Month: July 2023

These two cities are teaching the culture of drops to the world

Photo: Getty Images

When Chennai was facing a severe water crisis and people were fighting among themselves for a bucket of water, the two cities separated by 10,000 kilometers and facing severe water scarcity, peacefully supplied water to their citizens. Were staying I traveled to both these cities and saw how traditional efforts and state-of-the-art technology have been used to solve the problem even in the most water-stressed areas.

drinking water from sewage 

I heard the term Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) for the first time during August 2018 in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. The term, coined by the people of Namibia, refers to the conversion of domestic sewage into drinking water. Windhoek is located in the driest region of Africa. The city has spent more than half a century working to clean up sewage and make it drinkable again.

In very good years the city of Windhoek receives 300 to 400 millimeters of rain annually. But most of the water evaporates and only a small amount of water spreads on the ground. So this city with a population of three lakhs survives with a very limited water supply. There is only one way left to meet the water requirement and that is to make sewage water reusable. The first recycling plant was established here in 1968. The old plant has since closed and was replaced in 2002 by a larger Goringgeb reclamation plant. I went to see this new plant. This plant prepares 21 thousand cubic meters of drinking water per day. About 60 liters of water is delivered to each person every day through this plant to the population in this desert city. This is sufficient to meet the basic needs of the citizens.

One of the main features of Windhoek is that it keeps industrial and other toxic waste water separate from the domestic waste stream. Domestic waste water is received with constant quality after pretreatment in a separate drain. This pre-treated effluent again passes through a ten stage treatment plant. This refining process is similar to the conventional technologies used in our country. Such as – coagulation, flocculation (chemical reaction), gravity filtration (filtration of solid particles), filtration of activated carbon particles, ultrafiltration, ozonization, disinfection etc.

The process of making water clean here is done in only three to four stages, whereas the difference is that the pre-treated water has to go through ten stages in the New Goringab Reclamation Plant. After this, drinking water is made according to the water quality standards of Switzerland. It is the most complex and strict drinking water standard in the world. Since 1968, there has not been a single case of any adverse health effects from recycled water. It is also surprising that the cost of converting sewage into potable water again is very cheap. Through the New Goringab Reclamation Plant, 1,000 liters of water is sold in Namibia for $11. This price is equal to 60 paise per liter of clean drinking water.

every drop counts

“Gardens by the Bay” is a famous tourist destination in Singapore. It has three beautifully landscaped waterfront gardens set on reclaimed land. But most people don’t know that the reservoir on which these gardens are situated is the largest rainwater reservoir in Singapore, which is called Mariana Reservoir. Rainwater falls on one-sixth of Singapore’s land area. This rainwater collects in this reservoir. It is purified and used in homes and factories.

Singapore is also a water-stressed city. It imports water from Malaysia. The only source of water for the city is rainwater. Even now it supplies 140 liters of clean water per day to each of its citizens by combining traditional methods and modern technology.

Singapore is the best city in the world for rainwater harvesting. The city receives abundant rainfall of 2400 mm annually but has only a small portion of land available for rainwater harvesting. The city also does not have any rock formations that can store rainwater underground. Hence the city is specialized in water harvesting and surface water harvesting through storm water drains. Today, two-thirds of Singapore has built up water catchment areas. 17 Rain drains in reservoirs, Rainwater is collected through canals and rivers. A major feature of Singapore is that it has very strict land-use laws to keep the reservoir or water catchment area clean by protecting it from polluting agriculture and factories. Apart from this, separate drains have also been made for sewage and rain water. The combined arrangement of clean water harvesting area and separate rain water drain ensures that only clean rain water is stored in the reservoirs. But even this extensive rainwater harvesting system is not enough to meet Singapore’s water needs.

Apart from the domestic demand of water here, the demand of water through industrial and commercial establishments is very high. That’s why “NEWater” is prepared here by recycling sewage. It is the name of a brand of water produced by the Singapore Public Utilities Board. Using state-of-the-art membrane technology and ultraviolet disinfection, Singapore transforms even the dirtiest sewage water into ultra-clean water. This water is supplied to industrial units and commercial establishments. Currently, 40 per cent of Singapore’s water needs are met through NE Water. Singapore has also set up a water desalination plant. At present, the city has three desalination plants which can meet 30% of the water requirement of the city.

The combined system of rainwater harvesting, sewage recycling, import water and desalination plants has made Singapore a water surplus city today. Today Singapore calls itself as Global Hydrohub. The city has 180 water companies, 20 water research institutes developing state-of-the-art technology in the water sector.

Now the question needs to be asked that if Singapore, one of the modern cities of the world, can harvest rainwater and convert sewage into clean water, then why not India’s high-tech Bangalore? The fact is that Bangalore was built after harvesting rainwater in lakes, ponds and tanks. But most of the lakes and ponds have either dried up or are polluted. However, these can be revived again. A recent study by TV Ramachandra and colleagues from the Indian Institute of Science shows that through rainwater and sewage treatment, Bangalore could easily provide 135 liters of water per day to each citizen. But will Bangalore do it? This is not possible as Bangalore has decided to get an additional 775 million liters per day from the Cauvery river through the Rs 5,500 crore Cauvery Water Supply Project, Phase-V.

But is it more sustainable and cheaper to transport water thousands of kilometers away, as most Indian cities are preparing, or to go for rainwater harvesting and wastewater recycling? If Windhoek and Singapore can convert sewage into wastewater, why not Delhi? Chennai or Bangalore? If Singapore can do rainwater harvesting, why not Nagpur, Ranchi and Bhubaneswar? Indian cities must ask tough questions about a multi-crore water supply scheme.

The bottom line is that most of the Indian cities are facing water shortage but here the water is more than Windhoek and Indian cities have more catchment area than Singapore. If Windhoek and Singapore can meet their water needs through a combination of traditional rainwater harvesting and new cutting-edge technology, why can’t our cities? I don’t see any reason why we can’t do this?

Neerain is proud to republish this blog for spreading awareness about situation of water, for our stake holders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

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Author: Chandra Bhushan

Publish On: 02 July 2019



Water should be the next important environmental target for India

Environmental targets are becoming common place in the current global scenario, with a large focus on reducing emissions. Unrestricted emissions lead to global warming and resulting climate change and could cause catastrophic damage to life on earth in the coming decades, some predictions say as early as 2050. There has been a start towards action, with most countries committing to reduce emissions and planning steps accordingly. Another crisis that needs immediate attention is that of water, more so in developing countries like India, where a significant number of people lack access to safe water source. Overuse of available water sources, wastage, contamination, and mismanagement may lead to severe crisis in the near future and result in several related issues on health and livelihood, probably much earlier than emissions related impact.

Photo courtesy: Nicepng

India has 18% of world’s population but only 4% of world’s freshwater resources. As per available Government data, the per capita availability of water at national level is about 1500 mper year, which is below the globally recognized threshold of water stress (1700 mper year), thereby making India a water stressed country. Water availability is varied annually across seasons and regions as is visible in the frequent droughts and floods. Increasing population, coupled with urbanization and economic growth are expected to increase the water demand further, and apply great stress on the water ecosystem. Though the primary goal may be to ensure access to clean water for all citizens, there is an urgent need for a holistic approach to better manage this precious shared resource.

Firstly, there is a need to arrive at clear data regarding water availability and usage. Accurate real-time data will provide inputs for implementing the right solutions, as well as help in demand side water management measures. In the age of technological advancements, there is enough knowhow on creating the right infrastructure for water treatment, supply, distribution, and technology for monitoring consumption. These are essential for effective water management. The aim should be to develop a water balance on a large scale, like a city / state level, and track key parameters such as available sources of water, total usage, per capita usage, sector-wise usage, etc. This would not only help in ensuring right action for implementation but also provide policy inputs on a long-term basis. Singapore is a good example of a reasonably large scale and effective water management, and long-term planning on water sources.

