Environment

Go for rainwater harvesting pits to conserve water

Environmentalist and founder of Society for Awareness and Vision on Environment (SAVE), Vijay Ram explains about functioning of the water harvesting structures near Indira Park

Environmentalist and founder of Society for Awareness and Vision on Environment (SAVE), Vijay Ram explains about functioning of the water harvesting structures near Indira Park   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

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The moral from the Thirsty Crow story can be emulated to strengthen water conservation attempts

Dharna Chowk, a vacant strip of land opposite Indira Park is the hub for protests and rallies, but for the past two months, a small kiosk has been attracting attention. Set up by Vijay Sai, environmental activist and founder of Society for Awareness and Vision on Environment (SAVE), the booth raises pitch for water conservation through rain water harvesting pits. Says Vijay Sai, “Do you remember the childhood story of how a crow quenches its thirst by dropping stones in a jug? We need to build such pits with stones to quench the thirst of our future generations.”

Go for rainwater harvesting pits to conserve water

Dressed in a simple white dhoti and vest, Vijay is here every day from 8 am till 6 pm with a mission to highlight the need for water conservation. Last week, Hyderabad saw incessant rains for three days, but most of the water ran waste. “If every apartment had a rainwater harvesting pit, imagine how much water Hyderabad would have saved,” he says. A prototype of a rainwater harvesting pit and Vijay’s art work , including the Thirsty Crow story seen at the stall, spread the message loud and clear.

The extremities of climate across the country was a significant factor for Vijay to launch this campaign. “Look at our neighbouring states and see how water presents a different picture,” he shares giving examples of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. “In Tamil Nadu, employees were asked not to come to offices because of water crisis and in Maharashtra, a flood-like situation due to heavy rains made the employees stay at home. I read a news report about an eye hospital in Latur which is doing only 20 surgeries, instead of 150, due to a water crisis. Hyderabad is yet to experience such extreme situations but it looks like that day is not far off,” he states in a grim tone.

How to make a rainwater harvest pit

    Vijay, a farmer who also owns the Emerald sweet shop in Lower Tank Bund observes these rainwater harvesting pits will put an end to the water woes of apartment complexes, especially those which survive only on water tankers. “Yesterday, one apartment dweller from Nizampet told me that they pay around ₹1 lakh for their complex of 60 residences.”

    Go for rainwater harvesting pits to conserve water

    His stall attracts around 200 visitors every day, mostly protesters and attendees of a rally. Vijay patiently clarifies all their doubts. “They are apprehensive about whether all this water underground will affect pillars or the foundations of the construction. I give them the example of rainwater harvesting pits I have put at my house. One should understand that water never stays at one place; it spreads out beneath and eventually recharges borewells,” he says, adding that was Narasing Rao, an official in the HMWSSB who taught him to create these pits.

    Go for rainwater harvesting pits to conserve water

    Vijay’s brother Surendranath who volunteers at SAVE, says “Around 90% of water goes waste in urban areas due to concrete structures. We have numerous agencies digging borewells but not for rainwater pits; the attitude has to change.” Vijay’s campaign from this stall at the Chowk goes on till August 14; after that people can approach the SAVE office at Lower Tank Bund for clarifications.

    Vijay says, on a firm note, “It is not only the government’s but everybody’s responsibility to conserve water. Parents want to save property and money for their children but do not think of what the children would do when they grow up if they have no water.”

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    Printable version | Aug 23, 2019 5:05:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/go-for-rainwater-harvesting-pits-to-conserve-water/article29091258.ece

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