Saturday, May 27, 2006

Rainwater harvesting prevents flooding

Rainwater harvesting prevents flooding
New Indian Express

With the monsoon around the corner, Bangalore once again faces the threat of flooding. One way to avoid flooding is by implementing more rainwater harvesting systems.

“Earlier Bangalore had several lakes to which excess rain water could be directed. Now that buildings have replaced them, low lying areas get flooded,” said Rashmi who works with integrated water management project in the Tata Energy Resource Institute (TERI). “Rain water harvesting not only has the capability of preventing floods but also checking the choking of storm water drains,” adds her colleague, Krishna.

Bangalore has around 60 rainy days and receives approximately 970 mm of water. Last year the city got more than average rainfall and about 10,000 million litres were harvested. “Bangalore has the potential of harvesting 30,000 million litres of water a year,” says Rainwater harvesting consultant Vishwanath.

He further said, “Rainwater harvesting has not been doing very well as there is lack of systematic information, incentives and attempts to link it to the comprehensive development plans of the city.”

Rashmi says many are interested in adopting rainwater harvesting, but don’t know how to go about it. Also, the processes of retrofits turn out to be quite expensive so people opt out of it. Vishwanath says, “We design harvesting systems for all sorts of buildings from slum houses to large industrial plants.”

TERI, under its integrated water management project, conducts water audits for large campuses and recommends techniques and methods of harvesting rainwater. The institute has helped BEL, Microsoft, HP and BP Solar to design systems. In association with Coca Cola, TERI has implemented rainwater harvesting in five schools and harvested around nine lakh litres of water. “This year we will be working with the Spastic Society and ten more schools,” informed Rashmi.

“The Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST), has also set up plants in schools and other buildings like the GPO, the fire station in Rajajinagar and the Kidwai Hospital,” said Project Manager Shruthi. “For people wishing to have harvesting systems at their residences, we suggest what methods can be adopted.”

Rajajinagar MLA Narendrababu who implemented harvesting systems in the parks in the locality said, “From one acre, 2000 to 3000 litres of water can be saved.” Talking about rainwater harvesting in houses, he said “Awareness should be brought about by making it compulsory for new buildings and giving incentives and subsidies for old houses. Apart from that, the BMP, BWSSB and Ecology Department should organise awareness programmes.”


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