For a healthy life

January 24, 2014 12:00 am | Updated May 13, 2016 11:54 am IST

NIKHIL VARMA meets A.R. Shivakumar, a pioneer in the utility of water harvesting techniques in the city

Water is a key resource for sustaining any life form on the planet. Throughout history you see how water has been instrumental in the growth and eventual destruction of cities across the planet. New age tools such as rain water harvesting is ensuring that humanity finds new ways to combat the danger of parched cities and towns. A.R. Shivakumar , a scientist at the Karnataka State council for Science and Technology at the Indian Institute of Science contends, “Bangalore is a peculiar city. It does not have any perennial river or a sea running through it. This makes getting and disposing water a tough task. This can only be achieved through rain water harvesting and ensuring that the groundwater gets recharged at regular intervals. Water must be used judiciously. Contrary to popular belief, rainfall in Bangalore has gone up in the last few years; we must make attempts to ensure that it is put to good use. Wastage of water must not be tolerated.”

Shivakumar is a maverick, who was noticed as a youngster for his work in harnessing rural energy sources to ensure the success of energy programmes. He used locally available sources such as manure, wind energy etc. He says, “In the early 90’s, I began to experiment with solar water heaters and was asking people to use this technology. We were also building awareness about the solar heaters, a new concept then. It was at this time that I decided to innovate and build a house that uses natural energy sources for most of its needs, with artificial sources such as electricity playing a very limited role.”

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