Photo courtesy: Istock

Another important aspect would be to set clear measurable targets for water management at a national level and percolating down to state and city level. Like for Renewable Energy adoption in India, where every state is obligated to have a certain percentage of electricity from renewables, targets need to be set for water too. For example: water consumption, % losses in the network, use of recycled water, % of wastewater treated, groundwater usage, etc. for different sectors. It may be a difficult task but can be taken up through a stage-wise approach, starting as a part of the smart city project of the Government, and then replicated to other cities and smaller towns. Aggressive targets can drive decisive action and accountability at various levels.

Then comes the enablement through policy and regulatory framework. Stringent guidelines on water management coupled with effective enforcement is the need of the hour to address water crisis. Whether it is groundwater or freshwater from other sources, enforcement becomes effective with clear targets and monitoring of important data. Water should be charged based on consumption, irrespective of the sector – agriculture, industry or domestic. While the enforcement on water usage and effluent discharge can be in the form of penalties, policies on groundwater usage need to be more carefully defined since groundwater being a shared resource can affect a large area. Policy should mandate the use of water conservation techniques, implementation of rainwater harvesting and set clear limits for groundwater usage. Disclosures on water usage should be mandated for the corporate sector, and water should be an important aspect in the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals of companies in the Indian context.

Most of the water in India is used for agriculture. On a long-term basis, the agricultural patterns in India are expected to change and adapt based on water availability. But for domestic usage, a holistic water management with effective measures on water conservation, rainwater harvesting, and wastewater treatment will go a long way in ensuring water availability. 

Water is the basis for human survival and development. Conserving this precious resource needs commitment, decisive and urgent action at all levels. Targets similar to the ‘Panchamrit’ which talks about the promises made by India on emissions reduction are necessary for water as well in the Indian context. With the skills and technology available today, coupled with effective regulatory framework, it is possible to move towards self-sufficiency, adequacy, and safe water access for all.

Neerain is proud to republish this blog for spreading awareness about situation of water, for our stake holders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

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Author: Guruprakash Sastry

Publish On: March 21, 2022


Investment in water conservation required to build climate ‘resilience’ in rural India

The climate change phenomenon seems omnipresent with its impacts being felt around us in various ways.  However, in a vast, tropical, and developing country like India, one of the areas that is more acutely felt, is the area of ‘water’ – the medium through which we feel the painful effects of climate change.  

With our gargantuan population and an increasing ‘thirst’ for water across cities, industries, and agricultural communities, India has a pronounced vulnerability to climate change – simply because its agriculture system feeds 17.5% of the global population, all the while harnessing just 2.4 % of land and only 4% of the water on the planet.  It is a delicate and fragile balancing act for our humble farmers, 90% of whom are small and marginal landholders.  

Never before has water conservation been so vital, with conservation techniques being the fundamental difference between a ‘water starved community’ that relies on expensive and erratic water tanker delivery, or between a ‘water prosperous community’ which is self-sufficient in terms of water, with all year around access to this precious, life and livelihood giving, resource. 

This intimate relationship between climate change and water means that investing in water conservation techniques is a crucial part of fostering climate change resilience – particularly among vulnerable rural populations – people, communities, and an agricultural industry that these communities are built upon, and that feeds the nation.

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

Snapshot from ‘the Ground’

What does this climate change-induced ‘water stress’ look like on the ground in rural India?  

  • An increased frequency of drought means that less water is available, and the subsequent rises in temperature only increase a farmer’s demand of water for crops.  

  • High-intensity rainfall increases soil erosion and results in high water runoff – runoff that takes with it precious topsoil that silts up water harvesting structures, reducing their ultimate water storage capacity.  

  • Short duration, high-intensity rainfall which is exacerbated by climate change, also results in low groundwater recharge – reducing the availability of groundwater for usage.  

  • Irregular rainfall distribution and long intermediate dry spells during monsoon severely impact crop yield in rainfed areas.

However, across the country, there are many leading examples of how water conservation – coordinated efforts to increase the supply of water, as well as reducing the demand for it – has changed the water narrative in villages.  Whilst it is easy to shrug off the responsibility of water conservation methods to Governments to lead the charge, there is, in fact, a role to be played by everyone – villagers, communities, people’s institutions, corporates, and civil society – in the uptake of various water conservation measures to generate ‘water resilient communities in rural India.

But it requires a two-pronged approach.

  • Increasing Water Supply

Water resilience can be fostered, by increasing the supply of it for drinking, sanitation, and irrigation purposes – working with households, farmers, and communities to develop mechanisms to simply capture rainwater as and when it falls enabling percolation and recharge– storing it for use in the ‘dry months’ India is renowned for.

Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

At a household level, investment in a rooftop rainwater harvesting system (RRWHS) is proven as one of the cost-effective ways to increase safe drinking water supply.,. Self-sufficient households in terms of water, are not only better equipped to survive severe climate variability and drought, but are empowered with a responsibility to both capture and efficiently manage the use of their own water. An RRWHS constructed with a 12,000-liter capacity can be sufficient to meet the drinking and cooking water needs for a family of 5-6 members, for at least 250 days in a year – meaning a family’s needs are met for the rest of the year, post monsoon. This is a game-changer for families living in remote and water-stressed -communities as the quality of water is also assured.

Additionally, the revival and restoration of traditional water harvesting structures which are scattered across the country, is another priority in order to increase water supply.  Whilst most of these have fallen into disrepair, these unique structures have helped generations of Indians for millennia, to survive the harsh climatic conditions of remote India.  Sadly, during the colonization of India, the British replaced the decentralized, communal responsibility of managing water, with a centralized one where the Public Works Department took control of water. As a result, people gave up the responsibility of managing and caring for water. But these incredible structures still exist and many simply lie in disuse, in need of restoration and repair – with work, they can be revived to their former glory. 

With many communities facing issues with contamination of water supplies, like salinity and increased levels of fluoride due to over-extracted groundwater reserves, building the capacity of a community to test its own water and identify local solutions is yet another solution to making communities self-reliant when it comes to water.

  • Reducing Water Demand

However, an increase in water supply alone is not enough to generate self-sufficient, resilient communities when it comes to water.  With the agricultural sector consuming 90 percent of all water drawn across the country as reported, primarily for flood-irrigating water-intensive crops, there is a drastic need to convert farmers to more water-efficient agricultural practices.

Flood irrigation currently delivers only 35-40 percent water use efficiency, as opposed to micro irrigation which has up to 90 percent efficiency. Despite this, the coverage of drip (2.13 percent) and sprinkler (3.30 percent) methods of irrigation is meager compared to its total potential in India. This presents an exciting opportunity for widescale investment in micro irrigation as a key approach to reducing the demand for water. The slow spread of micro irrigation is not mainly due to economic reasons, but due to a lack of awareness among the farmers about the real economic and revenue-related benefits of it. In fact, by adopting micro-irrigation, farmers experience an increase in productivity – by being able to precisely control water application at the plant roots, crop yield is increased, resulting in an increase in profits. Additionally, farmers who adopt micro irrigation experience a reduced cost of cultivation – enhancing overall profits.  It is a win-win on all fronts.

Photo Courtesy: Pngtree

Additionally, according to experts at the Central Water Commission, India’s cropping pattern highlights the rampant cultivation of water-intensive crops such as sugarcane, paddy, cotton, and banana, across water-stressed regions of India. As agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater in India, the shift from water-intensive crops to less water-intensive crops such as pulses, millets, vegetables, legumes, and oilseeds, can spare large quantities of fresh water in India, with minimal cost, for the benefit of farmers.  An investment in farmer education and capacity building is required here.


The evidence is clear.  The climate is changing and will continue to do so, affecting all communities, primarily through the resource of water. Climate change will affect the availability, quality, and quantity of water for basic human needs and livelihoods, threatening the fundamental human rights to water of potentially billions of people. Strategic water conservation measures can be the key to creating climate-resilient rural communities, which have the means, in terms of water, to not just survive, but thrive & prosper, as they continue to grow food for the rest of the country.

