Rain Water Harvesting
Nature has endowed India with huge water resources. We have perennial rivers like Ganga, Brahamaputra, Yamuna and others along with their tributaries and distributaries besides in North and Eastern India, we have spring fed and rain fed rivers in central and peninsular India the major among these being - Godavari, Krishna, Narmada, Tapti and Kaveri.
These huge potentials water resources are not withstanding. We are facing the water crisis across the country. Over the years, rising population, growing industriliazation and expanding the agriculture have pushed up the demand for water. Monsoon is still the main hope for agriculture. water conservation has become the need of the day. Rainwater harvesting is a way to capture the rainwater at the time of downpour. Store that water above the ground or charge the underground water and use it later.
This happens in open areas as well as in congested cities through the installation of required equipment. The collection and storage of rainwater from run-off areas such as roofs and other surfaces has been practised since ancient times in India. It is a particularly useful where water supply is inadequate. Nature has its own system of recharging groundwater. In forest water seeps gently into the ground as vegetation breaks the fall and flow of water. This groundwater on turn feeds wells, ponds, lakes and rivers. Protecting the forests, therefore, means protecting catchment areas. However, with the cutting down of trees, these systems are being hindered.
In urban areas, the construction of houses, roads and footpaths has left little exposed parts of earth for water to soak in. Most of the water, therefore, runs wastefully through drains. In rural areas, the water quickly takes the form of flood and flows into the rivers which dry up as soon as can be held back, it can seep into the ground and recharge the groundwater supply.
A sample urban installation of roof rainwater collection in a metropolitan city can be like this : If you live in a single dwelling unit or a multi-tenant apartment complex you already have a 80 per cent of rainwater harvesting system. Only small re-orientation of the plumbing design needs to be done. The existing designs in the cities make all the rainwater from the roof and all the groundwater areas surrounding the house flow towards the street, from where it goes to the drains and runs of wastefully as sewage water.
Rainwater harvesting has become a very popular method of conversing water, particularly in the urban areas. Collecting rainwater on the roofs of building and strong it underground for later use has several advantages. It conserves water as a valuable source and stops it from running off wastefully as sewerage water. It provides water during dry season. It also charges the aquifers or the reservoirs of water below the surface of the earth, thus raising the level of underground water table. This is highly beneficial for trees and other vegetation cover which draw mainly from underground water.
Rainwater harvesting can also stop ground water contamination. During rainy season, water tends to collect in puddles in low lying areas, in unattented pits on the ground. At time sit gets collected in empty tins, containers, tires or other waste material. Such water gets contaminated within a few hours and becomes a breeding ground for insects and vectors like mosquitoes which spread malaria, dengue, meningitis and chikungunya. With rainwater harvesting, all these problems can be solved to some extent if not entirely. If such efforts by the people are supplemented by proper plans and implementation by the government water shortage in India can be overcome.