Rainwater forWater Security
Chennai is a parched city in India, where city reservoirs reached their day zero(zero water in reservoirs),on 19th, June, 2019. Ironically, the city is rain abundant and receives about 140cm of rainfall annually. Can rainwater harvesting make a difference in this scenario?
There is a longing somewhere deep inside our hearts, to pass something on to our coming generations. This might be because we are insecure for their future once we leave this world or there may be a desire to be a part of their memories. The want of leaving a trail of memories and security has always motivated people to save money for their future generations. In the hustle bustle of our busy lives, we often forget that a few years down the lane, our kids will mostly be able to make a living for themselves but, access to good food and water might have become a thing of the past. At that point of time, a hidden treasure of a dugwell or a borewell brimming with a healthy ground water table topped up with rain water every season, is some thing that definitely can sparkle up the eyes of your kids during the times of water crisis.
We have often come across people who feel that water crisis is a thing of far future and therefore do not see rainwater as a resource worth hunting for, until their own city or town doesn’t face a dry spell or two. Believe us, the rate at which groundwater table is going down across the country, such a scenario is not far away. Therefore, its practically a sensible decision to refill our drying water table instead of mining them up. In fact, ground water harvesting whether done for personal usage or for replenishing water table, will always be reap out benifits for generations to come. Washed off rainwater is like a spoilt harvest that takes all the effort and time down the drain and leaves nothing behind to survive on, Ironically, one of the places with highest precipitation across the world i.e. Cherrapunji in India is facing water shortage. So is the with Chennai, a city with 150cm of annual rainfall distributed across two spells of monsoon is facing the crisis already. Had there been a practice of harvesting the rainwater, the city reservoirs would never have run dry and the ground water levels would have been quite high.
In rain abundant Chennai depletion of groundwater has led to acute water crisis due to which many areas of the city receive municipal water once a week. They usually order tankers for water requirements which even after costing around 1500 bucks arrive a day or two late. In such a scenario rain water harvesting has not only rescued the depleting water table but has also helped people meet their daily water needs. Far across the country in the arid lands of Rajasthan, raining is one very rare event. This definitely doesn’t make rainwater harvesting arrangements futile here. In fact, rain has been treasured in the arid areas since ancient times. Huge stepwells, or baoris are a trend across the desert. Slopes and drainage of entire cities were designed to collect water at one place.
Rainwater harvesting brings sustainability, it's a way of accepting the rules of nature and moulding ourselves to make the best out of them. Conserving the pure, distilled droplets of water as gifted by the skies, is the cheapest and best way of getting our ways to pure water. Although water security was a cause of national concern since decades, but recently, drying up of reservoirs across various cities of the world has made it an important issue at domestic level. It's good that people have started discussing the prospects of harvesting rainwater at domestic levels before constructing a house. For already constructed houses people are trying to retrofit rainwater harvesting systems to keep water backup for the time of crisis.
Rainwater has an immense potential to quench the thirst of all the land upon which it falls. With exponentially increasing population across the globe it’s the need of the hour to conserve the precious drops falling from the skies. We need to understand that rainwater conservation is that last link of the water cycle which the mankind needs to connect to make water a renewable resource. Because if we keep on mining water from the ground, it will soon get all dried up.