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Residents of tech hub city suffer as resources grow scarce and prices spike: 'We now need to book water tankers two days in advance'

"My plants are dying and I'm taking alternate-day showers."

"My plants are dying and I'm taking alternate-day showers."

Photo Credit: iStock

India's Silicon Valley is suffering from a water shortage, forcing thousands of residents to go without necessities.

What's happening?

Residents of the city of Bengaluru are facing an unprecedented water shortage months before the typical onset of peak summer issues.

Weak southwest monsoon rains have reduced reservoir and groundwater supplies, forcing residents to ration water use and pay almost double the normal price for water tankers to meet daily needs (2,850 rupees for a 12,000-litre tank versus less than 1,500 rupees last month, according to the Deccan Herald).

"We now need to book water tankers two days in advance," a resident of north Bengaluru told Reuters. "My plants are dying and I'm taking alternate-day showers."

Unfortunately, despite paying premium rates far in advance, some report that tanker vendors fail to show up because of a lack of groundwater. The increasing concrete coverage across the city has prevented groundwater recharge during already scarce rains.

Why are water shortages concerning?

Water is essential not just for drinking, but also for health, sanitation, agriculture, business, and everyday quality of life.

Shortages also hit people financially through higher water costs and impaired business activity. Environmentally, overdrawing groundwater can sink land, damage buildings and infrastructure, and hurt farms that rely on water for healthy livestock and thriving crops.

Bengaluru and its nearby rural areas support over 10 million people. Continued shortages could spur mass migration from the tech hub as businesses leave and residents seek water security elsewhere. This raises the risk of tensions between communities over limited water supplies, especially between farmers and city dwellers. On a national level, tech industry impacts could cripple India's economy.

What's being done about water shortages?

Efforts are underway to secure additional basin water from the Cauvery River to ease needs — but that's only a short-term solution.

Environmental experts have been urging the city to "incorporate sustainable water management practices, rainwater harvesting, exploring alternative water sources, and stricter regulations," according to science writer Ashmita Gupta. The city could start by preserving green space, which would allow more water to filter underground. Community rainwater harvesting tanks would also help recharge groundwater.

Don't live in India? You can still help. Support wetland restoration programs financially or by spreading the word on social media and between friends. When each drop counts, small daily actions such as conserving water multiply into waves of relief.

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