WHAT IS RAIN WATER HARVESTING : The principle of collecting and using precipitation from a catchments surface. An old technology is gaining popularity in a new way. Rain water harvesting is enjoying a renaissance of sorts in the world, but it traces its history to biblical times. Extensive rain water harvesting apparatus existed 4000 years ago in the Palestine and Greece. In ancient Rome, residences were built with individual cisterns and paved courtyards to capture rain water to augment water from city's aqueducts. As early as the third millennium BC, farming communities in Baluchistan and Kutch impounded rain water and used it for irrigation dams. ARTIFICAL RECHARGE TO GROUND WATER : Artificial recharge to ground water is a process by which the ground water reservoir is augmented at a rate exceeding that obtaining under natural conditions or replenishment. Any man-made scheme or facility that adds water to an aquifer may be considered to be an artificial recharge system. WHY RAIN WATER HARVESTING : Rain water harvesting is essential because :-

Surface water is inadequate to meet our demand and we have to depend on ground water. Due to rapid urbanization, infiltration of rain water into the sub-soil has decreased drastically and recharging of ground water has diminished. As you read this guide, seriously consider conserving water by harvesting and managing this natural resource by artificially recharging the system. The examples covering several dozen installations successfully operating in India constructed and maintained by CGWB, provide an excellent snapshot of current systems. RAIN WATER HARVESTING TECHNIQUES : There are two main techniques of rain water harvestings. Storage of rainwater on surface for future use. Recharge to ground water. The storage of rain water on surface is a traditional techniques and structures used were underground tanks, ponds, check dams, weirs etc. Recharge to ground water is a new concept of rain water harvesting and the structures generally used are :Pits :- Recharge pits are constructed for recharging the shallow aquifer. These are constructed 1 to 2 m, wide and to 3 m. deep which are back filled with boulders, gravels, coarse sand. Trenches:- These are constructed when the permeable stram is available at shallow depth. Trench may be 0.5 to 1 m. wide, 1 to 1.5m. deep and 10 to 20 m. long depending up availability of water. These are back filled with filter. materials. Dug wells:- Existing dug wells may be utilised as recharge structure and water should pass through filter media before putting into dug well. Hand pumps :- The existing hand pumps may be used for recharging the shallow/deep aquifers, if the availability of water is limited. Water should pass through filter media before diverting it into hand pumps. Recharge wells :- Recharge wells of 100 to 300 mm. diameter are generally constructed for recharging the deeper aquifers and water is passed through filter media to avoid choking of recharge wells. Recharge Shafts :- For recharging the shallow aquifer which are located below clayey surface, recharge shafts of 0.5 to 3 m. diameter and 10 to 15 m. deep are constructed and back filled with boulders, gravels & coarse sand.

Lateral shafts with bore wells :- For recharging the upper as well as deeper aquifers lateral shafts of 1.5 to 2 m. wide & 10 to 30 m. long depending upon availability of water with one or two bore wells are constructed. The lateral shafts is back filled with boulders, gravels & coarse sand. Spreading techniques :- When permeable strata starts from top then this technique is used. Spread the water in streams/Nalas by making check dams, nala bunds, cement plugs, gabion structures or a percolation pond may be constructed. DIVERSION OF RUN OFF INTO EXISTING SURFACE WATER BODIES Construction activity in and around the city is resulting in the drying up of water bodies and reclamation of these tanks for conversion into plots for houses. Free flow of storm run off into these tanks and water bodies must be ensured. The storm run off may be diverted into the nearest tanks or depression, which will create additional recharge. Urbanisation effects on Groundwater Hydrology : Increase in water demand More dependence on ground water use Over exploitation of ground water Increase in run-off, decline in well yields and fall in water levels Reduction in open soil surface area Reduction in infiltration and deterioration in water quality Methods of artificial recharge in urban areas : Water spreading Recharge through pits, trenches, wells, shafts Rooftop collection of rainwater Roadtop collection of rainwater Induced recharge from surface water bodies. Computation of artificial recharge from Roof top rainwater collection : Factors taken for computation : Roof top area 100 sq.m. for individual house and 500 sq.m. for multi-storied building.

