Rainwater harvesting pits can help Hyderabad save 185 mn gallons of rainwater this monsoon

The data is based on the fact that the city has at least 60,000 cubic metres of volume of RWH pits which can accumulate this much of rainwater over the year.

Published: 22nd May 2019 08:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2019 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

The recently constructed rainwater harvesting theme park at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad | S Senbagapandiyan

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Hyderabad could, this ensuing monsoon, save up to 185 million gallons of rainwater and recharge its parched groundwater levels, according to official figures of HMWSSB. The data is based on the fact that the city has at least 60,000 cubic metres of volume of RWH pits which can accumulate this much of rainwater over the year.

However, in reality, that may not be the case, as desilting, cleaning and fixing these RWH pits is still a herculean task, which the water board is not fully in control of. “RWH has a lot of potentials, however, the open spaces where we built these are in a mutual agreement with Resident Welfare Associations to maintain their upkeep. However, some of them are taking the initiative, while others are not,”  J Satyanarayana, groundwater specialist in HMWSSB, said.

To overcome this, the HMWSSB is planning to start a Water Leadership and Conservation (WALC) programme to rope in about 5,000 volunteers to clean and monitor these RWHs.  
“We are undertaking this exercise as it has come to fore that many won’t maintain the RWHs.  So it is better to sensitise and create awareness about them and then focus on building the pits in larger numbers,” added Satyanarayana.

However experts note this may not be the best approach. “The HMWSSB and GHMC had laid down many rules but they are not being implemented. In the 400 odd harvest pits we dug, we realised that people will undertake only when they are pushed to do. The government must push the people to do the same,” Ranga Prasad, Project Head of Rain India, said. 

“There is roughly 650 square kilometres of area in GHMC. If every square kilometre is adopted by a government department who manages RWHs pits,  then water scarcity will be a thing of past,” Ranga Prasad added.

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