In a city plagued by water and electricity shortages, a housing community has taken steps to make itself ecologically independent of the vagaries of rains and borewells. Rainbow Drive Layout in Bangalore has undertaken Rain Water Harvesting since February 2008, and now boasts of 20 rooftop water-harvesting systems and 10 groundwater-recharging systems. Jayashree Nandi reports in The Times of India:
Rainbow Drive Layout on Sarjapur Road has put in place over 20 rooftop water-harvesting systems and 10 groundwater-recharging systems in stormwater drains since February 2008. The residents are delighted that they no more have to depend on the uncertain supply of borewell water or spend on tankers. They are ecologically storing abundant water to sustain themselves. Added to this is the incentive that their layout doesn’t flood after rain, because all the water gets stored in stormwater drain recharge wells.
Committee member of the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of Rainbow Drive Layout, Jayawanth Bharadwaj, was one of the first to take up rainwater-harvesting project. “We were completely dependent on borewell water till a year ago. When the borewell used to dry up, we would get tankers, which are very expensive. I realized there has to be a way out. That is when I started a door-to-door campaign in my layout to get people to set up rainwater harvesting systems. Some understood its importance, while some were wary of the investment. Gradually, it picked up.”
Besides the environmental benefits of recharging groundwater and financial savings, there are also huge energy savings, as explained below by Nathan Stell, a member of Rainwater Club in the city:
Nathan Stell, a member of Rainwater Club, points out the larger bounty from rainwater harvesting. Bangalore pumps water from the Cauvery, which is around 100 km away from the city and 500 metres below the city’s elevation. The amount of energy required to pump water to the millions of households is enormous, while an important feature of rainwater harvesting is saving energy. The water supply is far less expensive than tankers, that costs about Rs 50 per kilolitre. Groundwater recharging helps replenish borewells and raises the groundwater table. He also added that the quality of rainwater from the roof is high, and can be used for all kinds of household work and even filtered for drinking.
So go ahead and install that rainwater harvesting unit. And start reaping the benefits, besides feeling good about contributing to the environment!