Chennai

Two residents’ associations take the lead in water management

One focusses on water meters and the other on recharging the groundwater table

There are around one thousand families living in Thiruvengada Nagar in Ambattur Old Town. Over a decade ago, most of the households switched to borewells, doing away with open wells as the latter had stopped yielding water.

On an average, borewells were being sunk up to 500 feet to find water. With the water situation looking anything but rosy, the Thiruvengada Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association decided to play a pivotal role in water conservation.

Water meters

It began by encouraging residents, especially those in apartment complexes, to install water meters to prevent water wastage.

Due to sustained awareness, residents of individual units in many apartment complexes, have started installing these meters. Residents of the Ezhil Park, which has 19 houses, seems to have been quick off the block, having installed water meters on pipelines that supply water from the Over Head Tank (OHT), as early as 2014. With the water usage of each household clearly tracked, the apartment complex has been able to manage with just a single borewell, since 2014.

Venketachalam Nagar in Thirumullavoyal is a network of 18 streets that together account for 400 families.

Residents use borewells to access groundwater. As this neighourhood, which is within Avadi Municipality limits, is located near the Puzhal lake, borewells sunk only up to 100 feet yield water.

The Venketachalam Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association has instructed all houses in the neighbourhood to construct rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems and have them connected to bore wells.

The Association conducts periodic checks to ensure the RWH structures are in working order. (It may be noted the Associaion in Officer’s Colony, Mogappair, also carries out a periodic inspection of rainwater systems at homes in the neighbourhood).

Protecting a lake

Moreover, to maintain the water table in the neighbourhood and to prevent contamination of Puzhal lake, the Association has selected a few open vacant plots in the neighbourhood to discharge domestic waste water from all its houses. The open plots are being disinfected regularly by the local body. Earlier, the waste water was being discharged directly into the Puzhal lake.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 12:18:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/two-residents-associations-take-the-lead-in-water-management/article26745692.ece

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