Bangalore: Groundwater in the city is high on flouride [sic] content. If that was not bad enough news on World Water Day, samples from the Madiwala lake showed traces of pathogens.
Citizens observed the day across the city on Sunday, but with a growing sense of the impending crisis. While there were over 85 events held in 27 countries focusing on the theme of `transboundary sharing opportunities of water’, Bangalore shared samples from its water bodies to see how contaminated they are.
India Water Portal organized a contamination testing laboratory to test the nitrate and fluoride levels of samples brought by citizens. While Madiwala lake water was found to have biological contamination from sewage, some groundwater samples were found to have high fluoride content.
Madiwala lake was found not only contaminated with nitrates and fluorides, but also other pathogens. Residents brought samples of groundwater used for drinking purpose, which were found to have around 2 parts per million (ppm) of fluorides.
“Madiwala lake is like a microcosm of what is happening to water worldwide. High fluoride content is a matter of concern. Marginalized communities that rely on contaminated groundwater in the city are at a threat from diseases like fluorosis. Our gathering at the lake was to ensure people maintain a educated connection with the most precious natural resource,” said Deepak Menon, one of the organizers.
The members proposed a cycle track around the lake to the local resident welfare associations and the forest department. “It will be the perfect connect between water bodies and the citizens. Children can also experience it,” added Deepak.
Kannada folk artistes sang songs dedicated to rivers and lakes while the activists walked around the lake. Senior citizens shared their experience of how the water used to be clean once. Children had a fun time swimming.
Rotary Club of Bangalore organized a walkathon around Ulsoor lake involving senior citizens, RWAs and children.