Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rain water Harvesting

For World Water Day 2014, we visited two different events this Saturday – one on Rain water harvesting at Wipro and the other on “Privatization of water” at Bangalore Film society.

The focus of the Wipro session was on how to savor every bit of the precious resource that we receive from the sky and different methods that help in saving water. Wipro had tied up with BIOME (a prominent environmental group in the city) to conduct the session which consisted of presentations from individuals who have implemented solutions in their community or offer consulting on the topic.
I was surprised to see that Bangalore receives some amount of rainfall throughout the year – here’s a pic of the average rainfall received by the city.

For every home, water management encompasses rain water harvesting, ground water recharge and Sewage water treatment.  With the amount of rain that Bangalore receives  it is possible to make this a self-sustaining system.

The estimate is that a 1200 sq ft plot can harvest about 120 days of water in an year provided you have a 1000L storage capacity. You can find this calculator(Rainwater Calculator) on this website run by Biome: http://www.rainwaterclub.org/

What are the issues with rain water harvesting, what are the maintenance costs and does it require a lot of effort – such questions also got answered during the session. 
RWH is like any other civic investment. It requires intermittent monitoring, cleaning the filters, removing silt in the soak pits and committed personnel/association members with a lot of persuasion skills. As in any other community activity, to get concurrence from an entire set of individuals might not be easy – there will be people who want to burst crackers on the terrace, use fertilizers for their terrace garden or wash clothes in the wide open space. Its all about gaining the confidence and showing the savings of time and money that can be obtained if RWH is done in the right manner.

There were various vendors who had setup their stall outside the conference hall. We got to see various types of filters – ranging from Rs. 3500 to 15000 and suited for individual homes or the community. You can find some details on BIOME here: http://www.biome-solutions.com/

Some takeaways from the session are:
1.       Rainwater harvesting + recharge + re-use of the treated water from STP in a methodical manner can eliminate the need for a community or home to purchase outside water
2.       Patience and trust on the environment is needed when you perform ground water recharge. Residents and communities have reported that the water table did increase gradually when recharge was put in place
3.       We should give more importance to natural resources such as water than gold (or platinum or diamond – whatever material is precious for you)! We will die if don’t have water but nothing will happen if we lose a gold ornament. Still we value the former less and waste water.

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