Chat Archives
Chat on "Rain Harvesting" dated September 18, 2006

    Susan  Welcome to IWC Chat on "Rain Harvesting" 

    Ajit Seshadri  Good evening to all! 

    Susan  Welcome Ajit! 

    Ajit Seshadri  Please feel free to shoot any questions,and get yourself appraised of 'Rain Water Harvesting'. 

    Susan  When we fixed the chat, some people said the topic is not valid for the month of Sep But it still rains in Sep! 

    Susan  Welcome Sabah! 

    Ajit Seshadri  Yes, Susan ,as the weather is uncertain rains are predictably to be best used, Welcome Sabah! 

    Susan  Is it very complicated to have a rain harvesting unit? 

    Ajit Seshadri  No, it requires a certain simple plannning. for urban roof-tops it is designed on some factors and for bigger catchments more plannning is required. 

    sabah  hello i am sabah . thanx 4 the welcome . i would like to ask what about high cost involved ?  

    Ajit Seshadri  For your general information RWH comprises of catchment of a said area , collection , then making rain-water fairly clean and clear for either direct usage or for recharging to ground water. In Rajasthan the rainfall is minimum hence they store and reuse for the whole year.

    Ajit Seshadri  Sabah, for small rooftops ,say -1000 area the cost at delhi is 50-60 K. the water is taken for recharge to ground water improving the quantity and quality of water in the aquifers . 

    Ajit Seshadri  Many educational instituitions have gone for RWH, and it has given benefits and also awareness to the students and the school community. 

    sabah  ya i know about that sir and also the benifites of RWH ! but the main cause because of which such a useful technology is not being used is because of high cost or lack of awareness . 

    Susan  Many builders, though , pay lipservice to RWH. The notice board is there, but no proper sumps or connections from rooftops. So how do you check if RWH is happening? 

    Ajit Seshadri  To get the best cost-effective benefit it is better to have mega-projects of RWH ,i.e. taking up large complexes by urban bodies who can also maintain it as they maintain storm-water drainage lines ,etc.This will solve water-logging and also keep the areas dry and clean 

    Ajit Seshadri  Susan, it is difficult to check these man! malfunctions, it is best to charge the users and let the urban bodies take care of making RWH as an alternate to urban rain -water drainage.a decentralised initiative. 

    Susan  If the RWH is going recharge groundwater, who are the users? 

    sabah  has government done anything about it ? like bringing legislations ! 

    Ajit Seshadri  For info- the rain catchments and its clearence to downstream in both urban and rural areas are important. to avoid flooding of urban localities as that happened in Mumbai. 

    Ajit Seshadri  Susan, the ground water being charged helps the user to get 100% benefit on improvement of quality and the quantity around 30% benefit. All have to participate 

    Ajit Seshadri  Govt. has brought rules making RWH mandatory and it is becoming difficult to ensure that it is correctly done, operated and duly maintained yr after yr 

    Susan  I remember once upon a time villages after village adopted bio gas for lighting and cooking because Govt was giving a huge subsidy. Do you think something similar should be done forRWH? 

    Ajit Seshadri  As the govt. bodies are also not sure of the measures to check it. 

    Susan  May be engineers like you can help come up with a system to monitor RWH at least for the first few years.

    Ajit Seshadri  Yes, Susan .it is best that with storm water drainage and clearence which is an urban municipal requirement ,this novel RWH initiative can be clubbed and its costs will not be high.Also, when present metro-constructions these RWH are being done. 

    Susan  tell us some success stories of RWH 

    Ajit Seshadri  Our NGO, has done over 100 RWH and only 20-30 clients are maintaining them,if I am given the task I will happily do it.  

    sabah  can heavy mtals and other dissolved impurities get leashed easily  due to RWH

    Ajit Seshadri  At a few sites we have observed levels of ground-water remaining stabilised and quality also bettered,giving the community a satisfactory feeling.for eg.- Bharti College,Janakpuri, Anand lok, hamdard School etc. 


    Ajit Seshadri  Sabah, mostly the rain water does not take in contaminants. RWH system is only facilitating quick clearance of good pure natural water from the skies above to reach the ground water or alternatively stored and used at sites. 

    Ajit Seshadri  Let me make it clear , roof-tops are only the catchment zones and either ,it can be taken for STORAGE and reuse or take it for CHARGING GROUND WATER.The system of store and use is more prevalent where rain fall is less then 10cms. as in Rajasthan.

    Susan  After going in for RWH, how long does it take for ground water to rise, if RWH is used only for ground recharging? I suppose around the National Capital Region, most RWH prjoects are for recharge and not reuse.  

    sabah  you said only 30 to 40 RWH systems are functioning out of 100 provided . what was the reason for the rest to not function ? 

    Ajit Seshadri  At Dronacharya govt. College at Gurgaon, it rained and caused a boundary wall to collapse because of sudden inrush of rain-floods, because of improper drainage. In the subsequent year RWH has helped avert this problem and also helped ground-water recharge of that area.

    Ajit Seshadri
      Susan, the ground water syndrome is such that demand is much more than recharge ,however RWH which is mostly done at NCR has helped levels to remain steady and behave as micro -level climate-improvers. 

