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Pervious Concrete ICJ Dec 08

Pervious Concrete ICJ Dec 08

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Published by Munna Bhai

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Published by: Munna Bhai on Jun 17, 2012
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The IndIan ConCreTe Journal
Pervious concrete – A 'green' material that helps reduce water run-off andpollution
N. Subramanian
Our planet earth
is under peril due to severe climaticchanges. Raising population coupled with urbanisationhas resulted in unprecedented problems to our cities.Unless we take urgent measures, these problemswill result in catastrophic consequences. Out of theseproblems, the major one that affects most of the cities iswater scarcity. This is compounded by the unmindfulpaving of roads, platforms, and areas around buildingsby impermeable pavements, which results in run-off and flooding by preciousrainwater. Though strictrainwater harvesting measureshave been implemented by a fewGovernments, theses measureshave some drawbacks. Perviousconcrete pavements offer anattractive solution to waterrunoff and associated waterpollution problems. This paperdiscusses the need for andadvantages of pervious concretepavements, and providesguidelines for their installation,hydraulic and structural design,curing, maintenance, costand other important aspects.Pervious concrete also helpsto achieve LEED points of theGreen Building Council.As per the UN World Urbanisation Prospects report(2007), the 20th century is witnessing 'the rapidurbanisation of the world’s population'. The globalproportion of urban population rose dramatically from13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950,and to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. The same report projectsthat about 60 per cent (4.9 billion) of the global populationis expected to live in cities by 2030 (see Figure 1). In 1950,there were only two mega-cities with 10 million or more
The IndIan ConCreTe Journal
inhabitants. The number of mega cities increased to 5in 1975 and 20 in 2005, and is expected to increase to22 in 2015. Developing countries will have 17 of these22 mega-cities in 2015. In India itself the percentage ofurban population increased from 18.0 in 1961 to 27.8 in2001. It is projected that Asia and Africa will have moreurban dwellers than any other continent of the world,and Asia will contain 54 percent of the world’s urbanpopulation by 2030.Population growth coupled with urbanisation results
in signicant impacts on the environment and other
problems, which include (Subramanian, 2007): (1) in-creased ambient temperature, (2) decreased air quality,(3) increased water run-off, (4) decreased quality ofrun-off water, (5) altered weather patterns, (6) lossof aesthetic beauty/character of the community, (7)reduction in farm lands and subsequent food shortage,and (8) deforestation (Deforestation is occurring at arapid rate, with 0.8 hectares of rain forest disappearingevery second. Deforestation is linked to negativeenvironmental consequences such as bio-diversity loss,
global warming, soil erosion and desertication). We
will pay attention to one of the problems, i.e. waterscarcity and reduction of increased run-off in thispaper.
Wt stg  sccity
About 97.5% of water on the earth is salt water, leavingonly 2.5% as fresh water, of which over two thirds isfrozen in glaciers and polar ice caps which are alsomelting at a faster rate due to climatic change. Scientistsfrom the National Snowand Ice Data Center inBoulder, Colorado havepredicted that the North
Pole may be briey ice-free
by September 2008). Theremaining unfrozen fresh-water is mainly found asgroundwater, with onlya small fraction presentabove ground or in theair (www.unesco.org).Fresh water is a renewableresource, yet the world’ssupply of clean, fresh wateris steadily decreasing.The population is notonly growing but usingmore water even thoughthe world’s total supplyremains the same. Since 1900, world population hasdoubled yet the amount of fresh water used hasincreased more than six-fold. Agriculture is by far thelargest consumer of water, mostly because of the spread
of irrigation. Irrigated area expanded nearly vefold
over this century. Nearly 70 percent of global waterwithdrawals from rivers, lakes, and aquifers are usedfor irrigation, while industry and households accountfor 20 and 10 percent, respectively. (More efficient
irrigation techniques are clearly the rst and crucial step
to reducing water use. It may also be noted that, of late,world irrigated area is growing slower than population.Per capita irrigated area peaked in 1978 at 0.48 hectaresper person. Since then, it has fallen 6 percent. Worseningshortages of fresh water along with rising costs ofirrigation are placing global food supplies in jeopardy,according to a new study from the Worldwatch Institute,a research organisation in Washington, D.C.). Thisscarcity could put a major brake on most of the world’sdevelopment efforts.
