“For the third consecutive day, there was no water in my house.”
“I will be late for the office as I have to wait for the tanker.”
“Tanker service in my area is very poor.”
These are some of the complaints that I have been hearing from my co-workers since the last one month with summer season right around the corner.
The water shortage problem intensifies every year at this time, and it is time we take this as a severe warning for day zero in Karnataka’s capital. As per a BBC article, Bengaluru is one of the 12 cities that are most likely run out of water.
The city, which was once known for its green cover and lakes, is now grappling with the water crisis.
To avert the crisis, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) made Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) mandatory for the residents a couple of years ago. Of the 1.95 lakh people who were required to adopt RWH, 1.20 lakh have implemented it, according to Deccan Herald. The authority has imposed a penalty on defaulters. Through fines imposed monthly, the board collects around 12 crores annually!
Now, making it more stringent, the BWSSB will increase the penalty amount by 50 per cent for domestic and by 100 per cent for commercial consumers. The guideline is likely to be implemented soon, as a government order is not necessary.
If you happen to be a resident of Bengaluru and want to transition to RWH in a hassle-free manner, you can take help from ‘Do it Yourself RWH Tool – RWH Advisor’ a software application developed by A.R. Shivakumar, best known as the Rainman of India.
The app has been developed with the support of UNESCO by Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) for web and mobile users.
Shivkumar, Principal Scientific Officer, KSCST, has been saving water via RWH since 1995. He saves around 1.25 lakh litres of water annually and has not paid any water bill since then!
Speaking to The Better India (TBI) about the benefits of RWH, he says,
RWH is a simple act of collecting water from the rooftop. Except drinking and cooking, the stored water can be used for all other purposes. RWH brings you closer to nature and helps in conserving water for the long term.
Shivkumar feels that RWH, the wise use of water and its recycling are the three key methods to save Bengaluru from running out of water.
As for the app, it is tailor-made as per the city. Rainfall patterns of close to 80 cities were studied while developing the app.
RWH system differs from place to place. For Bengaluru, we have included three factors – place (to determine the rainfall pattern and groundwater tables), roof area and the number of people in the house or water usage, says Shivkumar.
On feeding the necessary information, the app will calculate the size of the tank, how many days will the water last, how much water should be used per day to never running out of water and so on.
The app will also suggest the length, width and depth of the tank along with the cost of labour, pipes, and filters, among others.
Finally, a list of trained engineers, plumbers and contractors trained in Rainwater Harvesting Techniques will be displayed along with their contact details in the app.
Meanwhile, the BWSSB has also set up an RWH helpdesk at KSCST in the Indian Institute of Science and Sir M. Visvesvaraya Rainwater Harvesting Theme Park. The help-desk answers all questions related to storing and conserving water. It also demonstrates all techniques of harvesting water.
Now, with access to RWH methods, skill and workforce, it is time for citizens not only in Bengaluru but across India to adopt Rain Water Harvesting.
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Android users can download the app from here.
Desktop users can visit here.
For contact details of engineers, plumbers and contractors, click here.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)