Month: January 2024

As groundwater level depletes, city stares at the bottom of well

Photo Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror

Citizens across the city are reporting about an alarming depletion of groundwater. Wells situated in private properties and temples are almost running dry, they say.

Experts claim that although Mumbai is blessed with abundant groundwater, the low levels in the wells could be due to the massive construction taking place in the city. There are about 6,000 construction sites in Greater Mumbai, each one digging deep piles into the ground for making basements.

The issue was sparked early this month on Parsi community chat groups with members reporting low water levels in the wells inside several fire temples across the city. The well is a crucial component in any fire temple without which no liturgical ceremonies can be performed.

Juhu resident and civic activist Zoru Bhathena said the sweet water well on his property generally has 5 feet to 7 feet of water around this time of the year.

“This year, it has plummeted to just 3 feet,” he told Mirror. “I asked the neighbours and friends in the locality, and they pointed to a huge construction site near my house where the ground had a deep excavation for a basement,” he said.

“Substantial water extraction accompanies basement construction impacting water resources in the area significantly,” he added.

Several other residents in Juhu too complained that there was hardly any water left in their borewells with rocks at the bottom visible.

Bhathena has written to the Principal Secretary, Environment & Climate Change, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority and BMC commissioner regarding this.

The total water stocks in the seven lakes that supply water for Mumbai’s daily needs stood at 9 lakh million litres as on January 15 62% of the required quantum. On the same date last year, water stocks were at 9.59 lakh million litres or 66% of the required quantum which was also higher than this year’s situation.

In Thakur Complex, Kandivali (east), Nishant Mody said that they have seen a significant reduction in borewell water supply from January 9. Initially, residents suspected it was due to water leakage or a pump-related issue.

“We have had to increase our pump running time and reduce the water usage in the garden to compensate for this reduction. Our security personnel who also works in a nearby housing society, observed similar depletion around the same dates,” said Mody.

Structural experts and environmentalists Mirror spoke to said that they were not surprised. Alpa Sheth, a structural engineer, said that the proliferation of skyscrapers could be the reason. Most have 3-4 level basements.

“Mumbai is a city beside the sea and the water table is bound to be high. If so many construction sites are going to go below the ground and suck out the water, its effect will be seen somewhere,” she said.

Amar Joshi, a geologist, said that the rampant piling work that the city is witnessing could be a cause for depletion of ground water. “Besides, there are many infrastructure projects like the coastal road twin tunnel or the underground metro where digging is done several metres below the ground.

The groundwater that is sucked out is all wasted,” said Joshi. He added that borewells in areas like Dhobi Talao once catered to a much larger number of water tankers than at present.

Environmentalist Subhajit Mukherjee, founder of the NGO Mission Green Mumbai, said climate change could also be attributed as one of the factors to these complaints of depleting ground water levels. “Earlier, the rain pattern was such that through the four monsoon months, the city would receive continuous rain, allowing the water to soak in at ease. But now the situation is such that the city gets intense rain in a short spell, making up for all the four months.

This large quantum of rainwater cannot be soaked in easily, leading to a run-off,” said Mukherjee Bhagwan Kesbhat, founder of the NGO Waatavaran Foundation, who also worked as a programme coordinator with the NGO Paani Foundation, said that historically Mumbai has been known as the city of wells.

“The city was not dependent on outside water which now comes from the seven lakes situated outside the city limits. However, as the population grew, the need for these lakes was felt. Despite abundant rainfall, we have not taken advantage of it by harvesting rainwater. In the event of a bad monsoon, the water stress in Mumbai will be tremendous,” he said.

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

This blog is published by:

Mumbai Mirror

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Author : Richa Pinto

Published On: 21, January, 2024

Recharge Before Groundwater Depletes

Photo Courtesy : The Interview World

NeeRain, an innovation-oriented startup, tackles the groundwater crisis through the use of local, decentralized rooftop rainwater filters. These filters empower individuals to lead water-secure lives. Furthermore, the startup holds patents for a range of rooftop rainwater filters that are both easy to use and cost-effective. Their goal is to harvest rooftop rainwater in every habitat.

Through extensive research, NeeRain’s team has achieved a technological breakthrough in rooftop rainwater filters. This advancement is bringing joy to millions of people worldwide by providing a sustainable solution to water scarcity.

As a young startup, NeeRain focuses on the cause of rooftop rainwater harvesting. They believe that the populace receives rooftop rainwater freely. However, much of it goes to waste. On this concept, NeeRain offers patented technologies to capture every drop of rainwater, allowing it in daily activities or diverting to recharge groundwater sources.

