10 tankerloads of water can be saved a year if rain is harnessed on a 1,000-sq. ft. plot

Summer months are the right time to set up equipment and take steps to harness rain and reduce stress on groundwater. You could save nearly 10 tankerloads of water a year if rain is harvested on a plot spread over 1,000 square feet.

Experts who gathered at a workshop on Tuesday discussed simple steps to achieve water sufficiency and stressed the need to harness rain and reuse waste water to cope with water shortage that has become a serious issue in many parts of the city.

Addressing the workshop organised by the Rain Centre and Arghyam, Bangalore, V. Amuthavalli, deputy secretary of Municipal Administration and Water Supply department, said that producing fresh water is a capital-intensive initiative and a change in perspectives on the part of planners and architects was essential to harvest and reuse water.

It takes nearly Rs.1 crore to create infrastructure for treating one million litres of waste water generated in the city. Some commercial buildings are already laying parallel pipelines to separate kitchen water from other sullage for reuse. The concept of reusing grey water must be popularised among planners.

A multi-storied building comprising 108 apartments in MRC Nagar has been able to save Rs. 10 lakh as they stopped buying tanker water since last August. They instead source water from the open wells in their premises for their needs.

Sekhar Raghavan, director of Rain Centre, said that in addition to rooftop water, driveway runoff must also be harnessed. He highlighted the different methods of rainwater harvesting .

Experts also discussed the need to first tap shallow aquifers instead of digging borewells as it is difficult to recharge deep aquifers. Indukanth Ragade, a greywater recycling expert, spoke on recycling water through simple methods. “We throw away water stored just the previous day. But, water stored in a closed container in shade is safe for many months. There is no need to throw away water as long as it is stored properly,” he said.

J. Saravanan, a hydrogeologist, suggested that groundwater studies must be conducted before constructing buildings. The Rain Centre plans to conduct 15 such workshops, including in Madurai, Tiruchi and Coimbatore.

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