Deciphering Rainwater Harvesting
September 16th, 2017
India, as a country, is generally blessed with good monsoon. The country receives a rainfall of 119 cm rainfall on an average, according to Indian Meteorological Department. Despite this, there is shortage of water – the essence of our life. As a natural resource, the availability of water is limited and requires alternatives to conserve it. One such way is rainwater harvesting (RWH).
A technology to collect and store rainwater through various catchment techniques, rainwater harvesting should become a way of life. In fact, it has been made mandatory by several state governments in India – an important step in the right direction. Water-harvesting units in housing projects help prevent water logging, recharge ground water, and increase the local water table. As one of the purest forms of water, rainwater, if treated properly, can be used not only for external requirements, but also be made potable.
While rainwater harvesting in itself is an old concept, its potential is yet to be realised, especially by dated housing projects. In fact, there are several myths surrounding it. These include:
- Expensive: It is an expensive method and the installation of equipment is tedious. While there are expensive equipment available, there are several simple methods for rainwater harvesting such as roof based runoff and land-based runoff along with the recharge pits. Rainwater that is collected through roof based runoff and stored properly is a sustainable source of water and ideal for use inside and outside the home. One can use rainwater for toilet flushing, vehicle/floor washing, laundry and garden use alone, thus reducing the water requirement of a typical household by 70%.
Rainwater harvesting is an important aspect of residential development in all SOBHA projects. Our residential property in Thrissur, Kerala – SOBHA City – is built on the water front of the biggest man-made lake spread over 6.5 acres. This 6.5-acre lake, one of the biggest rainwater harvesting facilities in the country, effectively addresses SOBHA City’s potable water needs. Water for the entire project is sourced from collecting the rainwater in this artificial lake. This water is treated in an RO plant for consumption. Water saved by rainwater harvesting is also used for landscaping, car washing and floor cleaning. After suitable treatment, rainwater is used for domestic purposes.
Similarly, SOBHA Lifestyle Legacy, first presidential villa project in Bengaluru comprises a 15 million litre rainwater harvesting unit – the largest facility found in any gated community. The facility is expected to cater to the water requirements of this 55-acre community.
- High-maintenance: Another myth surrounding rainwater harvesting is that they are high maintenance. Most of these systems are passive and do not require much work post installation. The pumps and filters only need basic cleaning. There’s hardly any effort, time and money required for the maintenance.
- Poor Quality: There is often doubt about the quality of rainwater. It is not only the best source of water but also the purest form of water sources compared to others. Rainwater with primary treatment for sedimentation and filtration is ideal to meet various domestic and non-domestic needs of the residents. If hot water systems are supplied with rainwater, this can reduce the water requirements by up to 85%.
- Not for Dry Climate: It is a common misconception that rainwater harvesting is not useful in dry climate. A region without enough rainfall can also benefit significantly from it. One can collect over 2000 litres of rainwater per inch of rain from every 1,000 square feet of collection area.
With increasing pressure on existing water resources, rainwater harvesting is one among SOBHA’s many efforts to promote sustainable living and solve water shortage problem.