Neerain is proud to republish this blog for spreading awareness about the situation of water, for our stakeholders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

This blog is published by: –

We would like to spread this for the benefit of fellow Indians.

Author: Pearl Tiwari

Publish On: October 13, 2022



If we’re smart about water, we can stop our cities from sinking

As more cities sink, rethinking how we use groundwater can ease pressure on precious aquifers

The land around Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has sunk dramatically over the years. Photo Courtesy: Rehman Abubakr

When you come into land at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport it may not be obvious from the sky that the land in the surrounding area has been sinking more than 17 centimetres a year.

The main reason for this subsidence is the excessive pumping of groundwater

As the water is removed from underground aquifers, the soil above begins to compact and sink. This can happen gradually, over years, or suddenly, in just hours. In either case, the effects can be long-lasting and expensive to repair.

India is ranked number one for excessive groundwater usage.  Groundwater is a vital resource for our planet’s survival. It sustains agriculture, provides drinking water, and supports ecosystems. 

However, overuse of groundwater is leading to a new problem: Land subsidence, which not only causes damage to infrastructure and buildings but threatens the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

In India, the northern Gangetic plains are exploited more than anywhere else. The impact of disappearing groundwater is accelerating changes in the shape of the land surface. But residents and authorities are fighting back, changing years of water usage habits to stop the land from sinking beneath them.

Photo Courtesy: Pinterest

recent study in Nature reported alluvial aquifers in India in the Delhi-National Capital Region have sunk and continue to sink at a substantial rate. Around Kapashera, near the international airport, land subsided by 11 cm per year during 2014-2016.

That increased to more than 17 cm per year in the two years that followed.

On the vulnerability of Delhi to subsidence, Ryan Smith, assistant professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology said: “Aquifers that are pressurized and have lots of clay are most prone to subsidence.” 

The soil in Delhi is mainly thick alluvium, which is clay-rich and thus vulnerable. It can cause significant damage to buildings, bridges, pipelines, railways, and canals.

Even minor subsidence in densely populated areas can put lives at risk. In cases where the rate of sinking is differential, It might lead to the weakening of foundations or develop cracks in the buildings.

A fifth of the world’s population lives in areas that are at risk of subsidence, according to recent reports.  In some cities, the problem is so severe that buildings have sunk by several meters.

The consequences can be devastating, as entire communities are left vulnerable to flooding, infrastructure damage, and water scarcity.

There’s been land subsidence in various parts of the world where exploitation of groundwater has been high. 

One of the most prominent cases is in Mexico City, where buildings have been tilting due to land sinking. 

In Indonesia, over the last decade, the capital Jakarta has sunk more than 2.5 meters. The problem is so grave the government is planning to shift the capital. 

Countries like Iran and China too, have witnessed prominent land subsidence in the last few decades.

It is possible to reduce land subsidence if groundwater replacement is equivalent to what’s taken out, or by using water sustainably. 

Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Rainwater harvesting is an effective way to boost groundwater, especially in dry cities, which receive low rainfall and have a lot of alluvial soil, which is prone to subsidence due to its softness.

In Delhi’s Dwarka region, residents and the government had been working on a plan to supply piped water to the area by 2016. Heavy fines were imposed on buildings still using borewells and residents began harvesting rainwater to increase the water table in the area.  

Two large lakes were cleaned up and rejuvenated which helped increase groundwater levels.

The government also decided that only treated sewage and surface water should be used to water public parks and grounds.

Town planner Vikas Kanojia said steps like reviving old reservoirs and harvesting rainwater helped Dwarka reduce its reliance on groundwater and reverse the trend of land subsidence. “This can be a model for other areas in Delhi and India”, he said.

Dwarka’s example shows that it’s possible to deal with the issue of subsidence, however in more arid regions this process is difficult. 

Iran, for instance, is home to some of the fastest sinking valleys in the world, but uncontrolled mining continues. Per capita water supplies have plummeted more than 65 percent in recent decades and it could be worse in the future. 

The government has invested heavily in technologies such as desalination. “Technology can help, but what we need is a long-term program to conserve water resources involving farmers, industries, and local communities and at the moment there isn’t one,” said Mahdi Motagh, a senior scientist from GFZ Potsdam.

The issue of subsidence is becoming more serious and widespread, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. However, there are solutions, as demonstrated by the efforts of residents and the government in the Dwarka region of Delhi. 

Rainwater harvesting, reviving old reservoirs, and using treated sewage and surface water can help to reduce reliance on groundwater and reverse land subsidence. But what’s more important is to address this issue through proper tracking and monitoring and long-term programs involving farmers, industries, and local communities.

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Author: Shagun Garg

Publish On: 18 May 2023

ગુજરાતીએ બનાવેલી પ્રોડક્ટની US સહિત 5થી વધુ દેશોમાં માગ : મોટા પેકેજની નોકરી છોડી વોટર હાર્વેસ્ટિંગ માટે પાણી સાફ કરતું સસ્તું ડિવાઇસ બનાવ્યું, કંપનીનું ટર્નઓવર કરોડોમાં

ચોમાસાની શરૂઆતથી જ દેશનાં અનેક રાજ્યોમાં પૂરની સ્થિતિ જોવા મળી. ગુજરાતમાં પણ અનેક જગ્યાએ વરસાદના કારણે ઘણા વિસ્તારો જળબંબાકાર થઈ ગયા હતા. પરંતુ બીજી તરફ ચોમાસા સિવાય દેશભરમાં પાણી માટે ઘણા લોકોને વલખાં મારવાં પડે છે. પાણી એ આપણી મૂળભૂત જરૂરિયાતોમાંનું એક છે. પરંતુ અવ્યવસ્થાના કારણે પાણી જીવલેણ મુસીબત પણ બની શકે છે. આવી પરિસ્થિતિનો વિચાર કરીને એક ગુજરાતી યુવાન અમિત દોશીએ પોતાની સૂઝબૂઝથી એક ખાસ પ્રોડક્ટ બનાવી છે.

17 વર્ષ ખાનગી કંપનીમાં કામ કર્યું, વિદેશમાં જઈને પણ નોકરી કરી આવ્યા, છેવટે હિમ્મતભેર એક પગલું ભર્યું અને આ ગુજરાતીએ એવી કંપની બનાવી જેનું ટર્નઓવર હવે કરોડોમાં છે. કારણ કે તેમણે પોતાના અનુભવના આધારે બનાવેલી એક વસ્તુની જરૂર આજના સમયે એટલી જરૂરી છે કે મોટા-મોટા બિલ્ડર પણ તેમનો સંપર્ક કરી રહ્યા છે. અમેરિકા સહિત વિશ્વના 5થી પણ વધુ દેશોમાં પણ આ પ્રોડક્ટની માગ છે.

અમિત દોશીએ કહ્યું, ‘મારું મૂળ વતન વિજાપુર છે. અત્યારે અમદાવાદ રહું છું. મેં વર્ષ 1996 ગવર્નમેન્ટ પોલિટેક્નિકમાંથી ડિપ્લોમા ઇન પ્લાસ્ટિક એન્જિનિયરિંગ પૂરું કર્યું હતું. ત્યાર બાદ વર્ષ 1997થી 2001 સુધી મેં સિન્ટેક્સ કંપનીમાં નોકરી કરી હતી. ત્યાર પછી નાઈજીરિયાની એક કંપનીમાં એક વર્ષ સુધી કામ કર્યું પરંતુ પિતાનું અવસાન થતાં હું પરત ફર્યો હતો અને ફરી સિન્ટેક્સ કંપનીમાં વર્ષ 2002થી 2014 સુધી કામ કર્યું હતું. જ્યાં ટેક્નિકલ સર્વિસ ડિપાર્ટમેન્ટથી શરૂ કરી એન્વાયરમેન્ટલ ડિવિઝનના માર્કેટિંગ હેડ તરીકે નોકરી કરી. મુખ્યત્વે સોલિડ વેસ્ટ મેનેજમેન્ટનું કાર્ય હું સંભાળતો હતો.’

