Amba Vilas Palace, popularly known as Mysore Palace, may soon become one of the few palaces in the country to harvest rainwater by adopting proven methods to address its water needs, especially for maintaining its 28-acre garden.

Palace Board, the caretaker of the palace, with technical support from the National Institute of Engineering - Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (NIE-CREST), Mysore, is developing systems to harvest over 23 lakh litres of rainwater.

Two tanks with storage capacity of 14,58,899 lt and 8,50,147 lt have been constructed on the palace premises. If the tanks are filled, water requirements of the palace can be met for an entire year.

At present, water requirements of the palace are met by supply from the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and eight borewells. The horticulture wing of the Palace Board requires about 18 to 20 lakh litres of water a year to maintain the palace garden.

Rainwater collected on the ground, garden and the palace terrace will be let into the tanks through channels. Check-dams and soaking pits are being constructed to recharge groundwater.

Deputy Director of the board P.V. Awaradi told The Hindu that rainwater harvesting systems were needed in the palace to become self-sufficient in water. “Though we have eight borewells and water supply from the Corporation, we thought of harvesting rainwater because the yield will be high as the area for harvest is big. In case of water scarcity in summer, we can utilise the harvested rainwater,” he said. Moreover, the systems would also help recharge groundwater, he added.

According to board Engineer Shivakumar, temporary arrangements have been made to store rainwater collected on the palace terrace and the ground in one of the tanks.

“The project will be complete once the channels are connected to the two tanks.” He said that one tank had five compartments and the other had three for supply management.

The Assistant Horticulture Officer of the palace, Venugopal, said the palace garden had been developed on 28 acres of land. A proposal had been sent to the board for developing a garden on 6.5 acres of land on the periphery of the palace.

The authorities have plans to spruce up the garden and lawns at the palace in the run-up to Dasara.