Chennaiite talks about how to successfully harvest rainwater

Chennai: Residents of the neighbourhood heaved a sigh of relief as monsoon has arrived and rains have started pouring down. People hope that this will save them from the acute water shortage that had befallen them three months ago.

But, how does one solve the crisis? People have cut down the trees, built tall structures on water-bodies, polluted them, cemented the floor, leaving no way for water to seep in. The solution then is simple – harvesting it.

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is collection and storage of rainwater that runs off from roof tops, parks, roads, open grounds, etc. This water can be either stored or recharged into the ground water.

The first spell of rain is flushed, rest is saved. The water is then filtered to remove pollutants. Then the water is either saved or can be used to recharge ground water.

Though the harvesting system was made compulsory in the State more than a decade ago, people in general believe it is a tedious and a pricey process. However, Dr Parthasarathy, a resident of Madipakkam, says otherwise.

“It has been a few years since we installed the system and the cost of installation was less than Rs 5,000. Every rainy season, I feel super happy, as I see our efforts bearing fruit.”

“This year, the issue is widespread across the city. Our neighbours and I used to buy water from private suppliers. But, from the very first spell of rain, we have become self sufficient, as the RWH filled our tanks and above all, we have started to recharge the ground water with excessive rainwater collected by the system,” he adds.

Stressing on the commonly neglected part of RWH, he says, “People install RWH in their houses and it is appreciable. People collect the rain water, but they tend to forget about recharging ground water. The excessive water that overflows from the tanks should be let to seep into the ground.”

“Instead of spending needlessly things that are trivial, we can invest on this, save ourselves and our future generations from water scarcity. People must do it now on a war footing.”

Parthasarathy can be reached at 9444167291 or 8825697175.

M Anandavalli