વરસાદી પાણીને વોટર હાર્વેસ્ટિંગ માટે સાફ કરવા ડિવાઈસ બનાવનાર અમિત દોશી.

‘જ્યારે વર્ષ 2014માં મેં નોકરી છોડવાનો વિચાર કર્યો ત્યારે સૌથી પહેલો પ્રશ્ન એ હતો કે આગળ શું કરવું? પોતાનો બિઝનેસ કરવાનો વિચાર હતો. બિઝનેસ પણ એવો જે સામાન્ય માણસની તકલીફને દૂર કરે. મેં અલગ-અલગ વિષયો પર અભ્યાસ કર્યો. પર્યાવરણમાં એફ્લૂઅન્ટ ટ્રીટમેન્ટ, સુએજ ટ્રીટમેન્ટ, વોટર ડિસ્ટ્રિબ્યુશન, વોટર પૉલ્યુશન, એર પૉલ્યુશન, વોટર મોનિટરિંગ આવાં અનેક ક્ષેત્રોમાં મોટા પ્રમાણમાં બિઝનેસ થઈ રહ્યો છે. આ સ્ટડી કર્યા પછી મને લાગ્યું કે નોકરી છોડ્યા બાદ બિઝનેસ કરીશ તો મારી પાસે તેને શરૂ કરવા માટે રૂપિયા નથી. મારી પાસે ફક્ત મારો અનુભવ છે. મારી આવડત, કામ કરવાની બૌદ્ધિક ક્ષમતા છે, માર્કેટિંગની આવડત અને પર્યાવરણ પ્રત્યે મારું પેશન છે. ત્યારે વિચાર આવ્યો કે રેઇન વોટર હાર્વેસ્ટિંગ એક એવો વિષય છે જેને લઈને હજી પણ લોકો જાગૃત નથી. ભારતના મોટાભાગના લોકોએ હજુ રેઇન વોટર હાર્વેસ્ટિંગના કોન્સેપ્ટને અપનાવ્યો નથી. આપણે ત્યાં સારો એવો વરસાદ થતો હોવા છતાં પણ 60 ટકાથી વધુ વસતિ પાણીની તંગી ભોગવી રહી છે. પાણી લેવા દૂર-દૂર જવું પડે છે. આપણા દેશે તો દુનિયાને વાવ જેવાં સ્થાપત્યો દ્વારા વરસાદી પાણીના સંગ્રહનો વિચાર સદીઓ પહેલાં આપી દીધો હતો. પણ આજની પરિસ્થિતિ કથળી ગઈ. કારણ કે એ સિદ્ધાંતો આપણે મોડર્ન સ્ટાઇલમાં અપનાવી ન શક્યા. આજના સમયની જરૂરિયાત મુજબ તેમાં ફેરફાર ન કર્યા. જેના કારણે આપણે એ તરફ પછાત રહી ગયા. મને થયું કે આ ક્ષેત્રે ખૂબ કામ કરવાનું બાકી છે. આમાં કંઈક કરીએ તો સામાન્ય માણસની પાણીની તકલીફ દૂર કરી શકીએ.’

ધાબા પરથી પડતું પાણી સાફ કરતું ડિવાઈસ
‘નોકરી છોડ્યા પછી વરસાદી પાણીના સંગ્રહ પર અભ્યાસ કરીને કન્સલ્ટિંગનું કામ શરૂ કર્યું. વર્ષ 2014થી 2018 સુધી વરસાદી પાણીના સંગ્રહને લગતા કામકાજ અને અલગ-અલગ પ્રોડક્ટસ શરૂ કરી. આ દરમિયાન વિચાર આવ્યો કે સામાન્ય લોકો હજુ પણ બોરવેલ કે પાણીના એક જ સ્ત્રોત પર નિર્ભર છે. બોરવેલ સુકાઈ જાય કે ઓછું પાણી આવે તો લોકોને ઘણી મુશ્કેલી થાય છે. જ્યારે એ જ વિસ્તારમાં ચોમાસામાં સારો એવો વરસાદ પણ થાય છે. પરંતુ આ પાણીના સંગ્રહ માટે એવી કોઈ વસ્તુ નથી. મેં આ દિશામાં કામ શરૂ કર્યું. મને થયું કે એવું કોઈ નાનું ડિવાઇસ બનાવીએ જેનાથી ધાબા પર રહેલો કચરો વરસાદી પાણીમાંથી દૂર થઈ જાય અને વરસાદી પાણી આપમેળે જ સંગ્રહિત થઈને વાપરવા મળે તો જીવન ખૂબ સરળ થઈ જાય.’

અમિત દોશીએ ડિઝાઈન કરીને બનાવેલું ડિવાઈસ

નજરે ન પડતો કચરો પણ આવી રીતે સાફ થઈ જાય
અમિત દોશી જણાવે છે કે, ‘આ ડિવાઈસ બનાવતા પહેલાં અમે વરસાદી પાણી માટેના અલગ-અલગ ચેમ્બર્સ અને ફિલ્ટર્સનો અભ્યાસ કર્યો. જેના જે પણ તારણો આવ્યાં તેનાથી નક્કી કર્યું કે એવું ડિવાઈસ બનાવીએ જે સસ્તું હોય, વૈજ્ઞાનિક રીતે પણ સારી ક્વોલિટીનું હોય, વધુ પડતી જગ્યા ન રોકે, દીવાલ પર લાગી જાય, વરસાદી પાણીનો સંગ્રહ થતો હોય તેને મૉનિટર કરી શકાય, કોઈ પણ મેન્ટનન્સ ન આવે, ઝીણામાં ઝીણો કચરો ફિલ્ટર થઈ જાય, પાણીનો વેડફાટ ન થાય, કોઈ પણ પ્લમ્બર તેને સરળતાથી લગાવી શકે. આવા મુદ્દાઓને ધ્યાનમાં રાખીને એક બાય દોઢ ફૂટના ડિવાઈસની ડિઝાઈન તૈયારી કરી. જેમાં બધું જ પાણી 400 માઈક્રૉનના પહેલા ફિલ્ટરમાંથી અને 200 માઈક્રૉનમાં બીજા ફિલ્ટરમાંથી પસાર થાય છે. એટલે નાનામાં નાના કણ પણ અને કચરો રોકાઈ જાય છે. આમ શુદ્ધ વરસાદી પાણીનો સંગ્રહ થઈ શકે છે. એ પાણી પાઇપ દ્વારા સીધું જ ટાંકી, બોરવેલ અથવા કૂવામાં લઈ શકાય. આ પ્રક્રિયામાં એક પણ ટીપું વેડફાતું નથી.’

ધાબા પરથી કેટલું ચોખ્ખું પાણી મળે?
‘1200 સ્ક્વેર ફૂટનું ધાબું હોય તો 2 ઈંચ વરસાદમાં 4 હજારથી સાડા 4 હજાર લિટર પાણી મળે. અમદાવાદનું ઉદાહરણ આપું તો આખી સિઝન 60થી 65 હજાર લિટર પાણી મળે. એ પાણી શુદ્ધ હોય છે, સ્વાસ્થ્ય માટે પણ સારું હોય છે. ફ્લેટમાં જો 5 હજાર સ્ક્વેર ફૂટનું ધાબું હોય તો 2 ઈંચના વરસાદમાં 25 હજાર લિટર પાણી મળે. એટલે આખી સિઝન 3 લાખ લિટર પાણી મળે. આ પાણીનું સંચય ન કરવામાં આવે તો ધાબા પરથી જમીન પર આવે અને રસ્તા પર પાણી ભરાઈ જાય. એટલે એ જ પાણી આપણને ઘણું નુકસાન કરે છે. અમે બનાવેલું ડિવાઈસ લગાવવાથી પહેલાં જ વર્ષે 5 હજાર રૂપિયામાં 60 હજાર લિટર પાણી મળે છે. એની એક લિટરની કિંમત શું થઈ? સાવ નજીવી!’

