Living Rivers, Dying Rivers – Indian International Centre Lecture SeriesLiving Waters: CauveryStuffed Rivers: Vrishabhavathi-ArkavathiLeo F. Saldanha and Bhargavi S. RaoEnvironment Support Group1572, Sapthagiri, Outer Ring Road, Banashankari 2ndStage, Bangalore 560070Tel: 91-80-26713559/60 Email: email@example.comWeb: www.esgindia.org
The legend of CauveryShe craved to serve humanity, but herhusband Sage Agasthya, did not wanther out of his sight.Turning her into sacred waters, hecarried her everywhere he roamed, inhis Kamandala.Claustrophobic, unwilling to suffersuch bondage, Cauvery prays to beset free.Naughty Ganesha descends as a crowand gamefully knocks over theKamandala, spilling Cauvery.With boundles joy she flows to fulfillher desire to become the breath oflife.
Revering Cauvery,Celebrating lifeKings bequeathed land alongCauvery’s banks to attractthe best talent into theircities.Her waters fertilise fields andforests, and is a lifeline tomillions.Countless temple towns thatgrace her shores exemplifyhow deeply she is reveredeverywhere she flows.Replete with life, memoriesand stories, she is the veryRiver of Life.
Cauverys watersThe many tributaries thataugment Cauvery’s flowinclude Kabini, Kapila,Hemavathy, Shimsha,Lokapavani, Arkavathy,Bhavani and many others.Each of these tributariesdraw waters from anintricate and extensivenetwork of tanks built overthe centuries.The river thus provide waterfor farming, urban andindustrial needs.
Sacred origins of VrishabhavathiAn inscription on the 17thcentury Nandi mentions theBull Temple in Bangalore asthe source of this river.Vrishabhavathi, (Vrishaba,Bull), it is claimed, flowsunderground for a whilebefore emerging as a properrivulet.That flow now, hardlyresembles living waters .
Birth place of Vrishabhavathi in today’sBasavanagudi, Bangalore
Kempabudhi tank, once fed rain that ithad gathered into Vrishabhavathi
Revering Vrishabhavathissplendour?Sri Vyasaraya of Channapattana,philosopher-saint and Rajguru ofthe Vijayanagar Empire, wasenamoured by Vrishabhavathisgrandeur.In reverence and awestruck, heestablished Gali Anjaneya templein 1425 at the convergence ofVrishabhavathi with Suvarnamukhisouth west of Bengaluru.Today, the river is full ofBangalores sewage, whichseasonally spills into the temple.
Vrishabhavathis banks are heavilyurbanised and industrialised
Vrishabhavathi orVishabhavathi?Vrishabhavathi oncebreathed life to theregion. Now it istragically calledVishabhavathi - apoisonous river.Its putrefying, dyingwaters carryBangalores refuse,which then feedArkavathy.
Vrishabhavathi passes through SewageTreatment Plants in South Bangalore
A costly clean-up that has notA costly clean-up that has notdelivereddelivered
Largely untreated waters of Vrishbhavathi entersByramangala tank which irrigates vegetable gardens,orchards, paddies, ragi and sugarcane fields, and alsorecharges ground water
Byramangala Tank – heavily pollutedand a major public health concern
A large bird population feed off these toxicwaters
Vrishabhavathi Ground WaterVrishabhavathi Ground WaterAverages from 30 SamplesAverages from 30 Samples
Vrishabhavathi flows dark and toxic for miles and miles
Vrishabhavathi, joins Arkavathy a major drinkingwater source for Bangalore which then joinsCauvery near Kanakapura, south of Bangalore
Growing migration tocities from along theseriversPollution of rivers is makingfarming increasingly difficultall along these rivers.Low yields and crop failuresand overall farming distressfrom along these rivers iscausing massive migrationinto cities.In parallel, mega urban-industrial projects aredisrupting lives andlivelihoods of thousands.A river system that nurturedgenerations, now needsnurturing.
Arent Cities overreaching theirenvironmental limitsA citys ambition is quiteindependent of its environmentallimits. Can this growth besustained?
Bangalores sprawl at the costBangalores sprawl at the costof water securityof water securityRow 1 Row 2 Row 3 Row 4024681012Column 1Column 2Column 3
Lifting Cauvery toquench BangaloresthirstCauvery water is supplied toBangalore from 100 kms. awayand lifted over 500 metreshead.This demands enormousinvestment of energy andinfrastructure.Cauvery waters meet needs ofhalf the citys populus. Restdepend on ground water, muchof which is polluted.
1 crore live in Bangalore today1 crore live in Bangalore today
Bangalore Water ResourcesBangalore Water Resources
Water Economics forWater Economics forBangaloreBangalore
Blore Water Supply DemandBlore Water Supply DemandConundrumConundrum
Can Kabini, Cauvery’sCan Kabini, Cauvery’stributary, sustain a Supertributary, sustain a SuperThermal Power Station?Thermal Power Station?3.9 TMC of Kabiniwaterallocated byKarnatakafor a slew of thermalpower plants inChamalapuranear Mysore
How much water in Kabini?How much water in Kabini?
Canal Withdrawals from KabiniCanal Withdrawals from Kabini
Kabini Water UtilisationKabini Water Utilisation