While the world is jumping on the viral challenge bandwagon, with #TriangleChallenge and #KikiChallenge ruling social media platforms, citizens of Bengaluru are using the interwebs to take on the city’s water crisis. Started by Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF), the #HalfBucketChallenge encourages citizens of Bengaluru to take a bath with half-a-bucket of water.
As per a statement issued by BAF:
“A water crisis is looming in Bengaluru. We all need to do our bit to conserve water. If all of us can try to take bath in half a bucket of water and succeed, we will help conserve millions of litres of water.”
The challenge was taken up in order to ensure that water is conserved in the newly-populated areas of the city that do not yet receive pipe-water supply, and depend on tankers to meet their demands. Srikanth Narasimhan, General Secretary of BAF, told TNM, “I have been taking bath with half a bucket of water for quite some time and it is pretty easy. It just takes a little bit of a mindset change and focus on conservation. A lot of people including non-apartment residents have also taken the challenge up.”
Ajay Mehrotra, joint secretary of BAF, told TOI,“We are looking to push this as a viral social media campaign, where people can post a simple message on Facebook and Twitter indicating they have been able to do it successfully and in turn tag at least three friends, challenging them to follow suit.”
BAF has a membership of two lakh residents who reside in 70,000 flats in 400 apartment complexes across the city. The residents’ group is adopting other steps as well, like monitoring water usage by installing water meters for each apartment and household.
A similar initiative is being undertaken by Bengaluru restaurants like Koshy’s which are serving water half-filled glass of water to reduce water wastage. Food chains like Mavalli Tiffin Rooms are conserving water in the kitchen by using wastewater from RO purifiers to wash floors or clean utensils.
Several areas in Bengaluru are facing an acute water crisis, reportedly giving rise to tanker mafias who charge exorbitant amounts to deliver water at the doorstep. According to one report, the price of supplying a 6,000-litre tanker of water has shot up from Rs 800 to Rs 1400. Last year, the city came under severe water crunch as the Cauvery reservoirs, which supply piped water to half the city, saw a shortage of around 35%.