Chennai reaping rainwater harvest
Bay View apartments in Kalakshetra Colony would have been waterstarved today had it not gone for rainwater harvesting way back in 2003. Now the residents of the complex have a perennial supply of water — just with an investment of Rs 40,000.“All the wells had gone dry during by 2002. But since we had gone for rainwater harvesting, the heavy rains in 2005 helped in increasing the groundwater level immensely. Since then we have had no problem,” said N Brinda, a resident of the four-block apartment. The cost of the harvesting was shared equally by the residents. “We have both systems of harvesting — the one that discharges water into the regular well and also into the recharging well. Since the road is at a higher level, the water from the road also flows into the recharge well,” she said. According to her, due to rainwater harvesting, the water level has increased in many places, especially near Marundheeshwarar temple in Thiruvanmiyur. “The groundwater level indicator of an area is the temple tank. The Marundheeshwarar temple tank level rose considerably after the 2005 rains. This can be attributed to the fact that all the flats around the tank have implemented rainwater harvesting,” Brinda said.Even rainwater harvesting by the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s (CMWSSB) seems to be reaping benefits in some areas. The board claims there is not only an improvement in the level of water but also its quality. According to CMWSSB officials, the water level in places like Triplicane, Tondiarpet and Besant Nagar was 5.25m below the ground level in 2004. But by 2007, it had risen upto 1.7m below ground level. Also, the total dissolved solids went down from 1,300 ppm to 600 ppm. In Perambur, Villivakkam and Vadapalani, the water below ground level, which had gone down to 4.65m, now stands at 0.85m. The total dissolved solids have also gone down from 2,900 ppm to 700 ppm. In Guindy and Velachery, the level has risen from 3.25m below the ground to 1.05m, while the total dissolved solids have decreased from 1,800 ppm to 500 ppm. Meanwhile, residents of complexes where rainwater harvesting was not done properly are feeling the pinch now. “My flat is in Adambakkam and has over 200 houses in it. Since it was being constructed when the government made rainwater harvesting mandatory, the structures were constructed hastily. We are now facing a severe water shortage,” said Abhijith, a resident of Adambakkam.His neighbour Suresh Varma, an IT professional, said the structures were not constructed scientifically and therefore had yielded no results.
Labels: Chennai Rain Water Harvesting