Saturday, October 6, 2012

Focus on Cauvery or on water? Limitedness in our thought

Today there is a state wide bandh in Karnataka against the Cauvery River Authority's direction to the State Govt to release 9000 Cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.
Click here for a  Link to an article from The Hindu

There is a team from the Centre visiting the Cauvery basin to assess the water and crop situation to give their information for a review.

As a citizen of Bangalore, I may fear the releasing water to Tamil Nadu in a year of low monsoon, because the water to my house might get affected. 
But the reality is that, while I hear protesters on the road swearing in the name of River Cauvery, I wonder whether we really give respect to water itself.

Most urban dwellers today have water supply from the municipality and regular in Bangalore. Many apartment complexes maintain swimming pools even. The basic water consumption per person is much higher than a rural household minus the irrigation. The original water source of Bangalore , its lakes have been encroached, dried, constructed upon, disposed sewage water into and so on. Having not taken care of its water resources within Bangalore, we imported water from  Cauvery at TK halli. Bangalore is to get about 1400 million liters a day from more than 120 km away using more than 190 km length of pipes. This consumes a whole lot of electricity too.

It is only recently that Bangalore has asked its citizens to do Rain water harvesting in their houses and offices. 
Bangalore expects water to be given to it all the way from Cauvery because it is the capital and it is the urban centre capable of making money through IT and other industries. So what if there is a shortfall of rain and less water for agriculture. With the money that it generates, we can always import food from a different poorer country!

Is this not water arrogance? 

another friend of this kind of arrogance is selfishness. See this getting revealed below ..

So the monsoon is less this season and the lower riparian state Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have to share  the limited water. Now Bangalore has to protect its water against not only the poorer rural Karnataka but also the powerful and equal contender of Tamil Nadu. So we shall fight for water. Incidentally it is also good business for a lot of people like the Kannada film industry, which uses this opportunity to ban all Tamil movies in Karnataka, for the liquor industry which sells liquor to vested interests to fuel the protesters, the pro kannada organisations who find a way of gaining publicity. None of them have any relation with water or agriculture but all benefit by protesting against Tamil and Tamil Nadu.

The process is well repeated and added to across the border in Tamil Nadu, for they are equally capable in it.

Is this not selfish ?

These attitudes and these fights are not only in Cauvery, not only in issues of water and not only in India. The basis of the problem is that each of us thinks that each of us are individuals distinct from others, desirous of a better life individually without looking at bettering all of us. This is the basic limitedness of our thought.

Who has heard the story of the water that goes as waste water, as untreated water from the city, the water that is used, thrown and splurged . Is this not the water that is waited for by the thirsty crops of both the states? 

We are so limited in our perception of ourselves as Bangaloreans, as Kannadigas, as Tamils, we fail to be citizens of the universe. 

As citizens of the universe can we not receive the rain as a blessing of the vulnerable eco system. Can we not share it like we share prasad or communion bread? We may have little but we can do so much with it if "we" operate rather than "I" and "you" operate. 

The amount of money we waste in protests and cause losses, if we were to use in things like harvesting, improving quality of pipes for transportation of water without evaporation losses, for dredging of lakes and reservoirs, for watershed development, we would all have more. Maybe none will have enough to splurge, but we all would have enough for a thriving life!

This would be the thought with the basis as "us" in contrast to "me". 

"We" receive rain, "we" have fossil fuels, "we" have diseases, "we" have the cures, "we" have poverty, "we" have resources, "we" are capable of working hard, "we" have the intelligence for making a planet better.

The consciousness shifts from me to we. 


  1. The logic is very simple, we should not curtail or convert the natural flow of river, any dam to be constructed to save water for the purpose of irrigation / drinking or hydroelectricity or so on, should be constructed just in the place where the river meets the sea...of dams are constructed like this, then there will not be issues..

    1. Technology is very advanced these days. We can understand the metrics for the river in so many ways - how much inflow is there, what is the catchment area, rainfall expected in catchment area before a dam, after a dam, loss by evaporation, much more. Then there is the technology to be able to take water not only from river but from rainfall, from the sea and so, then there is the technology to make the best use of whatever water is available like drip irrigation, better pipes and taps, etc. But seemingly we lack the consciousness which might have given us the wisdom of how and how much to use.