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This monsoon, make every drop count

Sunday, 25 May 2014 - 9:12am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

dna’s RWH workshop at Kalyaninagar receives an overwhelming response
  • Snehil Sakhare dna

Pune: In the current scenario of growing population and urbanisation, fulfilling water requirements for everyone has become a tough challenge for the civic administration. Hence, it is high time that the citizens take up some responsibility to save water. The residents of Kalyaninagar set an example, not only by adopting rainwater harvesting (RWH) projects, but also creating awareness, which is a need of the hour when low-rainfall is predicted this monsoon.
Realising the scare of water scarcity that is likely to affect us in the future, dna has initiated a campaign to create awareness about rainwater harvesting. Under the campaign, a RWH workshop was conducted in association with Kalyaninagar Residents Association (KNRA) at Joggers’ Park, Kalyaninagar on Friday. The workshop received an overwhelming response, as citizens from not only Kalyaninagar but from areas including Alandi Road, Chinchwad and even from Talegaon joined the campaign. Some police-rank officers too were present at the event to understand how RWH can be implemented in government buildings. While some shared their successful experiences, many of them came to understand the concept and the affordability of the RWH.
At the workshop Col (Retd) Shashikant Dalvi, director of Parjanya, a rainwater harvesting consultancy, president of KNRA DP Bhatia, and members of some residential societies who have adopted RWH shared their experiences.
“Despite the need of water harvesting, only 175 out of 3,000 residential complexes that we surveyed gave us a positive reply, when we explained to them the concept of RWH. People do not want to change their mindsets,” said Col (Retd) Shashikant Dalvi, addressing the workshop attendees. Dalvi who started working on RWH by installing the system in own society, believes that citizens should visit such projects to know how simple and cost effect it can be.
Dalvi added, “The RWH system requires an approximate amount of Rs40,000 for a catchment area of 1,000 square feet, which taps 70,000 liters of rainwater to recharge borewells.” Many who attended the workshop, were eager on installing RWH systems before the rains this year, as Dalvi also cleared that the installation does not take longer than four weeks.
Offering clarity in the procedure and costs, encouraged many attendees to think about rainwater harvesting at their societies. Even the ones without borewells were suggested alternative methods for h arvesting rainwater. “You can excavate a 5 to 10 foot deep and a foot-long square trench as a soak pit or recharge pit to discharge rainwater for percolation in the ground. This is an easier and cheaper alternative for people who do not intend to harvest water for their bore well specifically, ” added Siddhartha Kulkarni , a senior engineer working in this field.

Myths about rainwater harvesting system
- RWH system installation is considered as expensive, but it does not take more than Rs 40- Rs60 rupee per square feet of rooftop area available
- RWH system installation is thought to be a lengthy procedure, but it needs a maximum of four weeks only for setting up
- RWH system is not installed for high-maintenance, but it needs cleaning only before rains start
- One needs to wait for longer to avail the benefits of RWH, though there are many city-based residential complexes that get higher yields from borewells within months of installation
- One does not need a borewell to harvest rainwater; a small trench or soak pit also works well
- Rainwater flowing to a borewell is polluted, but it can be purified using a vertical-filter fitted just above the opening to the borewell

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