આવી રીતે બોરવેલમાં પહોંચે છે વરસાદી પાણી
‘બોરવેલમાં 4થી 6 ઈંચની એક કેસિંગ પાઇપ હોય છે. જેમાં એક કોલમ પાઇપ હોય. તેના છેડે સબમર્સિબલ પંપ પાણીમાં ડૂબેલો હોય છે. એ પંપ દ્વારા કોલમ પાઇપ મારફતે પાણી આપણને મળે છે. જ્યારે વરસાદી પાણી ધાબાથી નીચે આવે તેની લાઇનમાં વોટર ફિલ્ટર લગાવી દેવામાં આવે છે. જેથી પાણી ચોખ્ખું થઈ જાય છે. આ પાઇપને બોરવેલની મોટી કેસિંગ પાઇપ સાથે જોડી દેવામાં આવે છે. જેથી વરસાદનું પાણી ચોખ્ખું થઈને બોરવેલમાં જતું રહે. જેના કારણે બોરવેલના પાણીના તળ ઉપર આવે છે અને આખું તળ રિજનરેટ થઈ જાય છે. એટલે બોરવેલને સુકાતો બચાવે છે. બોરવેલના પાણીનું TDS અને હાર્ડનેશ ડાયલ્યુશન ઇફેક્ટથી ઘટે છે.

આ ડિવાઈસમાં લાગેલા ફિલ્ટરને કોઈ પણ વ્યક્તિ આસાનીથી ખોલીને સાફ કરી શકે છે.

ક્યાં-ક્યાં છે આ ડિવાઈસની માગ?
‘અમે નિરેન નામથી ડિવાઈસ લોન્ચ કર્યું હતું. 3 વર્ષમાં 4 હજારથી વધુ ડિવાઈસનું ઈન્સ્ટોલેશન થયું છે. દેશમાં સૌથી વધુ વેચાણ ગુજરાતમાં છે. એ પછી કર્ણાટક, મધ્યપ્રદેશ તમિલનાડુ, કેરળ અને રાજસ્થાનમાં થાય છે. વિદેશમાં આફ્રિકા, નોર્થ અમેરિકા, નેપાળમાં પણ ડિવાઈસ ઇન્સ્ટોલ કર્યા છે. વિદેશમાં સૌથી વધુ 200 ડિવાઈસ નોર્થ અમેરિકામાં લગાવ્યાં છે. કુલ હિસાબ લગાવીએ તો અલગ-અલગ જગ્યાએ થઈને અત્યાર સુધી લગભગ 90 કરોડથી વધુ લિટર પાણી બચ્યું છે. આ સિઝનના આંકડા ઉમેરીએ તો કદાચ 125 કરોડ લિટર સુધી આંકડો પહોંચશે.’

ડિવાઈસની કિંમત અને ઈન્સ્ટોલેશન
‘1200 સ્ક્વેર ફૂટના વિસ્તારમાં વરસાદી પાણીના સંગ્રહ માટે કામમાં આવતું આ ડિવાઈસ 2950 રૂપિયામાં મળે છે. તેની સાથે પ્લમ્બિંગનો ખર્ચ થાય. એટલે 6 હજાર રૂપિયાની અંદર ડિવાઈસ લાગી જાય. 20 વર્ષ સુધી કોઈ પણ પ્રકારની વીજળી કે મેન્ટનન્સ જેવો ખર્ચ આવતો નથી. કોઈ પણ પ્લમ્બર કે સામાન્ય વ્યક્તિ 4 સ્ક્રૂ મારફતે તેને દીવાલમાં લગાવી શકે. ટેક્નિકલ 4 ઈંચનો આઉટલેટ અને 4 ઈંચનો ઇનલેટ છે. મોટાભાગના ઘરમાં સરળતાથી લાગી જાય છે.’

અમિત દોશીએ બનાવેલી પ્રોડક્ટથી વરસાદી પાણીને સાફ કરીને તેનો ટાંકીમાં પણ સંગ્રહ કરી શકાય છે.

’80 ટકા પ્રોડક્ટ અમે રહેણાક મકાનમાં લગાવી છે. જેમાં મોટાભાગના મધ્યમ વર્ગના લોકો ગ્રાહક હોય છે. જ્યારે 20 ટકા ડિવાઈસ અમે ઇન્ડસ્ટ્રીમાં લગાવ્યાં છે. ગુજરાતમાં સૌથી વધુ માગ વડોદરામાં જોવા મળી. ત્યાં આસપાસ નવા ડેવલપમેન્ટ બોરવેલ પર આધાર રાખે છે. બોરવેલ સુકાઈ જવાની ફરિયાદો હતી. હવે બોરવેલ રિચાર્જ થયા એટલે આખું વર્ષ પાણી ઘટતું નથી. ગામડામાં જેમને પોતાના બોર છે એ લોકો, જ્યારે શહેરમાં સંસ્થાઓ અને બંગલામાં રહેતા લોકો વધુ પ્રોડક્ટ લે છે. શરૂઆત કરી એ વર્ષે એટલે કે 2020 માં 5 લાખનું ટર્ન ઓવર હતું. ગયા વર્ષે એક કરોડ રૂપિયાનું ટર્નઓવર ક્રોસ કર્યું. આ વર્ષે ડબલ કરવાનો ટાર્ગેટ છે.’

સરકારે પણ જળ સંચય માટે નિયમ બનાવ્યા છે
અમિત દોશીએ એક કિસ્સો યાદ કરતા કહ્યું, ‘બિલ્ડર સાથે વાત કરીએ ત્યારે તેઓ કહે છે કે, અમે સરકારના નિયમોનું પાલન કરવા માટે જળસંગ્રહની વ્યવસ્થા કરીએ જ છીએ. પણ નિયમોના કારણે થતાં આ કામના લીધે કેટલીક વખત જળસંગ્રહની વાત ફક્ત કાગળ પર જ રહી જાય છે. અમદાવાદમાં દર વર્ષે અંદાજે 15 ટકા બોરવેલ સુકાઈ જાય છે. આ મુશ્કેલીનો સરળતાથી નજીવા ખર્ચે ઉકેલ લાવી શકાય એમ છે.’

‘માત્ર પત્નીને જ જાણ હતી કે નોકરી છોડી દીધી છે’
બે અલગ-અલગ કંપનીઓમાં થઈને લગભગ 17 વર્ષ નોકરી કર્યા બાદ પોતાનો બિઝનેસ શરૂ કરવામાં કેવી મુશ્કેલીઓ આવી, તે અંગે વાત કરતા અમિત દોશી કહે છે કે, ‘મેં સિન્ટેક્સમાં નાના ડસ્ટબિનથી લઈને 300 કરોડ રૂપિયા સુધીના પ્રોજેક્ટ પર કામ કર્યું હતું. પરંતુ જ્યારે નોકરી છોડી પોતાનો ધંધો કરવાનો વિચાર આવ્યો ત્યારે નક્કી કર્યું હતું કે ક્યારેય હું બિઝનેસ નહીં કરું. કારણ કે વર્ષ 1997થી બનાવેલી ગુડવિલ અને સંબંધોનો સવાલ હતો. મેં નોકરી છોડી, ત્યારે 2 વર્ષ સુધી ઘરમાં કેટલા રૂપિયાની જરૂર પડશે તે નક્કી કરીને 4 લાખ રૂપિયા અલગ રાખી દીધા હતા. નોકરી છોડી તેની બે વર્ષ સુધી મારા ઘરમાં પત્નીને જ જાણ હતી. કારણ કે જો આ વાત બહાર જાય તો બીજા લોકો કહેતાં કે આટલી સારી નોકરી કેમ છોડી? લોકોને નોકરી મળતી નથી. આવા સવાલોથી હું બચી ગયો. કારણ કે આવી વાતોથી મારી અને પરિવારની માનસિકતા પર નકારાત્મક અસર થઈ શકે. નોકરી છોડ્યા બાદ મને એ જ કંપનીમાંથી ફોન આવ્યો. હું મળવા ગયો ત્યાં મને કહેવામાં આવ્યું કે, તમે અમારી કંપની કરતાં અલગ ફિલ્ડમાં કામ કરો છો. એટલે તમે અમારી સાથે રહીને કન્સલ્ટિંગનું કામ કરી શકો છો. જેના 50 હજાર રૂપિયા મહિને નક્કી થયા. એટલે મારે ઘરનું ટેન્શન વધુ હળવું થઈ ગયું.’

