Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is scheduled to commission a big-ticket project on September 18 at Chikkaballapur, 50 km from Bengaluru, which will use the water flowing out of the city to strengthen the water table in the neighbouring district.
The `943-crore project involves taking the treated water from the Hebbal and Nagawara tanks of Bengaluru to 44 minor irrigation tanks of Chikkaballapur -a parched district where farming is dependent on seasonal rainfall.
“The uniqueness of this project is since Independence nowhere in the country has treated waste water been used to revive irrigation tanks.Only some developed countries have done it. We are trying it out here,“ said Chikkaballapur MLA K Sudhakar (Congress). The district, he said, will get about one tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water and he expects the tanks to get water by December next year.
The project will take the treated water to Kandavara Kere -the up stream tank in treated water to Kandavara Kere -the up stream tank in Chikkaballapur -through a combination of elevated pipes and canals from the city.Spread over 330 acres, the tank, once the largest lake in Chikkaballapur, is likely to return to its glory days, he said. Once the Kandavara tank is filled, the MLA said, water flows into rest of the minor irrigation tanks.
Although low on water, Chikka ballapur and Kolar districts produce 11 lakh litres of milk a day and are home to the second largest milk union in Karnataka. The districts also supplies milk to Bengaluru and other places.
Four-fifths of the people in the district, Dr Sudhakar said, live in rural area. A severe shortage of rainfall has left 1,981 tanks, the lifeline of the district, without much water in the past 10 years.
Once Kandavara Kere gets filled, it will lead to the revival of 25 tanks in Chikkaballapur taluk and 22 others across neighbouring taluks. “Water will flow into this lake from Bagalur via Jala Hobli. Farmers will not receive water directly but through recharging of borewells across the ta luk,“ Dr Sudhakar said.
According to official figures, the exploitation of groundwater has weakened the water table in Chikkaballapur district and the water table has sunk to about 366 metres below the ground at several places.
In fact, parts of Kanakapura taluk in the neighbouring Ramanagara district use the waste water flowing through the Vrishabhavathi stream along Mysuru Road.
This water joins Arkavathy river in Kanakapura after a long journey of about 50 km in which most of the pollutants are shed. The Arkavathy water is impounded at Harobele dam near Mekedaatu and used for irrigation there.