Vijender Reddy Muthyala advocating for sustainable hydration amidst the Bengaluru water crisis.
  • The author of this article is Mr. Vijender Reddy Muthyala, Co-founder & CEO, DrinkPrime

Water is essential for sustaining life, supporting community development, and fueling economic growth. Yet, India’s water crisis, as outlined in the 2018 Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report from the NITI Aayog, predicted a troubling scenario in the making. Back then, the projections indicated that by 2020, 21 major Indian cities, such as Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai, could exhaust their groundwater resources, impacting over 100 million individuals with severe water scarcity.

While it wasn’t exactly a long time coming, Bengaluru residents have started feeling the heat firsthand. The ‘Garden City’ is already grappling with a water crisis even before the onset of summer, and clean, drinkable water is becoming increasingly scarce, posing a significant risk of dehydration. In this context, hydration assumes newfound importance. Access to safe drinking water is no longer just a matter of convenience, but a pressing necessity. As water scarcity intensifies, the likelihood of dehydration grows, emphasizing the critical role hydration plays in sustaining life and ensuring the well-being of communities.

Why is Bengaluru facing a water crisis?

In Bengaluru, the scarcity of safe drinking water is right now, a major issue that affects countless individuals. The city heavily relies on groundwater from borewells and Cauvery water to meet the water needs of its residents, but the depletion of both these resources has led to a major water crisis in the city.

The water shortage has now extended its grip on educational institutions, with schools finding it increasingly challenging to provide water for their students and staff during class hours. Many borewells on school premises have run dry, adding to the struggle.

And with summer in full swing, Bengaluru braces not only for scorching temperatures, but also for a looming water crisis. Depletion of underground water reserves and drought in the Cauvery basin exacerbate the situation, putting the city at risk.

It is not just schools that are affected by this development. The crisis extends its reach to various sectors, including large apartments, gated communities, government and private institutions, fire brigades, hotels and restaurants, all grappling with severe shortages. Experts attribute this dire state of affairs to factors such as dwindling groundwater resources and mismanagement of water management systems, along with inadquate access to water resources. This water scarcity and contamination is a big issue not only in Bengaluru but the country, with pollutants like bacteria, phosphates and heavy metals found in it. These come from human activities, such as sewage disposal. Also, natural occurrences add arsenic, fluoride, nitrate and iron to groundwater contamination, which affects 70% of India’s water supply. This causes many waterborne diseases that affect those lacking safe drinking water and good sanitation. 

There is no doubt that there is an urgent need for fair distribution and sustainable management of water resources to ensure the health and well-being of all people.

So, how can I hydrate responsibly this summer?

Amidst the rising challenge of water scarcity and soaring temperatures – as we approach the hot summer months – it becomes important to adhere to proper hydration habits and practices for personal health and well-being. Here are several approaches to maintaining hydration, while also considering water conservation:

Maximise the utility of your RO water purifier by repurposing the wastewater for various household tasks, such as watering plants, washing dishes, cleaning floors and laundering clothes. By doing so, you not only conserve water, but also make efficient use of a valuable resource. This practice also helps reduce overall water consumption, contributing to environmental conservation efforts.

Prioritize clean water consumption for hydration, while acknowledging the importance of water conservation. Invest in advanced water purification systems, preferably AI or IoT-enabled, to ensure high-quality water detection. Additionally, opt for reusable water bottles to promote access to safe drinking water and minimize environmental waste.

Opt for water-efficient foods like fruits and vegetables high in water content, such as cucumbers, watermelons and oranges, to aid in hydration. These foods require less water for cultivation compared to water-intensive crops.

Adopt conscious water consumption habits in daily tasks like bathing and cooking. Employ water-saving methods such as shorter showers, prompt leak repairs and maximizing dishwasher and washing machine loads.

Look into alternative sources beyond conventional water sources. Utilize collected rainwater for non-drinking purposes.

Listen to your body’s signals and adapt your water intake accordingly. Opt for beverages containing electrolytes or water supplemented with minerals to enhance hydration and replenish lost nutrients during perspiration.

Engage in water conservation initiatives by advocating for and participating in community and governmental projects. Support policies and practices geared towards preserving water sources, which are essential for sustaining long-term hydration practices and overall environmental sustainability.

In the face of water crises like that in Bengaluru, prioritizing water conservation and providing better access to clean water are essential for mitigating dehydration risks. As we approach World Water Day, let’s recognize the urgency of addressing these challenges to safeguard community health, resilience and hydration.