Coimbatore stands second on the list of districts in the State that have witnessed increase in groundwater level

A terrace spread over 1,000 sq.ft. with rainwater harvesting (RWH) structure can help meet the water needs of two people for a year. Not only that, the structure will also offer surplus water.

Assuming that a family of two uses 80 litres a day, it will require around 29,000 litres a year. Whereas, the yield from the 1,000 sq.ft. terrace in a year will be around 36,000 litres, says K. Mylswami, project coordinator, Siruthuli. This is assuming that Coimbatore's average annual rainfall is 647 mm.

If the city's residents were to do so, not a drop of rainwater will go waste, he says and points out that his organisation is aiming at encouraging people to go in for RWH structures.

Siruthuli has already created 215 RWH structures at various locations in and around the city. And the result is for everybody to see. “The water quantity has gone up and so has the quality,” says Vanitha Mohan, managing trustee, Siruthuli.

With funds from the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and support from district administration and Coimbatore Corporation, Siruthuli has established roadside RWH and recharge borewells in Corporation schools, Government Arts College, Coimbatore Central Prison, Police Recruit School, City Police Commissioner's official residence, Women's Polytechnic, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Government College of Technology and a few more places.

Siruthuli has been able to dig so many wells because the CGWB sanctioned Rs. 1 crore in grant.

The impact of borewells is that the groundwater level has gone up 13.92 m, making it the second on the list of districts in the State that have witnessed increase in groundwater level.

Siruthuli did not stop with that. It also took its recharge borwells to private industries and commercial establishments and educational institutions, which embraced it with open arms.

Mr. Mylswami says Siruthuli has established new recharge borewells and converted dry borewells into recharge structures at Eppinger Tooling Asia Pvt. Ltd., a manufacturing industry near Kinathukadavu, a spinning mill near Gobichettipalayam, Erode, Sri Senthil Andavar Textiles, Coimbatore, PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore, Mahendra Pumps and other places.

And wherever Siruthuli established the RWH structures there have been a marked difference in water availability.

“Eppinger Tooling Asia Pvt. Ltd. has moved from being a water deficient place to a water surplus one.”

The next stage, Mr. Mylswami says, is digging close to 500 such RWH structures in areas that have become part of the Corporation.

Only then the groundwater level can be maintained, if not improved.

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