Assessments of global water resources indicate thatwater scarcity will increase dramatically during the nextdecades, with a disproportionate and severe effect ondeveloping countries. Demand is growing, and with it,competition among different users. Unless we changethe way we think about and manage our water resources,both people and planet could suffer irreparabledamage.
UNESCO predicts that many countries willstill face “physical water scarcity in 2025” their waterneeds will outstrip supplies no matter what measuresare taken. Others will be faced with “economic water
The IndIan ConCreTe Journal
scarcity”- they will lack the nancial and institutional
capacity required to increase their water supplies by25 percent (see Figure 2).
Pressure on water resourcesis particularly acute in arid regions that supportagricultural production or large populations—regionswhere water use is high relative to water availability.The Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, South Asia,China, Australia, the western United States, and Mexicoare especially prone to water shortages (see Figure 2).Global per capita water availability decreased from13,000 m
in 1970 to 6,800 m
in 2004. An optimisticcalculation shows that assuming current trends, only4,800 m
will be available in 2025.
When per capita watersupply is less than 1,700 m
per year, an area may beconsidered as
water stressed
In many parts of the World,water supply is actually less than 1,000 m
per capitawhich causes serious problems for food productionand economic development. Today, 2.3 billion peoplelive in water-stressed areas.
If current trends continue,water stress will affect 3.5 billion—about 48 percent ofthe world’s projected population in 2025.
Though India has about 16% of the world population,it has only 4% of average annual runoff in the rivers.
In almost all parts of India, water deciencies show an
increasing trend and the surpluses show a decreasingtrend. With the present population of just above1000 million, the average per capita water availabilitycomes to about 1170 m
/person/year (this average does
not reect the large disparities from region to region
in different parts of the country).
Water availabilityafter three decades is estimated as 972 m
. The countrywill thus be water stressed even if the total availablewater is taken into account. At present, 4 states and 1Union Territory have no annual surplus water fromprecipitation. India being a large country with differentclimate regimes, characteristics of the water cyclevariables differs from one region to the other. Hence thewater availability of different regions differ considerably(Monsoons contribute 78% India’s annual rainfall, whichundergoes wide inter annual variations. Disparity in the
rainfall distribution is so great - droughts and oods
occur at different parts of the country at the same periodand in the same place at different periods). One-third ofthe country is always under threat of drought and manystates have serious river water sharing disputes withneighbouring states, which are going to be aggravatedin future.
Population growth and urbanisation pose signicant
challenges for water resources management throughoutthe world. In India, as of March, 2001, 285 millionpeople lived in urban areas (which is about 27.8% ofpopulation). Urban populations consume much morefood, energy, and durable goods than rural populations.In India, till now very little emphasis has been laid onresearch on hydrology of urban areas.
Urbanisationincreases surface runoff (Storm water runoff occurswhen rain falls) due to more impervious surfaces, such aspavements and buildings. They do not allow percolationof the water down through the soil to the aquifer andhence result in lowering of water tables.Unlike rural roads, urban roads are paved with asphaltor concrete, which seldom provide percolation of rainwater. Moreover the platforms of these roads are alsocovered with concrete slabs. The latest trend is to covermost of the areas around dwellings with concreteinterlocking blocks, since they may add visual appealto a building (see Figure 3). This means that runoffoccurs more quickly in urban areas with greater peak
ows. Flood volumes increase, as do oods and water
pollution downstream. A few State Governments(e.g., Tamil Nadu) imposed compulsory rain waterharvesting systems for individual house owners, whichproved to be successful in increasing the undergroundwater table. However such systems have to be maintainedproperly in order to be successful in the long run.Water runoff from pavements and terraces of buildingsoften creates erosion and siltation problems, causes
ash oods, and loss of rainwater that could otherwise
replenish water tables and aquifers (A land areaproducing runoff, draining to common point, is called a

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