While most of us crib about the water problems in summer, Postnoon talked to a few people who took the initiative to make a difference. Here’s how they did itBhavneet Singh firstname.lastname@example.org
Every summer it’s the same old story—no water for domestic consumption. This is the time when the entire city is engaged in the water wars. But here’s the thing, while most of us were engaged in these wars, a few enthusiastic Hyderabadis decided to take matters into their own hands. They decided to use rain water harvesting to end their water problems.
“When I look at my neighbouring colonies, I feel very happy that it’s not the same case with mine, and my investment was totally worth it,” says a happy O Sandhya Rani when asked about the water supply in her area. Sandhya, who is a resident of the Second Bazar area, Secunderabad is very happy with the rainwater harvesting plant she set up seven years ago. “Many people criticised me for this move, but I was determined to set it up at any cost and ended up doing it.”
On being asked about the cost incurred and the effect of the plant, she said, “I had spent about `4,500 then. It included running a pipeline from the top of my building to the ground floor into the filtering pit and also the components of the pit. The first year, there wasn’t much of a difference, but the next year showed some promise and the rainwater, which usually ended in the drains was now going back to the ground. People around saw the difference and got one installed at their place as well. I was happy to do my bit. We hardly face any water problem now.”
R Gopalakrishna, a resident of Shantinagar went one step further. He installed the entire set up for 10 flats. This ensured that the entire apartment complex had water all through the summer. “I paid `6,000 and now I’m getting its worth. The recharge pit has done a great job in the past years and the water levels has improved drastically too,” he said.
According to government rules in Hyderabad, rainwater harvesting has been made mandatory in all new buildings with an area of 300 sq m or more. The tentative date for enforcing this rule was June 2001. But, like every other government rule, even this has just been implemented only on paper. In fact, a regular at the state secretariat tells us about the sad state of affairs there, rainwater harvesting pits are lying there neglected and filled with garbage.
Aditya Koppula, the co- founder of the Vridhi Foundation says, “The main reason we are not able to get the pits in every house despite the rules is because the harvest cell has been inactive for a very long time. We do not want to be activists in this matter. Instead we just want to join hands with the government and do everything possible to make the department active.”
“The only reason this issue is ignored is that it is not as visible as the child labour on the road. But by the time we realise, it will be too late,” he added.
According to official records, the total number of applications that came in for the construction of the rainwater pits since 2005 are 22,864, out of which only 5,261 have been completed till now.
This is a clear indication of how the government rules and regulations work. So, if you want a relief from the constant running around for water, initiate some water conservation methods in your complexes or homes and rest assured you will reap the benefits in the near future.
Here are a few tips on how and what we could do at home to do our bit
- First thing you want to do is invest and make a rainwater harvesting pit.
- Use a bucket instead of a shower daily. It helps you save 150-200 litres of water per household.
- Most of us keep the tap turned on while brushing. Avoiding this can help you save approximately 200 litres of water every month.
- For housewives who wash the vegetables in direct tap water, prefer doing it in a pan.
- Use the washing machine only when it is full to capacity. This will not only help you save water, but also electricity.
- Water the plants in the night as this helps the soil to retain water for a longer period of time.
- Stop wasting buckets of water and washing the roads in the name of traditions like ‘Vakili’.