A Drop For Everyone

How Inadequate Management Causes Water Scarcity in Aruvi Estate: The Story of Water

One morning Krishna woke up and turned on his tap. But nothing came out. He was frustrated! Why was this happening?

Krishna knew the water travelled through tap lines, that started from the natural springs, and were stored in tanks...

And controlled by estate management staff. But what Krishna didn’t know was that one of his neighbours had bribed the water distributor to prioritise their water supply...

Reducing Krishna’s supply for days.

So he decided to take matters into his own hands. He linked a tube from his house to the main spring, stretching 1 kilometre up a steep hill.

And finally, Krishna and his family had water again!

…until one day they didn’t.

Krishna climbed up the muddy hill to investigate.

Sometimes it was the extreme rain or animals that had cut o! his supply.

And sometimes it was his neighbours disconnecting his tubes to steal his water. Krishna needed a third plan.

So he purchased water from another neighbour who had a well.Which costs Rs. 250 for 500 litres. Krishna wanted his own well. But it was just too expensive.

Not so far away lived his neighbour, Kannamma. Kannamma has her own well. Though getting it was not easy.

For 35 years Kannamma had struggled to access water. She also had problems getting water from the hill and buying jars of water was too expensive.

So she would carry her 3 children to the stream to wash.

But her youngest daughter was disabled, and as she grew older it grew more di cult, leaving her immobile daughter without a bath for up to 12 days at a time.

That was the final straw for Kannamma. With the help of her older son and some retirement money, she built a tube well in her backyard. It cost a LOT.

But now she is earning extra money by selling water to her neighbours. There is plenty of water at the estate where Krishna and Kannamma live, so how can we ensure it reaches everyone equally?

A Neighboring community has a solution. They also pump water from a natural spring and store it in a tank. During speci c times they pump this water to around 40 houses.

A management group collects a monthly water bill according to a metre reading which stops corruption.

Although there is not a 24 hours water supply, water wastage is reduced and access is equal to all. A functional water system could also be created in Krishna and Kannamma’s communities. If the government and estate management take responsibility and the residents work together to sustain it there could be an end to this community’s water problems.