Monday, January 24, 2005

Tackling the source of water crisis

Tackling the source of water crisis

The water in Bangalore has a high production cost of about Rs 20 for every thousand litres.

Deccan Herald

In Thailand, the large jars that are used to collect water in rainwater harvesting systems at home have become a status symbol-- the more you have the more the neighbours envy you.

Efforts to popularise the simple but effective technology in India will succeed only if the mindset of the people is changed in some such way, remarked Mr S Vishwanath, a member of the ‘Rainwater Club’, an internet-based organisation (www.rainwater.org) interested in sustainable use of water. He was speaking at a seminar on water management organised by the Lions’ Club in Bangalore on Sunday.

One way of ensuring that the neighbour takes a fancy to the idea of rainwater harvesting, he suggested, is to first set up a good system on one’s own terrace, and then ask his neighbour whether he could use the water from his terrace too, since he was not using it anyway. (He showed a slide of one such system.)

Production cost
Water, its availability and use, is a very serious issue indeed, Mr M N Thippeswamy, chief engineer of the BWSSB in charge of waste water management, explains. The water in Bangalore, for instance, has a high ‘production cost’: about Rs 20 for every thousand litres. This is because, with the city’s average height of about 900 metres above sea level, it takes three pumping stations, each using a lot of electricity, to get water from the Cauvery, a hundred-odd kilometres away. (At least we are not as worse off as Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, which is 750 km away from the nearest water source. Hyderabad has a four stage water pumping system).

Why pump the water up with so much difficulty, wonders Mr Vishwanath, just to use it in the toilet? Use rainwater as much as possible, he says. After all, there’s so much of it: an acre of land gets some 40 lakh litres of water every year, and a 30 by 40 site gets nearly 1.5 lakh litres.

Saving
Prithvi, a user of such a system for the past few months relates that, for an investment of Rs 15,000, he saves about 300 units of electricity a month, besides money spent on buying water. Contact Vishwanath on 23641693 for details.
And how about approaching the government to make it mandatory to install rainwater harvesting systems in all buildings? Mr Vishwanath does not think that is of much urgency. Making a change at the governmental level, he remarks wryly, is like tackling a 500-pound gorilla. “Let’s fight the smaller monkeys first.”

2 Comments:

At Monday, January 24, 2005 at 6:57:00 AM GMT+5:30, Blogger Sitmonkey said...

thats sounds very interesting!
i'd like my neibors to envy me just becausae of jars.

 
At Monday, January 24, 2005 at 12:20:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea and this is something I have been wondering about for many years. How come a country with such a rainfall can have such an acute water shortage. I think it would be a great idea to have a dual purpose roof top devices which would collect rain water and solar energy at the same time. This is ideal for Bangalore type of city where people live in sites and houses with their own open sky. BTW the www.rainwater.org is a website from TX, US. May be actual website should be www.rainwaterharvesting.org.

 

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