Is digging another borewell in my layout a good idea ? How deep should I dig? How quickly will my borewell dry up? Can I reuse my waste water ? Aren’t we all familiar with questions like these? Many of us have also gone through the agony of seeing our borewells go dry and wondered what to do next. As much as these are our individual or community problems, they are also a manifestation of the problems of our city as a whole.
As Bengaluru has grown, and “Cauvery water” has become insufficient to meet all our needs, we have relied more and more on groundwater without making the effort to understand it or learn how to take care of it. We have found ourselves in a vicious cycle where we extract large quantities of groundwater, discharge our wastewaters into the environment and allow our lakes to become polluted. And now we’re starting to see our borewells go dry. While our institutions of governance grapple with and try to address the larger challenges facing our rapidly growing city, we still need to respond to the everyday problems of ensuring we have water and find ways to do so intelligently. Through solving our everyday water problems – at our house, our layout or apartment – we have the opportunity to solve not just our individual problems, but to help the city as a whole. And in Bengaluru, many conscientious individuals and communities have already demonstrated how to this can be done.
This website brings together the knowledge, experience, and practice of many such individuals, communities, practitioners, citizen activists and researchers. It seeks to inform, guide and provide any and all resources aimed at making us water literate, community-oriented, problem solvers, who can act responsibly to protect our common urban water resources. It seeks to help make us a part of the solution rather than being a part of the problem.
This website is a culmination of a three year experiment that we have called “Participatory Aquifer Mapping” , abbreviated – rather unimaginatively by us bunch – as PAQM (help us give it a more evocative name!). The three years of rigorous work that enabled PAQM was generously supported by Wipro Ltd. in their quest to be more responsible corporate citizens. Wipro recognizes the need to look beyond water use efficiency measures within its campus, and towards addressing the challenges of collective stewardship of our urban common water resources, especially our groundwater aquifers and local lakes.
It was this shared interest that brought Wipro, Biome Environmental Trust , ACWADAM and Mapunity in partnership, and idea to leverage their relative strengths – of engagement with citizens, understanding of hydrogeology and use of digital tools for citizen participation – to try and understand how we could collectively manage our water resources. During these past three years we have engaged with many communities, encouraged communities to share their stories and data, measured some important data parameters ourselves, and conducted many events to constantly share our evolving learnings with all of you.
This website formally presents the most important and actionable of our learnings and serves as a community resource that all of us can use and share. However this three year effort is only the beginning and we will continue working with all of you as partners.
We hope you will help us make this a more useful destination for information on our urban water. We would be excited and grateful to receive your contributions, your stories, your research and your experiences.
Please contribute and share your feedback. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read our final report: Participatory Aquifer Mapping – Final Report