છેલ્લાં ચાર વર્ષમાં ઘણાં રહેણાક મકાનો અને સંસ્થાઓની ઈમારતોમાં જળ સંચય માટે આ પદ્ધતિ અપનાવવામાં આવી છે.

‘મારા બિઝનેસ માટે બે વર્ષ સુધી ઘરેથી કામ કર્યું. એ પછી 2016માં એક ઓફિસ ભાડે લીધી અને પોતાની પ્રોડક્ટ બનાવવા પર ફોકસ કર્યુ. વર્ષ 2018થી પોતાની ઓફિસ લીધી. ત્યારે જ મેં ડિવાઈસની ડિઝાઈન બનાવી હતી.’

AMC સાથે પણ કરાર કર્યા
‘અત્યારે ભારત સરકારની મદદ લઈને અમદાવાદ મ્યુનિસિપલ કોર્પોરેશન સાથે MOU કરીને 8 સંસ્થાઓમાં આ સિસ્ટમ લગાવી છે. એ માટે ભારત સરકારે 20 લાખ રૂપિયા પણ આપ્યા છે. અમારી પ્રોડક્ટ બનાવવા માટે મશીનરીનો ખૂબ ખર્ચ થાય એમ હતો. ત્યારે સ્ટાર્ટ-અપને પ્રોત્સાહન આપવાના ઉદ્દેશથી ભારત સરકારે ફરી મદદ કરી હતી.’

અમારા હિતધારકો માટે પાણીની પરિસ્થિતિ વિશે જાગૃતિ ફેલાવવા માટે આ લેખ પુનઃપ્રકાશિત કરવામાં નીરૈનને ગર્વ છે. 
જે પણ શ્રેય લેખકને જાય છે.
આ લેખ દ્વારા પ્રકાશિત કરવામાં આવ્યો છે: -

અમે સાથી ભારતીયોના લાભ માટે આને ફેલાવવા માંગીએ છીએ.

લેખક: સારથી એમ.સાગર
આ તારીખે પ્રકાશિત કરો: જુલાઈ 17, 2023.

Institutionalizing Climate Change in Urban Sector Background

India is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts. Due to combined effect of climate challenges and inadequate urban management, cities are frequently facing climate hazards such as urban flooding, heat waves, cyclonic storms, severe and prolonged dry spells, water scarcity, etc. It is pertinent to mention here that the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, took place during October – November 2021 in Glasgow, UK, India committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2070. By 2020, countries submitted their plans for climate action known as nationally determined contributes (NDCs). Urban sector has to play a crucial role in achieving these commitments. Without involving cities India’s climate goals will not be achieved. This paper first explains server terms and strategies in climate change. Second section briefly describes strategy in Germany which is relevant to urban India. This is followed by actions taken by Indian Government on urban climate change and several local urban initiatives. Finally, it makes recommendations for future action.

Understanding Climate Change

Climate change (CC) refers to the increasing changes in the measures of climate over a long period of time – including precipitation, temperature, and wind patterns. Global warming refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it is part of CC. The Agreement is international treaty on CC adopted by 196 Parties, December 2015. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Photo courtesy: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Adaptation and Mitigation strategies for climate change are two sides of same coin. Mitigation means making the impacts of climate change less server by preventing or reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. Mitigation strategies include retrofitting building to make them more energy efficient; adopting renewable energy sources like solar, wind and small hydro; electric vehicles, and biofuels. Mitigation is short – to medium term measure and can be expensive. Adaptation involves taking appropriate measures to prevent the effects of climate change. Adaptation – adapting to life in a changing climate and involves long term strategies. Adaptation examples development of drought – resistant crops, Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE) Mission proposed by India. Etc.

Institutionalisation of climate change Germany

As an industrialised nation, Germany bears a particularly large responsibility of reducing emission. The Federal Climate Protection Act passed on 15 November 2019, which was amended in 2021. It prescribes legally binding climate targets with annually decreasing greenhouse gas budgets for the sectors of transport, energy, industry, buildings, agriculture and waste managements in Germany. In 2008, the National Climate Initiative (NCI) was established as the most import national source of funding for energy efficiency and climate protection activities by municipalities, companies, educational institutions and consumers from resources of the energy and climate Change fund (EKF) and the federal budget. A consortium of independent research institutes regularly evaluates the NCL and its funding programmes.

Climate protection managers are of fundamental imports for coordinated and well-anchored climate protection activities in municipalities and contribute significantly to implementing learning processes and making them visible in society. The focus of NCI funding is therefore an attractive start-up funding for personnel to strategically anchor climate protection in municipalities. Another measure to actively integrate climate protection into municipal is the introduction of climate checks.

  1. Presently, Independent Director (Nom – Executive )GIFT City Gujarat, Former Director of school of planning and Architecture (SPA) New Delhi and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)

  2. Finya Eichhorast and Corinna Altenburg. 2022. “Institutionalisation of climate change in Germany”. German Institut for Urban Affairs/ Deutsches Institut fur Urbanistik gGmbH.

In addition to the actual project funding, the Federal Environment Ministry has set up a Central Knowledge Hub, based at the German Institute of Urban Affairs (DIFU), acts as a central hub for knowledge transfer and is point of contract for all issues relating to municipal climate protection. While Germany has made early efforts and advancements especially in the field of renewable energy, the challenges to achieve the current climate neutrality goal until 2045 are enormous.

Urban India Response

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has stated in the revised National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (NMSH 2021) that enabling climate actions intend to address the overarching framework to facilitate adoption and implementation of the sector-wise climate action strategies. These include strategies pertaining to Urban Governance, Capacity Building, Data,Technology & Innovation and Financing mechanism for the mission.

Photo courtesy: Climate centre for cities

MoHUA has undertaken a number of climate sensitive initiatives. It has in 2019, initiated the “Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework” (CSCAF) as step towards holistic, climate-responsive development. The objective of the CSCAF is to provide a clear roadmap for the cities and, in effect, urban India as a whole towards combating Climate Change (mitigation and adaptation) while planning their actions, including investments. It covers five sectors namely, Urban Planning and green Cover, Energy and Green Building, Mobility and Air Quality, Water Management and Waste Management. The second round of assessment for this framework for 126 Cities was completed in 2021. A “Climate Alliance “has been set up in 2020, which brings together 80 organisations with diverse skills, strengths and resources required for planned Climate action. The CSCAF indictors have been included in the revised National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (NMSH) document that was released in 2021 and will help in making climate action mandatory for all cities in India. Climate Centre for Cities (C-cube) has been established with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in 2020.