In an exclusive interaction with The Interview World, Naishal Shah, Co-founder and CEO of NeeRain Pvt. Ltd., emphasizes the startup’s mission to combat groundwater depletion. The company aims to achieve this by offering an affordable system to capture and redirect rainwater to aquifers. Here are key excerpts from his insightful interaction.

Q: What features does your rainwater harvesting system incorporate, and how does it contribute to the overall groundwater sustainability?

A: Rainwater is freely available during monsoon. However, the water we receive goes down to drains. Here, we provide a technology that enables people efficiently filter the rainwater and direct it towards the borewell or tank, eventually recharging groundwater. Our advanced technology employs a two-stage water filtration system. Once filtered, all the water can either enter the borewell or the tank. Remarkably, a 1000-square-foot roof can yield approximately 50,000 to 60,000 litres of water in just one rainy season in places like Delhi and Ahmedabad.

If we shift our focus to regions like Kerala or Mumbai, a 1000-square-foot roof has the potential to provide an impressive 2-3 lakh litres of water in a single rainy season. Currently, a significant portion of this water is either wasted, blocked, or eventually drains into rivers and seas. By implementing a simple filtration process, we can redirect this water directly into the borewell and tank, storing valuable rainwater. Furthermore, channeling rainwater through the borewell contributes to an increase in groundwater levels.

The water filtered through our system is exceptionally clean, and its introduction into the groundwater does not lead to deterioration. Notably, rainwater captured directly does not exhibit hardness or Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Considering the alarming rise in groundwater depletion, directing rainwater to the groundwater directly presents a practical solution to elevate groundwater levels and address this urgent concern.

Q: What is the cost estimate for implementing a rainwater harvesting unit suitable for a 1000 sq. feet rooftop area?

A: The cost for our rainwater harvesting unit is Rs. 2950. One can complete any additional small and heavy plumbing work within a budget of Rs. 10,000. Our system boasts a lifespan of 10 years, and the maintenance is hassle-free with a simple filter removal and washing process, eliminating any recurring costs. You can easily manage this routine maintenance by hiring your local plumber, as no special technical skills are necessary for setting up our rainwater harvesting unit.

Having filed for a patent in 2018, we successfully obtained approval in 2020. To date, we have already installed over 10,000 units, actively promoting the importance of rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge. We remain committed to spreading this message, encouraging more people to take an interest in sustainable water management. Remarkably, we have received zero complaints about the performance of our products.

Q: Can you provide supporting data or evidence to substantiate the claim that 30 crore liters of water have been saved over the course of the last 2 years?

A: Certainly, all the data is at our disposal, categorized by states and cities based on the deployment of rainwater harvesting units. For instance, in Delhi alone, where we’ve implemented these units, capturing 500 mm of rainfall during a season can result in saving a substantial 50,000 litres of water. We’ve meticulously collected data from households in Delhi, supporting our assertion with accurate figures.

As a result, the harvested rainwater ensures that clean water percolates into the ground, safeguarding water quality and preventing contamination in the process. This approach aligns with our commitment to sustainable water management.

Q: What underlying technology powers your system?

A: Our system operates based on gravity, eliminating the need for electric power or any additional mechanical devices. The system incorporates two-stage filters: a 400-micron net for the initial stage and a 200-micron net for the second stage. In the first stage, larger particulates are filtered, followed by the filtration of smaller particulates in the second stage. This sequential process ensures that the water entering the ground is thoroughly purified. As a result, your water resource remains untainted, and rainwater is effectively conserved.

Photo Courtesy : The Interview World

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:

The Interview World

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

Publish On: 23, January, 2024

Water Crisis In Pune : No Permission To New Building In PMRDA Without Assessment : Saurabh Rao

Photo Courtesy : Pune Pulse

Second meeting called by the Divisional Commissioner of Pune Saurabh Rao regarding the water crisis in PMC and PCMC was held today. More than 60 residents representing various organisations attended the meeting raising various issues.

Advocate Satya Muley shared important points that were discussed with Pune Pulse.

Important minutes of meeting

Divisional Commissioner of Pune announced in presence of PMRDA Commissioner that henceforth no new permissions shall be given in PMRDA jurisdiction without ascertaining availability and capability of local body/PMRDA/Zilla parishad to provide water to the new construction. No new construction permission shall be provided based on an affidavit taken from builders.

Almost 60 to 70 representatives of housing Societies, Housing Federations, Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat, Maharashtra Housing  societies federation were present.

The demand for providing water through tankers by PMC and PCMc was once again discussed and DC mentioned that the subject is being evaluated.

Spot visits to both corporations have been directed to understand the ground level realities and offer solutions.

