Last week we saw, how a terrace gardening initiative can make our lives simply Sustainable. Similarly we are going to see more of such initiatives and one such initiative is rooftop rainwater harvesting.
I am sure everyone has heard about harvesting rainwater, however one may find it difficult to implement it in an existing set up. Or may find it a tedious and a costly affair or may be you think you don't need to harvest rainwater since you have enough water today. Kindly note that the benefits of harvesting rainwater are not limited to an individual, they are linked to all of us locally as well as globally.
Let us look at a local initiative undertaken by a retired military official Col. Shashikant Dalvi in his society. In 2002, Col.Dalvi shifted to a society in viman nagar after his retirement, he became the Chairman of the society. While reviewing the annual and monthly bills of the society, he saw that the society is spending maximum on water due to the use of water tankers. At that time, PMC water supply was inadequate in the area and hence the society depended on water tankers for fulfilling their water demands. Though there was one bore well in the society, it had lower levels of water and could run only for half an hour and hence was not used. Col. Dalvi realized that temporary investments in water tanker was not a long term solution. So he learnt about rooftop rainwater harvesting and thought of using the freely available natural resource i.e. rainwater. Though rainwater is available making it usable water it needs to be harnessed.
Col. Dalvi initially tried using only 1/3rd of the terrace area for collecting rainwater and saw the amount of rainwater that could be harvested. He found that the society could cut down on 50% of their water tanker usage. So in 2003, he made arrangements to collect entire terrace water in an underground tank through pipes and a primary filter (jali). This resulted in zero usage of water tankers in the society. The tentative cost of setting up such an initiative in their society was approx. Rs. 50-70 per sq.ft at that time which is a one time cost. As per the PMC scheme, the society received a 5% rebate on property tax for implementing rooftop rainwater harvesting. This project inspired many societies around and they installed rooftop rainwater harvesting system. National Water Academy, Pune has included a visit to Col Dalvi's housing society as a part of their course syllabus to study the functioning of the project. Also its noteworthy that the water levels in their bore well increased and it could run for six to eight hours now due to percolation of water.
Rainwater harvesting system ensures healthy and clean usable water for all, even for those who are dependent on groundwater sources. In case if you want to harness your rainwater, you can contact Col S.G Dalvi at 9860577364 or visit his organization Parjanya rainwater harvesting consulting at www.parajyarwh.com
P.S. While buying a new home just ensure if the building has rooftop rainwater harvesting system.