The irony of a bountiful monsoon for our catchment areas and yet several thousands of households in the city still depend on tankers for their daily supply..!
While we may eternally debate on civic issues, the most basic of it all remains the need to conserve our precious natural resources.
There is an imminent need in our city to implement Rain water Harvesting that will not only help ease the pressure on the civic bodies for water supply but minimise the need to buy water and additionally help to recharge the ground water table.
But can every household afford to install a rainwater harvesting system ?
We met city experts who spoke about the various myths related to rainwater harvesting and shared their expertise for the benefit of our readers..
Colonel ( Retd. ) Shashikant Dalvi, a resident of Lunkad Greenland Society of Viman Nagar said, “I retired in 2002 and settled here. At that point of time the water shortage was severe. We had to buy three tankers of water every day to meet our daily needs. It was then when I got the idea of installing Pune’s first rainwater harvesting system in our society.
Col Dalvi recently went to the Parliament House to give a presentation on the idea of rainwater harvesting.
The stress on supplying water is so much that even Pune Municipal Corporation is unable to fulfill the basic requirement of 135 lts per day per person.
“We decided to use the rain water to meet our water consumption. We directly connected the pipes coming from the rooftops to the bore-well. Every drop went into that and our tanker requirement was resolved.
“And ever since we implemented the rainwater harvesting system here, we have never needed a tanker even on days when the Pune Municipal Corporation was not able to deliver water for two or three days.
“We do not use the first shower as it is a bit acidic in nature. Generally, we flush the first rain in the open areas. In places with higher rate of air pollution, the treatment is different,” he adds.
Col. Dalvi believes that “lack of awareness be it, for the residents, or the policy makers, is a huge cause of hinderance in the actual implementation of rainwater harvesting..”
Talking about the benefits of having a rainwater harvesting system, Col Dalvi says, “It is economical, doable and simple. At 2002, we invested about Rs 32,000 to install an entire water harvesting system which was much less than spending Rs 25,000 a month to buy water from tankers. In less than two months the cost was recovered and since then, we are getting an uninterrupted supply of water throughout the year.”
Udyam Gokhale of Ira Sustainable Water Solutions says, “Rainwater harvesting is the best way to reuse rainwater by recharging it into the bore-wells or storing in tanks. Since 2008 when the government mandated to have a rainwater harvesting system for every new construction, housing societies are more interested in setting up of a rainwater harvesting system.
“It takes around eight-ten days to install a rainwater harvesting system for a society with 50 flats. The estimated cost comes to around two lakh. For individual houses, it costs around Rs 20,000 – Rs 40,000 for setting-up the system. Additional Rs 20,000 (or more) is incurred if a bore-well is to be dug.
“The method of bore-well recharging is much more popular as it provides an uninterrupted water supply throughout the year. In societies or houses that do not have a bore-well, a new recharge point can be drilled underground and can be concealed later,” he adds.
Rain Water Harvesting Facts:
- Prior to the rains, be sure to get your roof cleaned to avoid blockages in the filter.
- There is no regular maintenance cost.
- In the absence of bore-wells, one can still filter the rain water and store it in tanks and cisterns.
- No additional space is required for setting up of a rainwater harvesting system.
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