Monday, November 26, 2012

Rainwater Harvesting at Jakkur Govt. School

  Biome has designed and installed a Rainwater Harvesting system(RWH) for the government school in Jakkur , located at outskirts of Bangalore. An awareness session on RWH was also conducted by the Biome team for the school students . These activities were conducted as part of a CSR initiative by a leading MNC .
   The rainwater harvesting system has been designed to harvest the rain falling on the school's flat rooftop (approx 10,000sq ft area) . As per the existing construction , all the rooftop rainwater was being drained out by 4 downpipes located on the rear wall of school building . Hence this water was of no use to the school. To harvest this rainwater ,the downpipes have been connected to a horizontal pipe with a gradual downward gradient along the wall. This pipe after collecting water from all the down pipes carries the water into a new storage tank of approx 8000L storage capacity located on the front side of the school building.This storage tank has been made by utilizing a cylinderical cistern lying unused in the school premises. An overflow provision has been given from this new tank to an existing , adjacent storage tank. A first rain separator takes care of draining out the initial rain which has the maximum contaminants.The tanks have been closed with top slab covers.Also, taps have been provided at the base of these tanks for drawing out water.
   Its interesting to note here , by constructing the storage tank above the ground and by utilizing stone slabs and cisterns, otherwise lying unused in the school , the overall cost and duration of construction have been reduced significantly.
   To generate awareness about rain water harvesting an interactive session was held with students and a site tour demonstrating the new RWH system was conducted .School students along with the energetic employees from the MNC volunteered to clean the rooftop to be used for rainwater collection. To prevent clogging of pipes and to maintain good quality of water, students were encouraged to regularly clean the rooftop and monitor the RWH system. The collected water can be used for gardening and washing utensils after midday meals in the school.
   Through this exercise it is hoped that not only will the school be able to meet its water needs more efficiently , but with students as participants in the whole exercise, the message of sustainable water management using rain water harvesting will go well beyond the boundaries of the school !

First Rain Seperator

Interactions with students

Overflow pipe

Storage tanks with taps(Left tank is new, Right tank is older)

Front side pipe network

Backside collection pipe (going to the front side)

Backside downpipe & collection pipe (going to the front side)

View of 2 slab covered storage tanks from top .

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Women and Water : Catalysing Leadership in Bangalore

Biome presented a paper at the National Conference on "Women-led Water Management: strategies towards water sustainability in rural India" held on Nov 5-6, 2012, at Gurgaon, Haryana. The Conference was jointly organized by The Institute of Rural Research and Development and UNICEF India. The link below directs you to the presentation that was made.

The role of women and water in running households, whether urban or rural, rich or poor, illiterate or educated cannot be overemphasized. It is but natural and intuitive to assume that women should play a key role in policy-making around water. However, much like across rural India this role is mainly played by men - even in the cities. This paper follows two different scenarios in and around Bangalore where women have come forward to play water policymaker roles. In both cases women have not only looked at water from a sourcing, supply and management point of view but primarily from a view of ensuring sustainability.

The first scenario illustrates the coming together of key women members in the water committee of a Resident Welfare Association (RWA) in a high-income, gated community called Ferns Paradise. These women invested much of their time, effort and money to ensure sustainable water supply by looking at demand management, rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment. The second scenario highlights the efforts of teachers, cooks, and female community group members in rural Bangalore, and the challenges they overcame to secure their village water supply.

Although apparently from opposite worlds, this paper shows that the two communities had the common interest of ensuring sustainable water supply especially for the future generations. Our organisation Biome (Biome Environmental Trust) was able to observe their successes as they unfolded first hand.