Let's face it. Kerala's monsoons last for a period of approximately 8-9 months in a year. Even the summers showcase rather intense showers off and on. Hence, it is amusing when people often complain of water shortages in a state such as ours during the summers.
Fact – There is A LOT of water in Kerala. But it is often WASTED. So what do you do? Reduce, re-use, recycle. Yes – Reduce your expenses on hiring water tankers, re-use the rain water, recycle it so that the water remains pure in all circumstances.
Is rain-water harvesting bad? Not at all. In fact, rain is the purest form of water. Changes in the environment, however, have compelled us to 'purify' the water and make it pollutant free.
How expensive is it to harvest rain-water? According to country's Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) installing a water harvesting system in a building would cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs. 30,000 for buildings of about 300 sq metres. This the cost that has been estimated for an existing building. The costs would be comparatively less if the systems were incorporated during the construction of the building.
But, wouldn't a 'one-time' investment be better than having to purchase water regularly? Could you dream of a scenario when a hartal or a bandh would deny you a chance to avail such facilities? I bet you can, you wouldn't want to.
How does the model work?
The water that flows from the surface of the house flows into a tank which is layered with gravel, sand and ‘netlon’ mesh filter. This filters purify the water before it flows into the main storage tank. The storage tank can be connected to the water-pumping systems of the house and the water could be used for various purposes.
Things to remember after about the rain-water harvesting system
Before collecting water the roof, gutters and tank should be cleaned.
Allow the water collected during the initial showers to flow out through the first flush system.
Remember to clean the tank once in a year.
Replace the filtering agents every year.
Keep the tank and surroundings clean and hygienic.
Make sure that sunlight does not pass through the manhole to prevent algae growth.
In short, the rains are the answers to most of our summer problems. A few intense showers, and you would be amazed to know how much water you have collected during the summers, despite the heat.
As Captain Planet would say – the power is yours!