Water for the Ages in India: Impressions of H20 in Bangalore

Thursday was my first day in Bengaluru (aka Bangalore). Before arriving, it was impossible for me to comprehend the size of the city. Bangalore is huge with a population of around 6.5 million people. This is the largest city that I have ever visited, and there are people, buildings, and vehicles everywhere. Quickly I am learning to adapt to life (and water) here.

While walking around town, I saw water tankers with pipes going into businesses and buildings. A man from a local restaurant explained to me that the city only provides water on alternate days. On days when the city does not provide water, residents and business owners often buy their own water from private companies.

Another thing I noticed was free drinking water available at stands, in pots, and in other vessels around town. It seems a part of the culture to ensure that all people have, at least, some water to drink. I hope to take photos of these drinking-water sources for the Water for the Ages flickr site.

And, this weekend, I was able to attend a part of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. This celebration honors the Hindu deity of Ganesha and lasts for about ten days. Near the tenth day, idols of Lord Ganesh are dunked in water sources. Unfortunately, I missed the dunking, but I did attend some of the evening festivities.

Ganesh in Lake
Photo courtesy mattlogelin on flickr.

So, as you can tell, the importance of water abounds in many contexts in India. I am looking forward to learning (and sharing with you) more about water in India over the next four months.

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Comments

  1. blackriverpete says:

    This is really exciting. There is nothing like the concrete, first-hand observation succinctly and clearly expressed.

    Does a reasonable person dare to drink the “free water” available on the street?

  2. Johara Natasha Henriquez says:

    keep feeding our curiosity!! it is great!

  3. Jessica Varin says:

    Such an interesting mix of privatization and public access.

  4. What an interesting blend of privatization and public access. It sounds kind of like quasi-public school systems.

  5. Janine Salwasser says:

    Hi Abi, I have fond memories of my trip to Delhi, Rajhastan, Kerala, and other locales in 2001. It was the first time that I really had to be conscious of the quality of water–keeping my mouth closed while showering, using bottled water to brush my teeth, etc. I am not sure that I would trust the quality of the “free water” on the street. Glad you are helping to document and remedy the water situation there. Namaste.

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