Reduce Water Consumption: Does Bangalore face Waterless Future? – Part 2

In part-2 of “Does Bangalore face Waterless Future” series presented by ApnaComplex, Mr. S.S.Ranganathan elaborates on ‘REDUCE’ part of his ‘mantra’ – REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE. He goes on to recommend installation of water meters for every flat/villa in a gated community based on his studies/experience. Read “Does Bagalore face Waterless Future? Part – 1”.


This refers to current water consumption which needs to be monitored carefully so that it can be reduced. Water consumption guidelines are laid down by the CPHEEO (Central Public Health Engineering & Environmental Organisation) which is a central govt.organisation is as given below:

How much water does a person need per day?
Sr.No Usage Purpose Litres/person
1. Drinking 3
2. Cooking 4
3. Bathing 20
4. Toilet flushing 40
5. Washing clothes 25
6. Washing utensils 20
7. Gardening 23
Total 135

This is the suggested quota applicable to urban areas, while the quota applicable to the 4 metros is 150 litres. Litres used per person per day is known as “ litres per capita daily”(lpcd). I can say that it is possible to live with a quota of even 90 lpcd ( I have tried it out myself).

First measure your consumption

I have worked with a few RWAs who wanted to monitor water consumption and were willing to spend money to get some realistic data. The results showed that the actual consumption was anywhere between 200 to 450 lpcd!! Another interesting figure that became clear when doing these studies was that approximately 20 to 30% of the homes accounted for almost 80% of the consumption. Currently, RWAs charge each flat an amount for water useage which is simply total water useage & cost divided by number of apartments. In this situation, it is the careful, frugal users of water who subsidise the heavy users of water. This has lead to unpleasant confrontations amongst residents and created the awareness that water consumption to each and every apartment/villa must be monitored by installing a water meter for each flat and apartment.

Then improve

By installing Water Meters, association can mandate charges to be collected on actual useage using a slabwise tariff which makes it very expensive for users of large volumes (in fact such charges should be punitive and thereby penalise profligacy in water use). Single homes like the one I live in who get Cauvery water from BWSSB which gives a water connection through a water meter. Users have to pay for every 1000 litres of water consumed slabwise. Depending on the slab the rate per 1000 litres doubles and triples as the slab goes up. It is therefore highly essential that apartments spend the money that will be needed to meter the water supplied to each apartment. Better still, the state government should enact laws which make it compulsory for builders to design and install plumbing to supply water to every apartment with a single water meter.

I have on occasion given presentations on the water situation to certain RWAs who wanted to create awareness on water amongst their residents. After such presentations there is usually a question from some economically well off persons saying that they are prepared to any price to get water, but my reply has always been that such individuals are in a minority and that when the water crunch hits the city, water will not be available for love or money, so, once again I urge residents of this city to REDUCE their usage of water.

To be continued in Part-3.

About the author
S S RanganathanMr. S.S. Ranganathan, author of this series of guest posts, is a retired senior executive of Ion Exchange and currently a freelance Water Management Consultant based in Bangalore. His blog at “India Water Portal” explains the work he does in detail. He can be reached at +91-93437-34229.

This article aims at providing information for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and blog readers. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely of Mr. S. S. Ranganathan and NOT of ApnaComplex or its representatives. We suggest to post your queries or comments below and Mr. Rangathan can answer them at his convenience.
  1. CE Joy

    We are depending on Kaveri Water and Bore wells now, Rain Water harvesting should be strictly implemented ], no doubt. You may be aware that Mumbai’s resource for Drinking water is purely from Lakes – catchment areas, of course this is is also one way of RWH. In Karnataka, we have so many Lakes with ample water. What is your view on using this resource to overcome the present and future crisis? Can you throw some lights on the possible projects to make use of our Lake water resources?

    With best regards

  2. S.S.Ranganathan

    Yes, there are lakes with water in them,but, unfortunately, this city uses these lakes to receive the sewage from apartment complexes which do not have or do not use Sewage treatment Plants(STP).
    Unless these lakes are cleaned up and the natural drains(also called ‘Raja Kaluves’) are cleaned so that the storm water can flow into these lakes,it will not be possible to use them.

  3. Hitesh Sharma


    We live in an apartment which has RWH implemented by the builder. We doubt that the RWH is not implemented in an optimal manner as all 3 bore wells have dried up and we are depending only on tanker water.

    1. Is there any certification that builder should get from some govt agency confirming that RWH is done as per guidelines?
    2. Whom can we contact to get the RWH inspected and get suggestions for optimization.

    Thanks for all the help you have been doing to Bangalore junta.

    With best regards

  4. Dear Hitesh,
    I have yet to see a single property where the builder has built a rain water harvesting the way it should be.It is now mandatory for buildings with RWH systems installed to get it certified by the BWSSB.However,it is not difficult to get it certified by them,and builders know how to do this.
    By now you must have formed a Residents Welfare Association.If you have,your RWA can approach the BWSSB to inspect and certify the system as installed.
    Try this out and see.If you still need help after this,you can contact me.
    Water Management Consultant

  5. Kavya

    Dear Sir,

    I heard about you from one of my friend.
    I wanted to invest in one of the flat built by builders like prestige, Adarsh. Now, You know how they build. they have more than 100 flats minimum in the premises.
    Do you think water supply would be a huge problem in these block of flats?
    Even the builders don’t assure and they say there will be a problem and that they’ll solve by buying tankers.
    Please advice.

    Kind regards,

  6. Dear Kavya,
    Most of the properties built by these ‘big name’ builders are not sustainable.There should be a rain water harvesting system in the apartment complex certified by the BWSSB and, there should also be a sewage treatment plant (STP) for an apartment complex to be sustainable.
    There will be a serious problem when the number of flats is large.Here after all bore wells will go dry when summer approaches unless all buildings and apartment complexes install Rain Water Harvesting (RWH)
    systems which are certified by BWSSB.When wills start going dry, even the wells of the tanker water suppliers will go dry at some time.If you want to know about a couple of builders who build sustainable properties,you can call me and I will give you their names.

  7. Vrijlal

    Really appreciate your efforts.

    Could you please recommend any agencies who will install it in an established apartment and approximate cost break up (3/4 inch water meter, valves, bends, pipe, etc.) for a 10 floor apartment?

    We have already installed RWH successfully and yield good results but only in rainy season.