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Building Water Resilience: New-age Solutions for Bengaluru’s Water Crisis

To address this challenge, a multifaceted approach to water management is required. At the city level, one crucial intervention is the identification and management of local water zones. Bengaluru is blessed with three watershed catchment areas—Hebbal Valley, Vrishabhavathi Valley and K-C Valley—which, if managed with respect to land use and urban development, could significantly mitigate water runoff and augment downstream flow. Harnessing water runoff presents an opportunity to optimise water resources and minimise wastage.

Moreover, designing an efficient water system is paramount. Wastewater reuse continues to be an effective intervention. Initiatives such as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ campaign to recycle wastewater to meet 20% of the total city water demand provide a promising avenue for sustainable water management. However, there is scope to do much more. Learning from cities like Cape Town – which successfully implemented comprehensive strategies emphasising behavioural change, water conservation and reduction of per capita consumption – equitable distribution of water must be prioritised to achieve long-term water security.

Rainwater harvesting presents another viable solution. By planning a decentralised system of capturing and storing rainwater, water supply can be augmented while also mitigating waterlogging in the city. Implementing rainwater harvesting structures at various scales ensures a reliable and sustainable water source for all types of buildings, agnostic of ownership. Building regulations too, have a large part to play in mandating projects to prioritise water efficiency and conservation measures. 

In addition to existing strategies, technology emerges as a powerful ally in bolstering water resilience efforts. Climate-tech platforms like ResSolv™, developed by Resilience AI, a Tech4Impact startup, showcase the potential of human-assisted Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in revolutionising water management strategies. Via advanced algorithms and machine learning capabilities, ResSolv™ enables accurate classification of buildings based on their suitability for rainwater harvesting. This resulting dataset can be layered on climate risk hotspots and enable urban planners to design rainwater harvesting networks tailored to the specific needs and challenges of each locality.

As Bengaluru’s population approaches 20 million by 2031, with an estimated water availability of only 88 litres per person per day, building water resilience must be at the forefront of climate mitigation agendas, with a focus on adaptation, innovation and equitable distribution. By leveraging technology-driven solutions, citizen participation and reimagining urban development norms, a path towards sustainable water management can be charted. 

About Resilience AI:

Resilience AI is a Tech4Impact start up that focuses on resilience at every step by digitizing climate and sustainability lifecycles for private and public enterprises. It innovates at the intersection of climate, built-environment, data and science to provide a simple to use, integrated and end-to-end climate lifecycle management platform. 

The four services of Resilience AI:

1. Determine: Know your Climate Risk exposure (socio-economic baseline)  

2. Plan: Design controls to reduce risk (people, assets, businesses)  

3. Action: Define, authorize, and report action to stakeholders. 

4. Scale: Climate adaptation as a culture (monitor, multiply)

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