If implemented properly, rainwater harvesting structures could save groundwater and money.

In a bid to drive home the message of groundwater recharge, the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) will execute demonstrative projects in various institutions across the city.

Sources in CGWB said the Board would funding a project to provide artificial recharge structures on the premises of National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research in Taramani. A 25-metre-long and 8-metre-wide pond would be created to alleviate the water crisis faced by the institute.

Structures are also being provided to collect rooftop rainwater runoff that could be filtered and used.

The Rs. 40-lakh project is being jointly executed with the Tamil Nadu Public Works Department.

Sources in CGWB said that the change in water level would be monitored regularly through a well dug up on the premises.

To increase the aquifer recharge, the pond is being provided with a recharge shaft running to a depth of 5 metres. Such shafts are effective in harnessing rainwater as they penetrate impervious soil layer. Once the structures are completed in three months, the institute would tide over the water shortage, an official said.

Central Leather Research Institute, Adyar, where a similar project worth nearly Rs. 8 lakh was implemented a decade ago, harnesses nearly 1.06 crore litres of rainwater every year. As water is available almost round the year, CLRI has reduced purchase of water through tankers.

Residents around CLRI have also reaped the benefit as groundwater, which was earlier at a depth of about 9 metres below the ground, has now come up to 5 metres below ground level.

The Board is funding such projects to demonstrate the benefits of harnessing rainwater.

In a bid to reach out to school children, a painting competition was organised in which nearly 3.51 lakh students from about 12,000 schools across the State participated.

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