Dedicated email id to be shared by both corporations to register complaints from housing complexes regarding water scarcity.

From the next meeting complaints to be received in advance and solutions to be offered during the next monthly meeting.

Adv Satya Muley stated that it is a district wide problem and intensive efforts by the special committee is required. Although providing immediate solutions to current scarcity is important, long term planning is also important which appears to be lacking by both the corporations.

Sunil Koloti, a resident of Nyati Windchimes who was part of the meeting stated that the meeting was fruitful but only it should turn into prompt action. 75 percent of our monthly maintenance goes into procuring water through tankers. PMC must come up with some solution now.

Another resident, Dilip Shah, founder of Undri Residents Forum said, “There were many residents who were present today.  We are hoping that strong action is taken by PMC as well as PCMC. It’s high time citizens get their due. Potable drinking water is what we are demanding. This meeting should not turn into another assurance but no result.”

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:

Pune Pulse

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

Publish On: 15, January, 2024

Rainwater Harvesting: A Viable Means To Prevent Water Crisis

Photo courtesy:Istock

“Water, water, every where, / Nor any drop to drink”

These all too familiar lines from the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge seem to be ringing too close to home as water becomes an increasingly scarce resource with every passing day.

Water Crisis was ranked as the #5 Global Risk in terms of impact on society by the World Economic Forum in January 2020, making it an alarming issue requiring an earnest redressal. What is interesting is that it is not really about scarcity, but rather proper water management. To quote the World Water Council, “There is a water crisis today. But the crisis is not about having too little water to satisfy our needs. The crisis is managing water so badly that billions of people — and the environment — suffer badly.”1

For sustainability, a healthy relationship between natural cycles and the available natural resources is a must. To further this objective and protect the existing reservoirs, rivers, aquifers, and ecosystems from further destruction, one needs to harness the largest and most accessible resource currently going down the drain: Rain.

What is noteworthy is that harnessing rain neither requires no energy nor any natural resource; on the contrary, it helps preserve the much-needed fast depleting resource: Water.

Rainwater harvesting is an ancient concept that is simple to implement and scalable. Simply put, it is the act of collecting rainwater and storing it for later use.

Rainwater harvesting systems have many an avatar, from the basic rain barrels to collect rainwater to more intricate structures with pumps, tanks, and purification systems.

Rainwater collected through any system is fit for reuse. Without filtration and purification, it finds use in most functions minus consumption — e.g., flushing toilets, washing cars, irrigation etc. Once put through the purification process, it is fit for consumption as well.

In urban areas, the rain falls on roofs, buildings, roads, and other impenetrable hard surfaces, resulting in urban flooding giving rise to another set of challenges. This makes rainwater harvesting even more essential and advantageous. Urban flooding on one hand, and increasing water shortage on the other, is the driving force behind government norms to inculcate the culture of rainwater harvesting in more and more cities.

Let us take the case of Mexico City as an example. It is a city with one of the highest demands for water in the world. Today it is plagued by drying aquifers, the city to sink to the earth by 50 centimeters per year. Today it is estimated that while a large volume is lost every way on account of leaking water pipes across the water management system, heavy rains cause heavy flooding that leaves substantial damage behind every occurrence.2 Researchers confirm that if the city was to adopt an effective rainwater harvesting system, 60 percent of the city’s water needs could be met.3 In light of this, Isla Urbana, a local non-profit, has installed 20,399 rainwater harvesting systems from 2009 to date. The systems have recorded a harvest of 815 million liters annually.4 Mexico City’s water authority, SACMEX, has also installed rainwater harvesting systems in 85 schools in the Tlalpan and Alvaro Obregón boroughs.

Likewise, India — a country that can collect up to 1,000 liters of water or even more during the heavy monsoons — has shown a similar response. In the southern state of Kerala, the government has recently constructed around 87,000 rainwater harvesting pits across schools, offices, and residences,5 with the expectation of these pits to last up to five years, with minimum maintenance.

Following the trend, Singapore installed a rainwater harvesting system on the roof of a 15-story skyscraper. The system diverts the rainwater collected on the roof to two rainwater tanks. This water is supplied to the building’s toilets, with no processing or treatment — a demonstration of how a project like this can be successfully implemented in metropolitan cities such as New York with countless high-rises to cater to their equally high water demands (981 million gallons consumption per day, as of 20206).

But New York is hardly a city to miss out on the ongoing trends. NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection recently initiated a Rain Barrel Giveaway Program as part of their $2.4 billion Green Infrastructure Plan. Its objective is to encourage citizens to capture stormwater before it flows into the sewer system. The intention being to reduce sewer overflows into local waterways by 2030.


