Tuesday, 8 August 2017

My journey to Sikkim for building water security through Rainwater Harvesting

My journey to Sikkim for building water security through Rainwater Harvesting - a collaborative effort of  KSCST, Govt. of Sikkim and UNDP

Place name is Suldung, Upper Kamling, at an altitude of 2560 meters, closest town Jorethang, West Sikkim. August 2nd marked a day to introduce rainwater harvesting in the region and build skills among the local youth.

Sharing the experience of rainwater harvesting and building water security among the most HUMBLE LOCAL COMMUNITY, was a truly joyous experience.
West Sikkim is a district of the Indian state of Sikkim. The economy is mainly agrarian, despite most of the land being unfit for cultivation owing to the precipitous and rocky slopes. The region has many power projects and enjoys almost uninterrupted electricity. Roads are in poor condition owing to the frequent landslides. West Sikkim houses a great diversity of flora and fauna, many of which are used by Indigenous and local communities. Most of the district is hilly, it enjoys a temperate climate. Above 3,800 m (12,000 ft) the slopes are full of rhododendron forests.
The story of 'Suldung'  - The region has an annual rainfall of around 2000mm and the roaring river Rangeet (tributary of Teesta) flows ferociously in the valley. Several kilometres uphill, villages with scattered houses are dependent on springs and streams for daily water needs. Steep slope drain off rainwater quickly and water reaches the bottom of the hill to join the river Rangeet. Villagers (mostly woman) trek few kilometres to collect water and carry water on their back climbing the steep slippery winding walk paths through thick woods. 

My mobile camera could capture waterfalls and the flowing river, but are not of reach by villagers (mirage). Few rich among them hire daily labour to haul water. It is common for grownup boys to leave the village and move down hill to towns because of water scarcity. Tourist across the country and even from outside India reach here for adventure water rafting in Teesta, just few kilometres uphill, people decamp their villages because of non availability of WATER. 

'Harvest Rainwater and a Host of benefits'

Thank you KSCST, DST, Govt of Sikkim -Dorjee Thinlay Bhutia, Suman Thapa, 
UNDP - Surajit Baruah, Rowena Mathew, Sanjeeb Pradan and more so for the PEOPLE of Suldung.

Monday, 10 July 2017

It is my honour to share the experience of my life on water conservation at NINASAM

Dear Friends,
On 16th July 2017Sunday, commemorating the 12th death anniversary of KV Subbanna,
NINASAM has organised the following events at Heggodu:
4 pmSpecial Lecture: Neerina Bikkattannu Meeruva Daarigalu: AR Shivkumar, KSCST, IISc, Bangalore
7 pmNinasam playTataki Mardana, Based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew
Directed by Manujunatha L. Badigera.
Please do come.

Akshara K.V.
Ninasam/Akshara Prakashana, HEGGODU, Sagara Taluka, Shimoga District, Karnataka 577 417
Ph: (Office: NInasam) 08183-265646; (Akshara Prakashana) 08183-265476, Res: 08183-265723

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Water tankers being hijacked in Bangalore!

Water tankers being hijacked in Bangalore!

Do not be surprised if you read / hear this as headlines in your news.

Save Water Save Bangalore

Many citizens of Bangalore have not felt the heat of water crisis looming large in the next one or two months. No exaggeration. The water available in Cauvery river and the KRS dam is at its lowest in decades! Most of the borewells / tubewells have gone dry or are yielding very low water. 
New borewells are being drilled day in and day out, touching unheard of depths - 1000 feet and more.
However, we still see each day on the streets of Bangalore - 
Cars are being washed with hose pipes.
House fronts and roads being sprayed with water in buckets and hose pipes.
Overhead water tanks and underground sumps overflow with none paying heed. 
Are we blind to these acts?
Can we take the first step to stop these? 
Do we not have the social responsibility to save whatsoever available water, to conserve and share equitably among all sections of our society?

If not, WATER EMERGENCY may have to be declared???

Save Water Save Bangalore

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

NDTV - Bengaluru Man Hasn't Paid Water Bill In 22 Years. Why That's A Good Thing

Article link:

Bengaluru Man Hasn't Paid Water Bill In 22 Years. Why That's A Good Thing
Bengaluru | Written by Maya Sharma | Updated: March 27, 2017 23:41 IST
 AR Shivakumar's house has a water storage capacity of 45,000 litres
BENGALURU:  The family of a senior scientist in Bengaluru has not paid their water bill for 22 years. Reason: AR Shivakumar is doing without a water connection, using treated rainwater not just for bathing and washing, but also for drinking. The senior scientist at Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology had designed his green home more than two decades ago - building in a water harvesting system that yields more than 400 litres of water daily. Which means the expected scanty rainfall this year - when the state is facing is second consecutive year of drought - will be enough for their needs.

