India: Rainwater Club promotes rainwater harvesting

India is at the forefront of many rainwater harvesting innovations as well as promoting age-old, simple rainwater harvesting techniques – something which should also be embraced in water scarce South Africa.  Rainwater tanks can fill up surprisingly quickly in a single downpour; 10000 litre water tanks and even 20000 litre water tanks can overflow after a few hours of rain, depending on the rooftop’s rainwater harvesting area.
rain water harvesting tanks

Rainwater Club was started to help disseminate information on rainwater harvesting. It was founded in 1994 by civil engineer and urban planner S Vishwanath. He is currently secretary-general, International Rainwater Catchments Systems Association. In 2010, the Club was awarded by Namma Bengaluru Foundation for its contributions to Bangalore, but Vishwanth believes that good implementation of concepts it propagates has been  rewarding enough.

“Bangalore has the second highest number of rainwater harvesting structures, first being Chennai. Bangaloreans in general are proactive and are ready to engage with new technologies,” he says.

Among the Club’s current projects is one that helps government schools access rainwater, procure water safe for drinking, cooking and for use in lavatories. One initiative, in which they have partnered with ASHA, an NGO that works for under-privileged children, involves testing water for potability in taluks.

Other projects aim at raising awareness about rainwater harvesting and water management in schools across India for free and consulting communities and apartments on rainwater harvesting techniques.

The Club has been able to reach out to professionals as well as plumbers and well diggers. Vishwanath recalls Muniyappa, a well digger, who has dug more than 2,000 recharge wells, a record-worthy feat. He says of others inspired by the Club, “Reddy took to harvesting rainwater post-retirement and till date has supervised many projects. He is trying to invent rainwater filters for rooftop rainwater harvesting. Ramakrishnappa, from village Kuruburakunte on Bangalore’s outskirts, has built rainwater harvesting systems for over 400 rural homes. He assists government schools near Vijayapura to harvest rainwater, filter it and use it for cleaning and cooking.”

Source: The New Indian Express (By Rachelle Chandraan)

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