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Where all the water has gone? Neither supply-side nor demand-side urban water management in Bangalore City, India
[ C. Nanjundaiah ] - Associate professor,Centre for Economic Studies and Policy, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Dr. V K R V Rao Road, Nagarabhavi PO, Bangalore, India
As globalisation proceeds, the demand for urban water supply service is increasing rapidly. Globalisation has accelerated economic development consequently bringing improvements in living standards in urban India but increasing the interactive effects of demographic growth and influx of migration to cities due to push and pull factors. Provision of reliable and better water supply services essentially contributes to overall economic and welfare improvements. But unreliable supply of drinking water in adequate quantity and quality by urban public water supply system, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, has severely hindered realisation of improved health and welfare of city dwellers. Although Bangalore city has made significant progress in recent years in terms of water supply coverage, meeting consumption targets continues to remain the major challenge. There is a visible gap between demand for water and supply of water due to poor water supply services as per the four main indicators: reliability, financial sustainability, environmental sustainability and affordability. Further, meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to supply adequate and safe potable water to half the proportion of people who live without sustainable access to safe sources of drinking water by 2015 is partly hampered due to prevailing number of problems and constraints in Bangalore city like growing scarcity of water, huge losses and poor maintenance, rising unaccounted for water and non-revenue water. In this backdrop, the study, based on an analysis of secondary data and information, aims to assess economic efficiency and institutional capability in the theoretical and policy perspectives of economics of water supply in Bangalore city.
Bangalore, BWSSB, water supply, economic efficiency, value of water, water pricing, demand for water, cost recovery, institutional reforms