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« H2O9 Conference - Water: Money Down the Drain or Revenue Stream of the Future? | Main | Lloyd G. Carter's Video Presentation: California's Water Mess - Is Anyone Doing Anything Right? »

Thursday, 29 October 2009


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Praveena Sridhar

Sorry for the extremely late reply! That pic was taken by me, and I work with Abby Brown in the agency she is interning with.
This picture was captured in Kolkata, India.

The city of Kolkata, comprises of 41 municipal towns. The total area under the Kolkata Metropolitan Area is about 1916 with a population of 14.72 Millon (2001 Census). It is located on the east bank of river Hoogly, 146 km from estuary at Bay of Bengal, on meridians 88.20" and 22.32' north.

The "leak" in question, indeed served the purpose of washing the dirt and filth down the streets, as pointed out by Chris. This system was put in place between the years 1817 to 1820.And the system served its purpose only till the early 1900s. After that as the population started swelling as the city was a major urban centre (and due to heavy migration from Bangladesh and adjoining country Burma) these street side standposts were increasingly used by the people for their needs other than drinking water. All this water indeed came from the Hoogly river and all of it is freshwater. A vast majority of the city's population (mainly from the less affluent households and street dwellers) relies on these street side standposts for their daily requirements, including small businesses.

Chris and Michael, the reason for this being labelled as a "leak" is due to the fact that Kolkata and many other cities along the huge river systems in India, are struggling to find "freshwater" resources.They are increasingly not able to meet the city's water requirements. The only difference between this street side water tap and the household supply tap is that the former is not filtered!
I hope this explains why the picture was included under the leaks post.

More references to the water situation here:


I don't know, Chris; Abby would. I suspect the 'leak' serves to wash the streets quite well.

Chris C

Just curious. Is this a water leak or the way they wash their streets in India. In France, they will turn on the water to carry dirt and dust down the gutters rather than bringing a street sweep vehicle down the road.

I have no doubt that there are many water leaks in India. I just wasn't sure if this was one of them.

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