Rainwater harvesting is the solitary realistic option to counter the growing menace of rapid ground-water depletion – and this real and present option is definitely catching on in our cities.
Rainwater harvesting involves accumulating, filtering and storing rainwater to be utilized for assorted industrial and residential purposes.
Rainwater is a clean, free source of potable water.
Rainwater harvesting used in residential properties, which involves trapping rainwater from roofs and directing it into underground storage tanks or cisterns, can satisfy 50% of a regular family’s water needs.
The truth is, rainwater harvesting isn’t just a strategy to make maximum use of the natural resource – it also has minimal environmental impact.
Naturally, it leads to substantial price savings on recurring water charges in residential buildings.
In cities a huge number of residential societies are dependent on expensive water tankers which extract ‘hard’ water from bore wells – a process which further depletes ground water levels and causes all kinds of associated problems to the environment.
Urban water supply calls for pumping stations in addition to putting up treatment plants and supply conduits.
With the rate of increase in urban population, city planning authorities cannot match utilities in the majority of Indian cities. Engineers and geologists are constantly fighting to discover new sources of water.
With bore well shafts going deeper as the hunt for more water continues in cities , water supply can actually be significantly supplemented by rainwater and decrease the pressure on the usual water supply.
When rainwater is harnessed in a housing complex, it can be utilized for assorted non-drinking functions that call for substantial volumes of water.
Because rainwater can complement the traditional water supply system, this means considerably reduced utility bills.
Rainwater harvesting is equally appropriate for large manufacturing units that use up substantial amounts of water.
Such industries can reduce the pressure on groundwater by making use of rainwater for all their requirements.
A perfect fallback position
Climate change has caused significant disruptions in the weather patterns in lots of Indian cities, resulting is decreased rainfall.
Rainwater can be collected, stored and used during drought seasons to complement the ordinary water supply.
When such systems are used by a sufficient saturation of residential buildings in a city, there is a substantial drop in pressure on drainage systems, thereby reducing the possibility of floods, soil erosion, and surface run-offs.
Rainwater harvesting is a perfect solution especially in low-lying regions, which are usually prone to floods due to over-taxed drainage systems.
The use of rainwater harvesting systems allows groundwater levels to recharge, which in turn aids in enhancing urban greenery; in fact, this is actually the sole dependable means of having green places without leeching away from the direly needed water supplies within urban areas.
Simple to set up and use
Rainwater harvesting systems are simple to put up and operate. There is absolutely no requirement for the complicated purifying systems which need to be applied to cleanse ground water, since rainwater is pure.
Rainwater collection systems use modern yet extremely simple technology, and their care simply involves occasional cleaning of pipes and the storage tanks to ensure the rainwater gathered is not contaminated.
It can be used by anyone.
Installation of gutters is step one for buildings that lack them, together with a filtration system to make certain that any other sort of debris or leaves will not find their way into the storage tanks.
Safety precautions include having locking bars or lids to stop the breeding of mosquitoes or other forms of pollution of the stored water.
Catchment areas in a city may comprise paved regions for example roads and car parks, where water may be picked for several non-drinking purposes.
*Kishor Pate is the chairman and managing director of the Pune-based Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.Views expressed are personal.