Stop with the excuses - The New Indian Express

Stop with the excuses

Published: 18th September 2013 09:52 AM

Last Updated: 18th September 2013 09:52 AM

Despite the city receiving plenty of rainfall over the past few weeks, many people continue to complain of water shortage or irregular supply. The solution might lie in looking skyward, literally.

"When there's water falling on your rooftops, why would you look hundred kilometres away towards Cauvery?" asks S Vishwanath, founder of Rain Water Harvesting Club (RWHC), Bangalore.

Apart from directing water into a recharge pit merely to meet the rainwater harvesting  (RWH) regulations set by Bangalore Water and Sewerage Supply Board (BWSSB), experts advise that households store rainwater in rain barrels or sump tanks or direct them to their open wells or borewells as it is 'a safe form of water to use'.

Vishwanath opines that it's a shame that Bangalore being the only Indian city to house a RWH theme park, is unaware about or indifferent towards the utility of rainwater.

"In this age of the Internet, ignorance is no longer an excuse; it's a choice," he adds.

"It (rain water) has low TDS (total dissolved solids), about 80 to 100 parts per million (ppm), which is far lower than Cauvery water that has TDS of about 300 ppm," says city geologist C Ashok Kumar, whose rooftop catchment collection has come up to 2,000 litres following the recent rains.  A low TDS value means that rainwater is soft water, which only enhances its benefits, explains Ashok.

"I haven't had to pump water to my overhead tank for over three weeks now," adds Ashok.

A R Shivakumar, principal investigator at Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) does not have a BWSSB water connection at home and has solely depended on rainwater for around two decades now.

"It comes free of cost, and it's greener as it doesn't require any other treatment. The only contaminants you need to be worried about are bacteria. Boiling the water or using a gravity filter will fix this," says Shivakumar.

He further says that as the water is not as hard as water from other sources, he has found that his consumption of cooking gas has decreased as has his family's hair fall. "Risk of skin problems too are less," he says.

Effective urban planning and RWH might help ease the issue of water logging and urban flooding as well. According to Vishwanath, managing urban flooding is the primary objective of rainwater harvesting at the city level. "The second is to raise the water table. Then comes supplementing water resources."

In order to set an example to people, Shivakumar says that he has initiated RWH in government buildings as well, including the High Court building, Vidhana Soudha, the corporation office and the GPO. So with all this before them, all Bangaloreans have to do is follow their lead.

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