Increasing Population of Pune
Quoting from Wikipedia:Pune is growing in leaps and bounds. As is obvious to anybody who’s been here a while.
As per the 2011 Census of India estimate, the population of the Pune urban agglomeration is 6,226,959. The population of Pune on 19 May 2014 is approximately 8,242,142. (Extrapolated from a population of 3,337,481 on 31 July 2009 and a population of 6,115,431 on 30 September 2012.) According to recent estimates, Growth of Population in Pune is 12% every year. This includes the towns of Khadki, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Dehu. Growth in the software and education sectors has led to an influx of skilled labour from across India. The population of the urban agglomeration was estimated to be around 4,485,000 in 2005. The migrating population rose from 43,900 in 2001 to 88,200 in 2005. According to the Pune Municipal Corporation, 40% of the population lived in slums in 2001. The sharp increase in censorial decade of 1991–2001 can be attributed to the absorption of 38 fringe villages into the city.
Current Water Situation in Pune
With the development pressures all around, the hardships of water shortage are being felt by citizens. Especially is some areas more than others, and as the summer months approach and the time interval since the last monsoon keeps on increasing.
With almost total dependence on dams for its water supply, of course Puneites pray for a good monsoon, and especially in the catchment areas.
But when the shortage looms, citizens look to paid water tankers and bore-wells for succour. Both of which are not feasible long term options because of cost, and depletion in ground water levels respectively.
Rainfall in Pune
There is an average 720 mm of rainfall in Pune in about 50 days in a year. Most of this is wasted as the city is highly paved and has few open spaces, gardens and streams which are crucial to allowing the ground water to recharge.
The situation is looking up
As water becomes a challenge, indeed globally for humanity, people are coming up with ever more innovative solutions. Minimise usage and cutting losses is on everybody’s radar, but conservation of water, especially in the form of Rain water harvesting, is on the rise in Pune.
There are regular news items about housing societies, who till recently were regularly afflicted with water woes, and have now invested in water harvesting and reaping the benefits.
A search on google will show up the success stories and the pics of beaming residents in tow reported in several media. There are also a number of consultants and implementers now in this space. Indeed it seems to be a new industry.
Awareness is also being brought about by various media. It is expected that water conservation awareness will be incorporated in the school syllabus to inculcate these values in impressionable minds.
Rooftop rainwater harvesting seems the most popular method, understandably in densely populated urban areas, which directs the runoff, which would have otherwise gone waste, to depleted borewell areas or specially constructed tanks.
Legislation wise, the administration for its part has made it compulsory I believe, for new constructions to have provided to harvest rainwater. Older constructions who opt for it will be given a concession in property tax.
While all these are efforts in the right direction, on the bleaker side – in a large number of new constructions the builders still ignore the diktat and don’t go for Rain water harvesting. Residents afflicted with water shortages prefer to keep being afflicted, in tune with the resident ennui, and turn a Nelson’s eye to the rain water harvesting solution.
But change is definitely on the anvil, and before a lot of water flows below the bridge, maybe we will be in a position to just appreciate the beauty of that sight.