    Ajit Seshadri
      Sabah, RWH after installation requires periodical clean-up and maintainence, labour costs only incurred. This also is not done as most are not keen for the initiative.It is done for paper-compliance by most . 

    sabah  what do u think sir should be done to set the trend for such a practice ? 

    Ajit Seshadri  Our NGO, goes for propagation of mantra of four R's - Reduce Reuse Recycle and Recharge of water. In pursuit of this we have also done waste water recycling for reuse. One success story is at vasant Vihar nullah. more later . 

      anil agarwal from CSE had come up with an idea of rain centers . how about something like that ? 

      Welcome SSBC 

    Ajit Seshadri  Sabah, I feel ,more awareness by public awareness and public participation and at most areas Govt,s, should take charge ,make local bodies more accountable ,both planning and governance,with respect to urban-services should be done. 

    Ajit Seshadri  Welcome SSBC, good evening.

    sabah  gudevening ssbc !! 

    Ajit Seshadri  Rain centres have and are doing excellent work in the communities . Rajinder Singh at Alwar is one good example. These centrs are India renown and take up water issues also.

    ssbc  Am joining rather late. Do we have a regulation that requires all institutional/comml. buildings to take up at least RWH on the lines of solar water heating etc. 

    sabah  in bangalore RWH was made compulsory ! but there is hardly any check from govn side . 

    ssbc  are these birds stork likes in terms of do they usually have long legs? 

    ssbc  as far as I know you have to be bloody lucky to spot a tiger. Where do you see them frequently? 

    Ajit Seshadri  Yes SSBC, new buildings have to comply with regulations on RWH, to get "completion certificates'. There is more to this ,all should do it, correctly. 

    Ajit Seshadri  SSBC, when it rains tigers and birds hide in the trees !!!!!!!!!! Can we store all this good rain-water for wildlife's later use!!! 

    ssbc  Ajit, will your NGO be interested in taking up a program at condominiums in DLF/S.Lok-I areas in Ggn.? 

    Ajit Seshadri  Yes, gladly .please note that we have done work at Laburnum Apartments, sushant lok . 

    sabah  does IWC work in terms of forcing govn to take up a strict action for implimenting RWH ? 

    ssbc  Some more like Beverly Park have expressed interest in taking up harvesting. And look for hand holding 

    Ajit Seshadri  All complexes should start green-initiatives like RWH, wste-water recycling ,bio-waste composting, appropriate greening. etc/. 

    Ajit Seshadri  Susan, you can take sabah's question!! 

    Ajit Seshadri  SSBC. please feel free to be in touch ,we will do our best to guide you. 

    Susan  Well, IWC is more into creating awareness. Forcing Govt to do anything is something which the best activists have failed to do. 

    ssbc  Ajit, I am in touch with the Ggn. RWAs that are on the Peoples Action Platform. May be we can do something together 

    sabah  WHY IS THAT SO ? 

     Susan  We like to concentrate more on activities at grass root levels-Asking what the people can do 

    sabah  are u guys active in bangalore also ? 

    Ajit Seshadri  SSBC, I have been associated with some NGO's and ppl groups at Gurgaon and we can do the needful. 

    Ajit Seshadri  Sabah, i can suggest some good ppl ,at B'lore and for general guidance we can help. 

      IWC has many members in Bangalore. Go to "member" area and search for Bangalore 

      i meant why are activists failing to convince govn on the issue ? 

    ssbc  Unfortunately most people believe trying to get the govt. to move is a waste of time. However, if we keep accepting whatever the govt. throws at us they are happy enjoing the privileges and perks of their offices 

    Ajit Seshadri  Small local innovative grass-root initiatives at decentralised level have been successful when the urban municipal services have failed, for-e.g.- drinking water, sewage clearence, waste disposal, power supply, public transport etc etc .

    sabah  hey thanx ! i will do that . any ways as you said grass root levels, isn't working with govn. on such a issue important ? 

    ssbc  Sabah, that happens because the govt. sees activists representing only themselves. Will help when right thinking people participate in making their presence felt. Jessica & Mattoo cases are good examples 

    sabah  yup that makes sense !!! 

    Susan  Ajit, will you sum up so that we can call it a day? 

    sabah  wat about RWH in loomy soils ? 

    Ajit Seshadri  For more details,pls view our Ngo website and its been nice to have a good chat on water issues on ths forum.

    ssbc  Ajit, when you address groups on the benefits of water harvesting, what is the logic that appeals to them the most - environment,, plain water shortages and hence need to conserve/recharge or is their some direct economic/financial impact that a householder can experience in quick time 

    sabah  hey thanx . was a good talk 

    Ajit Seshadri  sabah, loomy is tricky but we ought to take the water lower down and leave it at sandy layers. 

    Ajit Seshadri  Off the cuff, locl benefits , no-water logging , seeing, is believing i.e. when some1 views water rushing thru and going for aquifers recharge.there are some who have resorted to store and reuse at palam vihar etc. 

    Ajit Seshadri  Thank you all for joining us today for this refreshing chat on RWH systems. I look forward to taking up any queries request etc etc. 

    Susan  Thank you Sabah, SSBC for livening the chat. A big thank you to Ajit. Keep up the good work! 


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