"Bangalore receives around 900-1000mm of rainfall except for these very drought years," said Mr Shivakumar, whose work involves the field of renewable energy and rainwater harvesting. The amount, he says, is enough to collect 2.3 lakh litres of water a year. But 2.3 lakh liters is far more than an average family of four uses. Planned properly, tanks can be built into a standard 40/60 feet plot to store more than what a small family needs.

Explaining the rainfall pattern of the city, he said, there is 90-100 dry days between two successive rains in Bangalore. "Based on that calculation, we have a storage capacity for 45000 litres... effectively we need only around 40,000 litres - 400 liters a day for 100 days. But we have 45,000 litres for emergency."

AR Shivakumar had built his home over two decades ago
His family, he said, approximately uses 400 litres a day. "In a year, we need only 1 to 1.5 lakh litres, so much more than we require is coming here," he added.

The use of water, though, is careful, he said. Recycling plays a big part -- like collecting water from the kitchen sink in a can outside the kitchen to using water from the washing machine to flush toilets.

The water harvesting system is simple - water from the sloping roof is collected n underground tanks, where the purification process happens.

It is a family effort, said Mr Sivakumar - and his wife of 28 years, Suma, and his son, Anoop and daughter in law, Vamika, play their part as water conservation becomes a way of life for them.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Save Water Save Bangalore Campaign 2017

“Save Water Save Bengaluru” Campaign

The failure of rains in the monsoon and depleting water availability in KRS dam and also ground water in Bangalore may cause sevier water shortage in the summer months. Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) with the technical support of Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) initiated the programme to bring in awareness in Bangalore for water conservation to avert drinking water crisis in and around Bangalore.

Save Water Save Bengaluru” Campaign was flagged off on 22nd March 2017, Wednesday on the occasion of “World Water Day” at Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru.

Honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri Siddaramaiah with Minister Sri K. J .George, Sri Tushaar Girinath, IAS, Chairman, BWSSB, Sri Kemparamaiah, Engineer in Chief, BWSSB, Sri A.R. Shivakumar, PI, RWH, KSCST, IISc , Sri P. N. Ravindra, Additional Chief Engineer, New Initiatives and Public Outreach, BWSSB, Smt. P.G. R. Sindhia and others inaugurated the awareness campaign organized by BWSSB and Government of Karnataka. He also flagged off a 4 km rally to create awareness about water conservation.

Over 300 participated in the awareness campaign “Save Water Save Bengaluru”. BWSSB Team, KSCST Team, Scouts and Guides team, Children from various schools, NGOs, Press, and Media were present. Rally started at Vidhana Soudha and passed through K R Circle, K G road and successfully concluded at the Sewage Treatment Plant at Cubbon Park. A Street Play was also organized a performed by Abhinaya Taranga team.

KSCST provided technical support for educating NGOs and others to run the campaign till the end of May. To conserve water Sri A.R. Shivakumar suggested following three points for the city of Bengaluru and are being advocated by campaign partners:

“Save Water Save Bangalore” - YOU can do it....
1. Used Kitchen sink water can be reused for watering plants.
2. RO reject water can be as high as 70% which can be used for moping and cleaning the floor.
3. Toilet flushing requires 27% of your daily water need and washing machine discharges 22% of  
your daily water need. YOU can save at least 20% of fresh water daily.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Here's how Bengaluru can look beyond Cauvery for water

Here's how Bengaluru can look beyond Cauvery for water


Thippagondanahalli Dam (EPS | S Manjunth)