Local Urban Initiatives

Many cities have taken several sustainable initiatives such as promoting public transport, walking and non-motorised transport, developing Miyawaki forests, introducing energy saving LED Street light, solar panels, electric autos, decentralised collection and treatment of solid waste, and nature-based treatment of sewage. It is interesting to note that many Cities have prepared city climate actions plans. These include Rajkot, Surat, Coimbatore, Kochi, Udaipur etc. Maharashtra State Government has given a mandate to 45 large cities to prepare city climate action plans. Rajkot and Udaipur Climate Resilient City Actions Plans have been approved by their General Boards. Various mitigation and adaptation interventions have been identified for Rajkot based on GHG emission inventory and urban system analysis in line with existing city planning and future projects.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has prepared a Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in a bid to tackle climate challenges. MCAP included climate resilience with mitigated and adaptation strategies by focusing on six area sustainable waste management, urban greening and biodiversity, urban flooding and water resource management, building energy efficiency, air quality, and sustainable mobility.

With reference to climate change related financing, the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam (GNN) has led the way by issuing green bonds in April 2021. The issuance of green bonds in India are governed under relevant SEBI regulations in 2017 SEBI and funds raised through issuance of the debt securities are to be utilised for projects which fall under renewable and sustainable energy, clean transportation, sustainable water and waste management and climate change adaptation.

Way Forward

Although urban India has taken several steps to integrate urban climate change in urban sector, more efforts are required to mainstream in the urban sector in India at national, state and city level. Capacity building efforts under urban climate change should be further intensified and also support private sector. Additionally, there is need to integrate climate change issues in the Urban and Regional Development Plan Formulation (URDPFI), Guidelines, GIS based master Plan Guidelines, Model Municipal Law 2003 and model Building Bye Laws. There is need to provide specific funding for urban climate change projects and this will require justification of urban climate change funding. Besides, provide incentives for urban climate change actions. Local research and academic institutions should be encouraged to work with cities and state on urban climate change. Innovations have to be through start-ups and urban labs. Moreover, a research study on impact of updated climate targets on projected urbanization pattern should be supported by the Government.

Neerain is proud to republish this blog for spreading awareness about situation of water, for our stake holders. Credit whatsoever goes to the Author.

This blog is published by: –

SOCLEEN Magazine – February 2023

Author: Chetan Vaidya

Published on: February, 2023

5000 years ago, rain water was collected



Photo courtesy: Divyabhaskar

Discovered at its eastern end along with the white desert after the 2001 earthquake, the unique city of the Indus Valley Civilization has found a global reach. 250 km from Bhuj. And 92 km from Rapar. The harappan city is located near Dholavira on the far side of The Khadir Bet. Khadir Is an island at the eastern end of the great desert of Kutch. It’s a desert. Thousands of years ago, this desert area was filled with huge water. The Indus or The Saraswati river met the Arabian Sea here. So in the real sense, it was the sea that was sinking here, and the villages on the banks of the desert were once inhabited by Harappan settlements. The essence of the saying is that Dholavira was a port in the Harappan town and there was a large-scale import and export from here. Now, after excavation, the city with a systematic urban town planning has come to light, it is spread over an area of 250 acres. Earlier, a huge tank was seen here and people used to call it Kotda Timbo, but now it is famous as Dholavira, one of the five cities of the Indus civilization. It is distinct from others in terms of size. It is divided into three parts. One part belongs to the RajMahal-Raj Bhavan or the residence of all authorities and is protected by a strong fort. Fortification is the city’s special debt. The second part is for a class like high officials, wealthy businessmen. In what archaeologists call the Upper Town, the third part belongs to the general working class, which is the Lower Town. Whether such a structure is part of the varna system of the Rigveda period is a matter of debate. What attracts more attention is that in other Harappan towns the construction is mostly made of bricks, while dholavira is made of square-rectangular stones. The palace is at a high altitude place. The houses for the wealthy merchant-officer class are two to five rooms and have protected walls made of stone. While the houses for the general working class are made of bricks. All the four gates of the palace are of carved stones. This kind of architecture has not been found anywhere else. Next to the palace is a huge playground-stadium. Which is a testimony to the competitive games with the ferocity of the time. A three-meter-long signboard has been found on the northern entrance of the palace. On which there are 10 letters or symbols written with beads. It could possibly be the name of the town or the name of the palace-king. But not only the signboards, but also the definitions received from other Harappan cities have not been resolved. However, the system that has been seen as an invaluable gift to human society as a whole is related to water storage, sewerage system and sanitation. In addition to rainwater harvesting, a network of canals and rivulets has been set up to transport water from distant rivers and streams to the city. There is a large water tank in the palace. Water reaches the palace through this drain. Even if there is a fortification, the flow of water continues as the tunnel is underground. Rainwater reaches reservoirs outside the village through small drains from the roofs of the house. It is surprising to know that there are about 14 to 16 large tanks or reservoirs around Dholavira Harappan town. Imagine all this happened 5000 years ago in India- Kutch. Alas, cleanliness and sanitation were given great importance. There was a private toilet facility. In this context, it has been claimed that the system, which is famously known as Western Toilet, was also here. Such a facility has not been seen in any other civilization of the world 5000 years ago. There is a sewage system here to drain out the used water. The water coming out of each house would go into the pot like a barn outside the house and from there to the gutter. Influenced by Dholavira’s rainwater harvesting method, the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai has emulated it. A well similar to the saloon found during excavation is also an important finding. From here, water can be taken to the houses and palaces of the city. The fountain is released from the top of the bathroom by a small nick.You can take a bath like that. Thousands of items have been found in Kutch during the excavation of the chaid year. There are plenty of clay samples. From pots to toys, but the beads are beautiful. There are copper kilns. A number of items such as seals(mahoras), garlands, tolas, aujaras, animal bones, ornaments, bronze utensils have been found. Which has crossed 59000. At present, all these valuables have been shifted to Delhi due to lack of adequate security. The town was a major export-based trading hub.

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5000,5000 years ago, rainwater used to accumulate. <> years ago, a drop of rainwater was collected – Divya Bhaskar

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Author: Kirti Khatri

Efforts to save water will have to be intensified

There are about 24 lakh water sources in India. This conclusion has come out in the country’s first water body census. These water sources include both rain and groundwater-rechargeable water sources.

This enumeration done by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (Water Resources) has geo-tagging all the water sources and linked all the ponds, tanks, chakbandhs and water reservoirs to each other on the basis of shadow images and latitude and longitude.

Photo courtesy: down to earth

As per the survey, 83 per cent of the water sources are used for fisheries, irrigation, groundwater-recharge and drinking water. It has also been clarified in this report that contrary to popular belief, encroachment has been found on only 1.6 percent of the reservoirs in this census.

There is no data available on the status of the catchment area of ​​these reservoirs to help determine how much groundwater is being recharged. But it is certain that this calculation is an important initiative in these present times of climate crisis.

We are well aware that the rains are getting more and more uncertain than ever before. Monsoon in India who is also considered as our real Finance Minister ) has become more severe now.

It simply means that it is raining in a few days and that too very fast and smoky. That’s why it is very important for us that wherever and however much it rains, we collect each and every drop of it.

From this point of view also, this water body census needs to increase the number of water sources and use well-planned methods to renovate the existing reservoirs, so that they can increase the ground water level by storing maximum rain water. These water reserves will be useful for us during the long season of no rain or drought.

Inevitably, we are bound to get caught in a vicious cycle of devastating drought every year and catastrophic floods every alternate year. But the truth is that this vicious cycle is now a “new normal” for us and it will have disastrous effects on the hydrology of the rivers.

There is only one way to reduce this magnitude of flood and drought, the passion to build lakhs of new reservoirs and connect them together to store rain water. Only by realizing this scheme, water in addition to flood can be stored to deal with the calamity of drought.

The future of our water depends on our judicious use of water. This is the lesson we need to learn from the interesting events of ancient Roma (Rome) and Edo (the city that became Tokyo).

The Romans used to build huge aqueducts, which stretched for ten kilometers each, to transport water to their settlements. Even today these reservoirs are a ubiquitous symbol of water management in their society. 

Experts have admired the Romans because they showed great skill in planning their water supply, but these aqueducts point not to their skill, but to the great Romans’ environmental mismanagement. Rome was built on the banks of the Tiber River. So this city did not need any other aqueduct.

