file:///C|/Users/Rx/Documents/Water/Actions/SCRIBD-COMM100%20For%20Posting/converted/Badlapur.html[10/22/2012 9:34:26 AM]
Country water actions are stories that showcase water reforms undertaken by individuals,communities, organizations, and governments in Asia-Pacific countries and elsewhere.
Country Water ActionsIndia: 36 Roofs for 24/7 Water: Harvesting Rainfall in Badlapur
Web Writer Unlike their counterparts on the other side of the world,children of Kulgaon-Badlapur town in Mumbai don’t wish forrain to go away. In fact, rain is an occasion for play. Theywatch raindrops spatter and gather on rain gutters, and flowon their roofs, following slopes and troughs, and they smile.They know they have water for another day.
HARVESTING RAIN FOR 24/7 WATER
Kulgaon-Badlapur,one of the fastergrowing towns inMumbai, has takenthe age-old traditionof rainwaterharvesting to a wholenew level.In March 2007,Badlapur residentsinstalled a rainwater harvesting demonstration unit in theirtown using modern methods unavailable to their ancestors.With rain gutters and pipes, they connected the roofs of 36apartment buildings forming a system that captures andstores rainwater. An electric pump is used to pump waterback into the buildings’ taps for everyday households' use.This was quite different from the system used by ancientpeoples who lived in the Kanheri or Ajanta Ellora Caves orfrom the wells in Rameshwaram, Tamilnadu.About 2,000 residents-beneficiaries now get water 24 hoursa day, 7 days a week from Badlapur’s rainwater harvestingsystem, which provides about 100 liters per person per day—more than enough to meet washing, toileting, and otherdomestic water needs. It also unburdens the demand forwater from the piped system, which is now only used fordrinking and cooking purposes. A big plus of the system isthat less water is taken from groundwater sources. “The dramatic effect of this is the greening of Badlapur,especially our small park at the center of the pilot area,” says Nandkishor “Ram” Patkar proudly. Ram is the presidentof the Kulgaon-Badlapur Municipal Council (KBMC) that tookcharge of building the rainwater harvesting system.
IT POURS IN BADLAPUR
Monsoons are frequent visitors of the Indian state of Maharashtra, where Kulgaon-Badlapur sits on the Mumbai-Pune Railway track 60 kilometers away from Mumbai, thestate capital. One can only imagine that perhaps Badlapurresidents are an umbrella-toting lot. The average rainfall inMaharashtra state is 2,000 millimeters (mm) annually, andmostly from June to September. But in 26 July 2005,rainfall reached 1,000mm in one day,flooding almost theentire state, damagingmuch of Mumbai cityinfrastructure,including the all-important watersupply system.Badlapur was notspared by the 2005 flash floods. Its scenic beauty and cleanatmosphere, which used to attract people to build their ownhomes and start a family in this middle class suburban area,were washed away.After the flood, Badlapur residents realized rain’s potentialas a solution to their water needs. The KBMC, which Ramheads, decided to make a strong action plan for watermanagement, including rainwater harvesting.
Badlapur’s rainwaterharvesting unit, whichstarted operations on11 March 2007,captures rainwaterthrough a roof system,directs it into anunderground"absorption pit", andallows it to percolateor seep through thesoil to recharge the groundwater table. An abovegroundstorage tank with an electric pump draws water fromunderground when needed. “The pipeline has a header and lateral system with a floatvalve that operates on a hydronumatic system. This meansthat whenever the water level goes down for individualbuildings, the storage tank’s electric pump automaticallystarts,” Ram Patkar explains. “We have also provided a water filtration plant that treatswater with alum and sodium hypochlorite, making the waterclean enough for bathing,” Ram added.The project cost Rs.1.7 million (about US$40,000) to build,but help from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region DevelopmentAuthority (MMRDA) made constructing the system possible.The MMRDA provided Rs.1 million fund and another Rs.0.5million loan without interest. KBMC raised the rest of theamount. Each household pays only 2 to 3 rupees a day,which is enough to cover maintenance costs and full loanpayment within 2 years.