To address the problem of depleting groundwater resources, CPWD has decided for storage of the rainwater and artificial recharge of the groundwater by providing rainwater harvesting systems in its campuses and works to conserve and use the rainwater and augment groundwater resources to save it from further depletion.
CPWD is promoting the adoption of the Rain water harvesting/artificial recharge to ground water in the country. CPWD has so far provided about 1100 rain water harvesting systems in different locations/ areas under its jurisdiction in the country.
Every year as the summer sets in, water becomes scarce across the length and breadth of India. Cities Like Bangalore, Delhi and many others who, despite situated in river delta regions, face acute water shortages.
Years of negligence, and short-sighted water management policies that mostly rely on over-exploitation of ground and river water, has brought rainwater harvesting to the fore because of its life-saving qualities.
Rainwater harvesting and management hold tremendous potential for alleviating storm-water runoff and reducing groundwater consumption, particularly in urban areas. Though the costs of installing modern rainwater harvesting systems, storing, and treatment of rainwater was an area of concern earlier, now with the advent of new technologies, the investment has a positive return.
Today, rainwater harvesting systems are acting as incredible support systems in many Indian cities on Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra, providing an excellent alternative to the main water supply, especially during dry seasons. Moreover, the advantages of storing rainwater are not only limited to a particular individual or a family, but it can become a lifesaver for many urban communities as well.
Widespread installation of these systems can revitalize the natural properties of land, helping to improve the quality of groundwater, raising its level, and preventing wells and tube wells from drying up. Additionally, efficient deployment of rainwater harvesting systems limits runoff of surface water, which reduces soil erosion while increasing its fertility.
Common Methods of Urban Rainwater Harvesting
Some of the most familiar methodologies of urban rainwater harvesting and management are –
Surface Runoff Harvesting
Surface runoff harvesting is the most suitable method in urban clusters. Here, streams of surface runoff rainwater are redirected and stored for future use in specially-built reservoirs, either on the surface or underground. This provides a steady supply of clean, potable water, and also water for normal domestic uses.
Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting
Rooftop rainwater harvesting is the most popular of all harvesting options in urban areas. The system can be installed in an individual home environment, schools, colleges, and other institutional buildings that have more available roof space.
The underlying concept of rooftop rainwater harvesting is pretty simple and easily doable. A container needs to be constructed or placed beneath the roof level, which will store the rainwater intercepted and redirected towards it through pipes made out of wood, bamboo, or PVC. Though this is the basic concept, industrial-grade rooftop rainwater harvesting in big complexes is somewhat more complex.
Another common rainwater harvesting process is constructing recharge pits to hold the rainwater. Recharge pits can be of any size and shape, depending on the intensity of rainfall in a particular area. It is important to fill these recharge pits with coarse sand, boulders, and gravels, which act as natural filters that keep away dirt and impurities usually carried by the first flow of rainwater.
Other Do-it-Yourself ideas and innovations done on individual levels also offer solutions to our problem of conserving water. The main change lies with the people. When we as individuals identify a problem and want to do something about it, every problem becomes an opportunity to change habits and innovate.