But since Rome’s waste was discharged directly into the Tiber, the river was polluted and water had to be brought from far away. Sources of water were few, so the nobility used the practice of slavery to exploit those sources.

On the other hand, the traditional Japanese never throw their garbage in the rivers. They allowed those wastes to decompose naturally and used them as fertilizer in the fields. Besides rivers, there was no shortage of other sources of water in Edo. Their water supply system was free from any kind of social discrimination.


Meanwhile, the good news is that our water literacy has increased as compared to earlier. Over the past decades, the country has learned important lessons and developed a new approach to water management. Till the late 1980s, water management was generally confined to irrigation projects.

Dams and canals were mainly built during this period to store and supply water over long distances. But it was only then that the country faced a major famine in the late eighties and it became clear that simply increasing the amount of water through large projects was not enough.

At the same time the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) also published its report “Dying Wisdom”. The report mentioned the traditional techniques used for rainwater harvesting in India’s ecologically diverse regions.

The slogan of the report was – Rain falls not in one place, but in different places and its need is also in different places, so whenever and wherever it rains, its water needs to be saved then and there.

Today, many programs have been created with the aim of creating and reviving water sources. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is already making a significant contribution in the construction of a large number of reservoirs.

Apart from this, the government has just announced Mission Amrit Sarovar, under which there is a plan to develop and revive 75 water sources in each district of the country to mark the completion of 75 years of India’s independence.   

Despite the interest in decentralizing water management, it is sure that not enough is being done to secure its future. The real reason for this is that there is no uniformity in our bureaucracy in policy-making regarding land and water.

The maintenance of the ponds is the responsibility of one agency, while the drainage and the catchment area are the responsibility of two different agencies. These rules need to be changed to conserve water.

Water management can be done more effectively by expanding the control of local communities over water sources and for this strengthening the roots of democracy and devolution of rights is necessary.  

But more important than all these things is to reduce the use of water in terms of quantity and spend every drop of it carefully. For this, there is a need to bring changes in the methods of irrigation, household appliances and food habits, so that we can choose our food crops economically from the water point of view.

It is high time, in the coming decade, we rewrite the water story in India by drawing lessons from our best practices. It’s very simple. For this we have to make this work the only major goal of our life.

We have to remember that water is related to our livelihood. It is related to our food and nutrition. It is related to the future of man.

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Author: Sunita Narain

Publish On: 27 April 2023

Water crisis paralyses normal life in Belagavi city

BELAGAVI: The prevailing water crisis has affected normal life in Belagavi city with educational institutions planning to switch to online classes, hospitals postponing minor surgeries and industries reducing the number of working hours.

Photo courtesy: pinterest

St Paul’s English Medium School, one of the prestigious educational institutions in north Karnataka, has decided to switch to online mode from Monday due to shortage of water. St Paul’s School falls under the Belagavi Cantonment Board (BCB), where water crisis has reached its peak. The school, with a strength of 2,200 students, on Friday had announced plans for online classes from Saturday and later postponed that to Monday as parents of one of the students have supplied two tanker water. A few more schools will switch to online classes if the city doesn’t get rain in a day or two.

Father Savio Abreu, principal of the school, said that the campus has an open well and a borewell which have completely dried up following which it was decided to go online. “Water supplied by a parent on Friday was used on Saturday and we would switch to online classes from Monday if we fail to get water till Sunday night,” he said.

Father Sebastian Pereira, vice principal of the school, said that it was the prime responsibility of the school to provide safe drinking water to students, apart from toilets and washrooms.

The Rakaskop reservoir, one of the primary sources of water for Belagavi city, has just half-a-feet of mud water. The district administration is supplying water in tankers to the rural areas. Things would turn from bad to worse if the city doesn’t receive rain within a week.

Many private hospitals that buy water have postponed minor surgeries and are attending to only emergency cases.

Photo courtesy: Adobe Stock

As the water sources have gone dry, many government district hospitals are already following the same.

The 1,000-bedded district hospital in Belagavi, which is attached to Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS), has planned to buy water from private water sellers. Since the cost was not affordable, the institute, which has a medical college, has planned to send the students of the hostels to their native places so that it can utilise available water for inpatients.

BIMS director Dr Ashok Shetty said that there is no alternative than supplying water to inpatients, mainly those in the maternity wards. Industries in Belagavi have also reduced the number of working shifts due to scarcity of water, which is affecting the economic sector. Belgaum Chamber of Commerce and

Industries former chairman Vikas Kalghatagi said many industries have been closed down and some are reducing the number of working hours.

City Corporation commissioner Rudresh Chali said: “We are responding to serious problems. City Corporation has proposed to disilt and recharge wells to get water.”

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Publish On: Jun 18, 2023

Roofs, rain and life: Rainwater harvesting for safe water supply and sustainable co-benefits

Key Takeaways

  • Rainwater harvesting is a valuable part of a water management strategy, can contribute to household water security and should be encouraged and facilitated by governments.

  • Governments can create an enabling environment and policy framework that regulates and incentivizes the implementation of RWH systems. 

  • Governments can promote and support RWH by raising public awareness and develop an appreciation for water resources among residents. 

In an era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector is gaining much more (deserved) attention due to its importance in containing and mitigating the spread of the deadly virus. Moreover, many countries have even established constitutional mandates recognizing WASH services as a Human Right of the population after the United Nations adopted such resolution in 2010.  But despite the importance and recognition of the WASH sector globally in the current era, many developing countries are still far away from reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Water and Sanitation. Accelerated and sustained coverage of WASH services for all have been the source of debate over the last decade, particularly because of the difficulty of bringing these services to rural and dispersed populations in cost-effective ways and under tight fiscal constraints. 

Photo courtesy: HarvestingRainwater

Accelerating, sustaining and universalizing WASH must rely on multiple options that can be scaled up at reasonable costs to the government, the providers of maintenance and, ultimately, users.  One of the many potential solutions that deserve attention and could help meet these ambitious objectives are rain harvesting solutions. There have been some interesting field case studies in Tanzania that illustrate how rainwater harvesting (RWH) solutions produce spill over benefits on agriculture while increasing resilience. Such effects have been observed even in dry areas in Pakistan. Also, many advocates show RWH breaks the monopolistic (and in many occasions unsustainable) structure of the usual utility service providers. The debate of whether RWH is a viable option within the menu of solutions available to accelerate, sustain (both environmentally and economically) and universalize access to safe water is still open. Because of that reason, this short literature review can provide a clearer “picture” of the features and characteristics of these options.  

Photo courtesy: Homeonline

RWH is useful for the accumulation and deposition of rainwater in specially prepared collection and catchment areas, such as roofs, or areas on the ground, and has numerous (unquantified) benefits. In water-rich countries like Malaysia or Colombia, for instance, RWH has proven useful in improving water security at household and personal scales, and with financial viability. Rainwater can act as a buffer against shortfall, as an alternative primary source in rural areas that lack conventional water supply systems, and as a backup supply source in urban areas. A cost-benefit analysis of RWH options pointed out that these options are not economically viable, but without quantifying the multi-purpose benefits of RWH. For instance, RWH systems can mitigate service interruptions from centralized water distribution systems, or overuse of water from wells in arid regions. RWH can also be used to store rainwater for emergencies such as earthquakes, and as an adaptation strategy to cope with climate extremes such as droughts.  In addition, RWH can help reduce the impacts of flooding through the reallocation of water in small watersheds dedicated for agro-forestry and reduced urban runoff.  

If well managed, rainwater quality can be safe in combination with a framework of international standards. Rainwater is considered an ‘improved water source,’ according to the WHO & UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (WHO & UNICEF, 2019), when these parameters and standards are met. Therefore, investments in up scaling RWH count towards meeting the targets agreed by national governments for WASH as part of the SDG 6.  

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Author: Christian Borja-Vega

Publish On: November 10, 2020