BENGALURU: Bengaluru is once again facing the prospect of shortage of drinking water, highlighting our heavy dependence on Cauvery river water for drinking. Amidst the emotional scenes witnessed over the past few days over sharing of Cauvery waters, is our own unwillingness to adopt even minimal measures to conserve and recycle water.
At present, Bengaluru requires 1,450 million litres per day (mld) and about 19 tmcft of water per year from Cauvery alone. As population expands, it is difficult to sustain drinking water supply to the city, which is already facing a shortfall.
It is estimated that Bengaluru has the potential to harness 22 tmcft per year from its sewage and storm water drains. Every water conservation technique that is implemented can cut down the use of piped water considerably. 
“Any city, in the future, cannot depend on rivers or dams alone for water supply. There has to be better planning. About 50 per cent of it can come from dams and rivers, 20 per cent from rain water harvesting (RWH), 20 per cent from recharged borewells and 10 per cent should be recycled water. This is the only way we can sustain our supply,” says A R Shivakumar, a scientist at the Karnataka State council for Science and Technology at the Indian Institute of Science.
Despite Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) making it mandatory for building constructed in 30x40ft and bigger dimension sites to have RWH mechanisms,  there are only a few takers. Also, there has been no punitive action against those who have failed to implement it.
Shivakumar says that around 1,00,000 homes in Bengaluru have adopted RWH. “It is not a big number compared to more than 20 lakh properties in Bengaluru. But it is a good effort and hopefully will catch on,” he said.
Water recycling in bigger complexes is now catching up in new buildings, but the old ones are hesitant. Recycled water can be used for secondary purposes like gardens, construction and washing vehicles. “A place like Cubbon Park has a state-of-the-art recycling plant and the water is used for gardens. The results are there for all to see. It will not hurt the government to set up treatment plants to recycle the waste generated around its office buildings like M S Building and Vidhana Soudha. This sets a good example and will encourage people to follow suit,” Shivakumar said.
He also blames the unaccounted water that comes via pipelines and then just disappears. According to BWSSB’s own admission, these losses are between 40-45 per cent. “Norms specify that these losses should be around 15 per cent. But, despite the civic agency’s best efforts, these levels have not fallen to below 40 per cent,” says former Chief Secretary A Ravindra.
He also said that protection of groundwater resources is one of the major tasks to be undertaken to improve the situation in the city.
“RWH needs more compliance. The government can also encourage people by constructing large ponds to collect rainwater. Restoration of tanks and lakes and groundwater recharging can help meet the drinking needs of the population to a large extent,” he adds.
Message on BWSSB website
A message on BWSSB website reads: “Since there have been drought conditions prevailing in Cauvery basin which have resulted in minimal flow into the reservoirs in the month of August and September, enough Cauvery water may not be available in the coming months. As the rainfall prediction is meager, the BWSSB requests all its consumers to consume and use water judiciously.”
5 ways to save water
Water conservation experts say that by following these simple steps, the city can save a lot of water over time
Rainwater Harvesting
It could be as simple as placing a bucket below the pipe that channels the rainwater in your house, but BWSSB rules make it a little more comprehensive and mandatory. It is the simplest and most essential form of conservation residents can adopt and works on the premise that there should be 20 litres or more tank capacity per square metre of roof area. Unfortunately, at present, there are only an estimated 1 lakh homes which have implemented this but wider application can easily solve our water woes. We can save around 23 tmcft per year this way.
Recharging lakes and groundwater
Recharging lakes is a crucial component of ensuring self-reliance in terms of water supply. Not only do we manage to fill our lakes, but we can also recharge the groundwater and aquifers. However, the city’s lakes are composed of silt consisting of sewage, waste chemicals, organic waste, dead vegetation and heavy metals turning the bottom of the lake into a cement-like impermeable layer. Even if the water permeates, it will poison the underground water table. Stopping sewage inflow into lakes and clearing out catchment areas is very essential.
Sewage Treatment Plants
Almost every lake in the city has copious amounts of sewage flowing into them, turning them into a frothy nightmare. Not only are STPs necessary to stop this, they can be adopted on a smaller scale in apartments, commercial and government buildings. Even if people are not comfortable using this recycled water for domestic purposes, there are plenty of uses like watering gardens, washing vehicles and reusing them for flushing toilets.
Unaccounted losses
According to BWSSB, around 40-45 per cent of the Cauvery water is lost and pegged as ‘unaccountable losses’. That is around 650 mld. The water lost due to leakage in pipes is negligible. Most of this water is pilfered, which means illegal water connections are drawn right from localities to large industries and hotels. Efforts to control this form of losses are lukewarm. Politicians do not want to upset their vote banks and only strong political will can bring this under control.
Tariffs and incentives
At the lowest slab, water supply from BWSSB means that a house gets 1,000 litres of water for a measly `8. The higher slabs are not much of a deterrent either. An expert on water conservation techniques says that the government should take the bold step of providing around 10,000 litres per month (going by WHO’s recommendation of 100 litres/person/day) at a low rate and then hike the tariffs exorbitantly. That would make everyone sit up and take notice and consequently choose water conservation methods to avoid paying a higher tariff.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

We don't respect water - Why Bengaluru needs to shift to sustainable water management:

We don't respect water - 

Why Bengaluru needs to shift to sustainable

water management: