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Water conservation will keep scarcity at bay

Friday, 30 May 2014 - 3:37am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

From 95 lakh in the 2011 population census, the total number of people living in Pune district is expected to cross one crore by the end of 2014. While the head count has grown exponentially, the need for water resources has also inflated. In fact, the groundwater continues to get depleted.

Experts from various fields of water conservation suggest in unison that rainwater harvesting is the need of the hour. Every citizen has to contribute to ensure that water is enough for the growing population. In order to promote practices of rainwater harvesting, dna has initiated a campaign. Under the campaign, a seminar had been organised in association with Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) at Moolgaokar hall, ICC tower at the Senapati Bapat Road on Thursday. Prominent speakers include Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh, assistant director of Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency (GSDA) Suresh Khandale, director of Parjanya rainwater harvesting consultancy firm Col (retd) Shashikant Dalvi and deputy director general of MCCIA, Wg Cdr (Retd) Shalak Gandhi graced the event.

Deshmukh said, "Water conservation is necessary to combat water demand. Since 2009, 70 per cent of 3,000 construction layouts have RWH systems implemented already." He added that to encourage more citizens to take up projects such as RWH, PMC has started with a property tax rebate of a minimum of five per cent, and is going to initiate circulation of informatory booklets on RWH systems.

Col Dalvi who started RWH in his residential complex and now promotes the same in other societies, gave a presentation on RWH can be implemented.

While the old areas of Pune have a good water table level, it is depleting over time. "Over a period of five years, the water table in Pune has decreased from 60 metres to 200 metres. This calls for artificial recharge method such as RWH systems," added GSDA additional director, Suresh Khandale.

The MCCIA deputy director general, Gandhi said, "The city will soon be 'water stressed', with the water supply decreasing below 1,700 cubic metre per year to many areas. Commercial, industrial and residential complexes need to come together to come out of the situation."

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