In February this year, Jains Green Acres Flat Owners’Association was declared the second best in water management, among residents welfare associations in the country, under the National Water Awards - 2018. The Award has been instituted by the Union Ministry of Water Resources. The Association received the recognition for its efforts in conserving energy.
For a large community with 684 families, we are well aware that the water needs will be high, but we don’t have to worry about a crisis as we charted our water future even before the plans of the buildings took shape.
Jains Green Acres on Old Dargah Road in Pallavaram was built in 2008. During the construction stage itself, about 300 owners met every two to three months and brainstormed about having a proper rainwater harvesting structure and groundwater recharge system.
Rooftop rainwater is being effectively harvested at each block with hedges created around each of the 22 blocks and the water being diverted from the terrace to the ground, which allowed for faster percolation of rainwater into the ground.
Water supply from the borewells sunk during the construction of the apartment were found to be inadequate when more residents started moving in and hence, 10 more rainwater harvesting wells with a depth of about 10 feet, were created at strategic locations. These wells helped us tide over the harsh summer season.
The builder had initially provided a sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 2 lakh litres, which was found to be inadequate with the per capita consumption of water.
So, we got the builder to enhance the plant to treat 4.5 lakh litres of water. The treated water was fed to the trees and flowering plants on the campus to boost the groundwater table.
In 2015, the Association decided to install water meters at each house and have the residents pay the bills based on consumption. This single measure to curtail excess consumption of water brought down the usage from about 4.5 lakh litres per day to 3 lakh litres.
( The writer is the president of Jains Green Acres Flat Owners Association )