Vulnerability Assessment of the Poor on Water Supply and Water Quality in Hyderabad

  heavily polluted riverbed Copyright: © LIH

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Klaus Baier

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Vulnerability assessment of the poor on water supply and water quality in Hyderabad

Funding: United Nations University

Project term: 2011 to 2011

 

Amplified by the global urbanization there is a rapid growth of mega-cities with a population of more than five million people and most of it happens without or with little urban planning. The development of essential utility services cannot keep up with this rapid population growth. In this case Hyderabad, a mega-city with over six million inhabitants, shows with its increasing population also a strongly increasing demand for adequate water supply. In the generally inadequate supply situation the slum and squatter settlements of Hyderabad are particularly sparsely connected to a functioning supply system. In particular there is a lack of good quality drinking water. These supply shortfalls lead to the consumption of water which from bacteriological and chemical point of view is not suitable for the use as drinking water. More than a third of the population of Hyderabad lives in a total of 1600 slums, squatter settlements or other types of underdeveloped settlements. The number of slums and squatter settlements has multiplied over recent decades, and no improvement in living conditions has occurred. Due to the high population growth there is an uncontrolled growth and overload of the municipal capacities. The problems that are caused by the uncontrolled settlements and land uses are, for instance, air and water pollution, uncontrolled disposal of waste water, inadequate water supply and sanitation facilities as well as an inappropriate infrastructure. These conditions can cause health problems and water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera.

Therefore, the main goal of this project was to assess the vulnerability of squatter settlements regarding the water supply and the water quality. To achieve this goal water samples were analyzed and interviews were conducted on-site in India. The water samples showed that not every water officially identified as drinking water is suitable for consumption. On the basis of water samples and interviews, the risk factor with the greatest impact for the residents was determined. The factor water quality had the greatest importance. The various risk factors were considered in each area and thus an assessment of the vulnerability could be realized.