BWSSB’s rainwater harvesting theme park completes 10 years

A model of rainwater harvesting at Sir M. Visvesvaraya Rainwater Harvesting Theme Park in Bengaluru

A model of rainwater harvesting at Sir M. Visvesvaraya Rainwater Harvesting Theme Park in Bengaluru | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

It has been 13 years since rainwater harvesting (RWH) was made mandatory in the city and 10 years since the country’s first theme park dedicated to RWH and water conservation was established.

In 2012, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) established the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Rainwater Harvesting Theme Park on 1.2 acres in Jayanagar. Over the years, the theme park has become a destination for awareness and training programmes.

Said to be the brainchild of renowned water management expert A.R. Shivakumar, the park showcases 26 types of live models of RWH structures (as per the design of the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology), different plants for water conservation, different structures for infiltration of rainwater into the ground, collection and usage. It also has an auditorium with 150 seating capacity.

“When RWH was made mandatory in November 2009, there was not much information available about the different means, nor were there many success stories. To promote RWH, BWSSB launched a campaign. There was a need to train people and create awareness about water conservation as well. It was with this objective that the theme park was designed and established,” said Mr. Shivakumar.

Following this, similar theme parks were established at Hyderabad in Telangana in 2017 and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh in 2019. The theme parks in Bengaluru and Hyderabad have received national awards and recognition, he said.

More than 1.55 lakh properties have RWH systems

The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India, in its report last year, criticised the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the BWSSB, and other civic agencies for allowing high run-off of rainwater in urban areas leading to a scarcity of water. It had said that about 73% of the city’s water demand can be met out of rainwater.

According to BWSSB, more than 1.55 lakh properties in the city have RWH systems in place. As per a mandate put in place by the BWSSB, all properties on land measuring 60ftx40ft and above are required to have RWH, irrespective of the year of construction.

As per the new amendments that were brought in last year, newly constructed buildings on even 30ftx40ft sital area are now required to install RWH systems. This was brought in place to manage the summer peak demand of water through groundwater recharge and provide fresh water source to the city through RWH in areas where water quality is poor.

Harvesting rainwater is now more important than ever, given the large-scale decline in groundwater levels and Bengaluru’s dependence on the Cauvery to quench its thirst. 

BWSSB officials said that the water board now ensures that RWH installations are in place before sanctioning any new drinking water and sanitary connections. “There now is also better awareness among citizens about not just RWH, but also water conservation,” they claimed.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 11:57:16 am |