VARANASI: Rainwater harvesting should not be restricted to only rooftop rainwater harvesting and should be expanded to reach alternative programmes like rejuvenation of tributaries to save wetlands that are fast drying up and facing water pollution and contamination. It was said by chairman, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), SP Gautam while inaugurating the one-day seminar to mark the World Wetlands Day organised by the department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, on Wednesday.
Saying that rejuvenation of tributaries was important to maintain water flow in the river, Gautam emphasised that it would also maintain equilibrium in the ecosystem beside giving a new lease of life to aquifers and aquatic animals. “The process requires methods to change the water gradient and coming up with dug wells in different areas to collect water from torrential rain. Similarly, it can also enable the collection of flood water apart from recharging the groundwater and improving water quality,” he informed.
Professor Emeritus and expert on Wetlands RS Amabasht, while highlighting the values of wetlands, emphasised that they acted as indicator of water footprint to suggest the relationship between water use and its recycling in a particular area. They may be constituting only 6% of total terrestrial area but they are also the source of nearly 30% of fresh water in the world.
It may be mentioned here that the Ministry of Environment and Forest has identified 25 wetlands in the country spread over 1.87 crore square kilometre area. Earlier, comparing the importance of wetlands to the role of kidney in the body, head of the department BR Choudhary said they needed to be preserved at any cost as they were vital to human existence. “They absorb harmful chemicals and also recharge the water when needed,” he said.
Coordinator of Centre for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST), BHU, BD Tripathi highlighted the recent efforts to preserve water bodies in the vicinity of the university campus. He said the centre had taken the initiative to revive the water bodies besides ensuring collection of rainwater in the vicinity. He also emphasised the rooftop rainwater harvesting at seven places in the university to recharge water.
Source: The Times of India
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