A recent study report on water sustainability issues in Gurugram by the Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence, has attributed the increased intensity of floods during monsoons in Gurugram to reduction in catchment area with shrinking water bodies and green cover because of built up expansion, encroachment and waste disposal.
The study has analysed various parameters such as city growth, land use, demographics and social & economic character, water policies and institutional setup at central, state and city level, water sources and its related infrastructure. The study of these parameters has led to the identification of potential risks associated with the urban hydrology and management of Gurugram city, especially focusing on the aspects related to the stakeholder engagement and flood risk. To overcome these threats, a list of recommendations has been made.
The research was conducted by studying the past and existing data on water management, based on which projections for the year 2025 on potential risks were computed.
The report says that considering the existing urban growth trend in Gurugram district, the built up area is estimated to increase to 518.8 km2 in 2025, almost thrice of what was in 2007. This can be attributed to its emergence as a major industrial hub in the last two decade by doing large-scale acquisition of agricultural lands by the government along with the development of residential townships and infrastructure for multinational companies. Most of the built up expansion is witnessed in the Gurgaon city (tehsil) followed by Manesar tehsil.
Water bodies will continue to shrink to an alarming 0.42 km2 by 2025 from 55.2 km2 in 2007 due to encroachment by builders, dumping of sewage, silt and construction waste.
“The region is going to experience an unpredicted pattern of rainfall over the coming years due to rapidly changing climate, thus making it difficult to predict the rainfall intensity and period. This makes it challenging for the authorities to prepare accordingly. The flood intensity during monsoons will keep on increasing in Gurugram city due to reduction in catchment area with shrinking water bodies and green cover and the expansion in built up land and inadequate levels of flood preparedness.”
A major factor behind such unpredictable rain spells can be the changing climate across the world due to global warming, of which GHG emissions are the most prominent cause. Earlier, the city used to get continuous light rains over two-three days, spread evenly across monsoon months. But in the last decade, the same quantum of rainfall occurs in just 2-3 hours of irregular downpour even in the monsoon months. These extreme events have been taking place across the entire tropical region for quite some time now.