Photo courtesy:India Mart

The world is slowly but surely waking up to the fact that rainwater harvesting systems need to be an essential part of the infrastructure. Irrespective of the intricacies, all rainwater harvesting systems require five fundamental components:

Catchment – The surface to collect rainwater. It could be a rooftop, a paved flooring surface, or a landscaped region. The volume of water you harvest is a function of the surface area of the catchment.

Gutters and conduit Pipes – They are responsible for directing the water to the storage tank. The most widely used materials for these are half-round pipes made of galvanized iron (GI), steel, aluminum, and uPVC, with GI, steel, and aluminum being the preferred options. Lead and other metal gutters (GI and steel) are not a wise choice for potable water systems. The slightly acidic quality of rain can dissolve lead and other heavy metal contained in gutter solders, contaminating the water supply.

The safest option to get the most usable rainwater is uPVC Pipes. They deliver faithfully on the promise of:

  • water with no harmful metals lacing it;
  • no leakages on account of corrosion over the years;
  • their almost frictionless surface allows for the maximum quantity of water to flow to the storage system;
  • their lighter weight allows for installation virtually anywhere.

Filters and first flush devices – Investing in the correct filtration device is a must. The filtration system should be one that can effectively remove harmful and polluting contaminants. A first flush valve flushes out the first spell of rain, which carries relatively more toxins from the catchment surface and air.

Storage tanks – An important component of the system. Depending on the space availability, they can be overhead, underground, or stacked. Common materials used for these tanks are poly, galvanized steel, and concrete. If the tank is above ground, measures to prevent algae growth will be needed.

Delivery systems – Piping systems that deliver the stored and filtered rainwater until the point of use. The material of pipes used for this purpose is the same as that of conduit pipes. uPVC pipes present the best option to deliver quality water consistently over the years. With 50+ years of life, no rust, no

corrosion, no heavy metals, and an almost frictionless surface, they offer a perfect solution. High-quality uPVC pipes assure you of a leak-free, durable, and minimal maintenance delivery system.

While building a rainwater harvesting system or incorporating it in a facility, it is crucial to be careful while choosing the components for the solution. It is crucial to pick the right materials. The choice at this stage will define the efficacy of the solution and yield the desired results. Rainwater harvesting, if done right, can help the world tide over the water crisis, allowing us to leave a more beautiful world for your future generations.

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

This article is published by: –

Water Online

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

Author :  Saumya Jain
Published On: June 29, 2021

Making India water-secure: Solutions for the future

Photo courtesy: Indiamart

‘Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink’ – this predicament of the sailors in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem is a portent to our collective futures; one with little to no access to safe water. In 2019, Chennai, a city that receives twice London’s average annual rainfall at 1,400 mm, had to meet its water needs by trucking in 10 million liters of water a day. The 2018 drinking water crisis in ‘Queen of Hills’ Shimla made international headlines when policemen were deployed on the ground to manage water distribution.

The NITI Aayog’s 2018 Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) depicts an unsettling picture of macro-water availability in India – despite being home to 17% of the world’s population, it has only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. The total water demand in India is projected to increase by 22% and 32% in 2025 and 2050 respectively and, by 2050, 85% of this demand is expected to come from industrial and domestic sectors alone. Among the regions, the south and the northwest  are expected to face the worst in next two years. About two lakh people die every year due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene and ~820 million Indians living in twelve river basins across the country have per capita water availability close to or lower than 1000m3, the official threshold for water scarcity as per the Falkenmark Index.

To address this looming water crisis and ensure water security, it is imperative to devise a holistic urban water management system that can help balance biodiversity by protecting and restoring the health of waterways and wetlands, mitigate flood risk and damage, provide for sustainable and resilient communities, promote sustainable development goals (SDGs), and address the needs of the last person in the queue.

Photo courtesy : Ministry of Jal Shakti

Some of the solutions available to this end include:

  1. Rejuvenation / conservation of water bodies: Replenishing and restoring the health of natural water bodies and wetlands is the single-most effective way of securing a safe source of water. Cities, like Bengaluru, have 210 lakes, covering 3,622 acres with a capacity of 35,000 million ft3. Long-term efforts such as Namami Gange are also bearing fruits. However, for more localized solutions, it is important that traditional water storage structures such as vavsand baolis are rejuvenated and maintained.
  2. Rainwater harvesting: India receives bountiful rains – last Monsoon, India received 925 mm rainfall in just four months. A part of the immense potential to create sources of water through rainwater harvesting is being realized – as on February 2, 2023, more than 1.19 million water conservation and rainwater harvesting structures have been constructed across India.
  3. Government initiatives: In the past few years, the progress towards providing piped water supply and last-mile delivery of water has been stupendous. The one-of-its-kind Jal Jeevan Mission supplied tap water to 10.64 crore – 55% – households in rural India until November 2022 and more than 15 lakh women were trained for testing water quality through field test kits.
  4. Digital interventions: Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) can help in flood prediction, rain forecasting, detecting water leakages, treating wastewater and harvesting rainwater. AI tools are capable of analyzing the data from recycling plants and suggesting ways to reduce energy consumption up to 30%, contributing to overall sustainable practices.
  5. Stemming groundwater depletion: Since agriculture utilizes the majority of groundwater, the World Bank has been supporting innovative projects targeted at the agrarian communities. These include Atal Bhujal Yojana, the world’s largest community-led groundwater management program and Paani Bachao, Paisa Kamao in Punjab that resulted in water savings between 6 and 25% without any adverse effect on the yield. With states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam and Manipur among others reporting high levels of arsenic in the groundwater, efforts for decontamination would also have to become part of the plan.

There is no doubt that the problem of water scarcity is one of environment, population, governance, health and well-being. Having to walk long distances and stand in long lines every day, 163 million people across the country continue to live without clean water close to their homes and ~0.2 million people die every year due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene. The population concentration is disproportionately high in Indian cities, 30 of which, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), stare at a grave water risk.

Given the seriousness and complexity of the problem, policymakers must therefore employ systems thinking – an approach that can create an ecosystem for innovation that develops big-picture perspective, focuses on opportunities in a problem, and fosters adaptation amid rapidly-evolving environments. There is no doubt that greater involvement of communities can heavily alter the outcome of urban water management solutions. At the same time, funding such programs can meet a roadblock, especially in the wake of the devastating impacts of the pandemic. Therefore, fostering public-private partnerships (PPP) that can work by engaging communities, funders, corporate stakeholders and creating awareness will play a critical role in achieving the goal ahead.

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

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Author : Dr Nidhi Pundhir

Published On: March 28, 2023, 2:23 PM

Rain Water Harvesting- Solution to India’s Water crisis

Photo courtesy:Indiamart

India is facing the worst water crisis in its history. As per a report by Niti Ayog 21 cities in India will run out of groundwater by 2020. According to a report published by WaterAid around 80% of India’s surface water is polluted. A majority of the population is dependent on the groundwater which is again struggling to keep pace with the needs of the rising population.  While around 200,000 people are dying each year due to inadequate access to safe water, the situation will likely get worse as the population will increase.

While cities are grappling for water supply, there is an urgent need for improved measures to manage water resources. Water conservation and management are becoming a worldwide concern due to the accelerating water shortages, rapid development, population growth and growing agriculture. In such a situation, rainwater harvesting is a viable solution to help meet this demand and solve the water crisis to some extent.

A major population heavily depend on the municipality supplied water for daily household use. This growing reliance put an unnecessary burden on the infrastructure. Rain-water harvesting can save gallons of water for daily household or office use. For every 1000 sq feet of roof space, approximately 620 gallons of water can be saved every time it rains. This source of non-potable water can be used in flushing toilets, laundry etc. The saved water can fulfil at least 70% of the water demand in a household of 3 people during a drought year. If saved for months, this water can also be used for irrigation and fulfil the water requirement of crops in a drought-like situation. Further, if used with drip irrigation, more water can be saved and dependence on municipal water supplies can be reduced to a great extent.

Photo courtesy: Indiamart

Rainwater harvesting has been adopted by many countries as a viable means to save water. With the increasing population and dependence on water, it becomes pertinent for households to start investing in rain-water harvesting systems (RWH). Govt, both at the centre and state must take a proactive step towards making it mandatory for buildings and complexes to install Rainwater Harvesting System. A huge penalty should be imposed upon building without a proper urban water management system. Considering the huge water problem, monitoring and strict action against violation of the rules are equally important to deal with the crisis.

Water conservation also lies in the hands of Corporates and individuals. Corporate consciousness towards water and individual empathy can make a huge difference. With government mandating the socio good paradigm, the corporates now equally have the onus to implement low water usage methods and social welfare policies, aimed at water management and harvesting rainwater. Corporates within their capacity can design CSR initiatives concentrating on water conservation, rain-water harvesting and spread water awareness in the most interior parts of the country.

In order to save the country from the water crisis, social consciousness has to be practised at all levels. People have to come forward and realize their responsibility towards water and make sure we take proactive measures to ensure its effective management.

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

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

Published On:  September 7, 2019