Bangalore International Centre had arranged a talk on “Understanding Bangalore as a coupled Social-hydrological system” by Dr. Vishal Mehta, Sr. Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute, US Centre on Monday, 9th December, 2013 at 6.30 PM. Mr. V Balasubramanian, former Addl. Chief Secretary, GOK chaired and moderated the discussion.
Dr. Mehta in his power point presentation explained about the work they are doing in partnership with IISC and IIMB, the interdisciplinary team of ecological economists, social scientists and hydrologists using the framework of urban metabolism - treating cities as living entities that require materials and energy for maintenance and growth - in first understanding the flows of water in the city. The presentation covered the work to
date documenting how Bangalore has grown, status of water supply, critical
knowledge gaps, and how coupled social-ecological models can be used to
understand the dynamic connections between our use of water and the health
of the city's ecological foundations. He highlighted the mismatch between areas of high density of population where the supply of water is virtually negligible, as against the abundance of supply of water in areas of much lesser density. He also drew attention to the inadequate attention of the city planners to appreciate the nexus between electricity and water and the resultant ad hoc approaches.
Mr. Balasubramanian in his pithy remarks supplemented the above with his own data about how the situation has become from bad to worse. In his opinion, the city is foredoomed to face disaster unless immediate course corrections are made to halt thoughtless building construction activities and to make concerted and concrete efforts to rejuvenate the vanishing lakes of Bangalore.
The interactive session after the presentation was very much of an eye opener to the Bangaloreans.