Urban Rainwater Harvesting: Case studies from different agro-climatic regions
CSE has put together and submitted a report to the MoUD on “Urban Rainwater Harvesting: Case studies from different agro-climatic regions” as a part of its deliverable as a Centre for Comprehensive Capacity Building, under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (CCBP- JnNURM) for Sustainable Water Management.
Modern water management relies heavily on cost intensive long distance transfer of water to meet the growing water demand as well as overexploitation of in-situ groundwater resources. Sustainable water management requires understanding the value of rain, and to make optimum use of rainwater at the place where it falls. With rapid urbanization and greater areas coming under roofs and concrete structures, water utilities have solely focused on augmentation and failed to combine traditional wisdom with modern engineering.
The report discusses two case studies successfully implemented from different agro-climatic regions of India - (i) low (scanty) rainfall area: Birkha Bawari (Jodhpur, Rajasthan) and (ii) very high rainfall area: Goa University. In both cases it is clearly evident that the selection of system is site and context specific. For planning and delivery of any RWH the information and data to be considered include: geological boundaries; hydraulic boundaries; inflow and outflow of waters; storage capacity; porosity; water resources available for recharge, natural recharge; water balance; depth of aquifer and tectonic boundaries that may vary from site to site.
The report with the help of case studies seeks to encourage discussion with urban local bodies or water management organisations on the potential of mainstreaming rainwater harvesting, the need for sustainable water management practices at present and discussing the way forward.
The Ministry of Urban Development has acknowledged the lack of skilled man power in urban local bodies across India and has therefore developed the ‘Capacity Building Scheme for Urban Local Bodies’ (CBULB). The programme aims to enhance knowledge, skills and attitude of city officials for the mainstreaming of reforms and best management practices (BMPs) of sustainable water and wastewater management through training programmes followed with field exposure visit, seminars and workshops.
‘Septage’ is both solid and liquid waste that accumulates in onsite sanitation systems (OSS) e.g. septic tanks. This has three main components – scum, effluent and sludge. It has an offensive odour, appearance and contains significant levels of grease, grit, hair, debris and pathogenic micro organisms. The construction and management of OSS are left largely to ineffective local practices and there is lack of holistic septage management practices.