Average annual monsoon rainfall - 780 mm. Effective annual rainfall contributing to recharge 70% - 550 mm. Individual Houses Roof top area Total quantity available forrecharge per annum Water available for 5 member Family 100 sq. m. 55 cu. m Multistoried building 500 sq. m. 275 cu. m.

100 days

500 days

Benefits of Artificial Recharge in Urban Areas : Improvement in infiltration and reduction in run-off. Improvement in groundwater levels and yields. Reduces strain on Special Village Panchayats/ Municipal / Municipal Corporation water supply Improvement in groundwater quality Estimated quantity of additional recharge from 100 sq. m. roof top area is 55.000 liters. HARVESTING RAINWATER HARNESSING LIFE : A NOBLE GOAL - A COMMON RESPONSIBILITY Ground water exploitation is inevitable is Urban areas. But the groundwater potential is getting reduced due to urbanisation resulting in over exploitation. Hence, a strategy to implement the groundwater recharge, in a major way need to be launched with concerted efforts by various Governmental and Non-Governmental Agencies and Public at large to build up the water table and make the groundwater resource, a reliable and sustainable source for supplementing water supply needs of the urban dwellers. Recharge of groundwater through storm run off and roof top water collection, diversion and collection of run off into dry tanks, play grounds, parks and other vacant places are to be implemented by Special Village Panchayats/ Municipalities /Municipal Corporations and other Government Establishments with special efforts. The Special Village Panchayats /Municipalities/Municipal Corporations will help the citizens and builders to adopt suitable recharge method in one's own house or building through demonstration and offering subsidies for materials and incentives, if possible. ATTRIBUTES OF GROUNDWATER : There is more ground water than surface water

Ground water is less expensive and economic resource. Ground water is sustainable and reliable source of water supply. Ground water is relatively less vulnerable to pollution Ground water is usually of high bacteriological purity. Ground water is free of pathogenic organisms. Ground water needs little treatment before use. Ground water has no turbidity and colour. Ground water has distinct health advantage as art alternative for lower sanitary quality surface water. Ground water is usually universally available. Ground water resource can be instantly developed and used. There is no conveyance losses in ground water based supplies. Ground water has low vulnerability to drought. Ground water is key to life in arid and semi-arid regions. Ground water is source of dry weather flow in rivers and streams.

Rainwater harvesting Rainwater harvesting is the gathering, or accumulating and storing, of rainwater.[1] Rainwater harvesting has been used to provide drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation or to refill aquifers in a process called groundwater recharge. Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses, tents and local institutions, or from specially prepared areas of ground, can make an important contribution to drinking water. In some cases, rainwater may be the only available, or economical, water source. Rainwater systems are simple to construct from inexpensive local materials, and are potentially successful in most habitable locations. Roof rainwater is usually of good quality and does not require treatment before consumption. Household rainfall catchment systems are appropriate in areas with an average rainfall greater than 200mm per year, and no other accessible water sources (Skinner and Cotton, 1992).

There are a number of types of systems to harvest rainwater ranging from very simple to the complex industrial systems. Generally, rainwater is either harvested from the ground or from a roof. The rate at which water can be collected from either system is dependent on the plan area of the system, its efficiency, and the intensity of rainfall. Ground catchment systems Ground catchments systems channel water from a prepared catchment area into storage. Generally they are only considered in areas where rainwater is very scarce and other sources of water are not available. They are more suited to small communities than individual families. If properly designed, ground catchments can collect large quantities of rainwater.

[edit] Roof catchment systems

A domestic rooftop rainwater harvesting system The regular set-up of a pressurized rooftop rainwater harvesterRoof catchment systems channel rainwater that falls onto a roof into storage via a system of gutters and pipes. The first flush of rainwater after a dry season should be allowed to run to waste as it will be contaminated with dust, bird droppings etc. Roof gutters should have sufficient incline to avoid standing water. They must be strong enough, and large enough to carry peak flows. Storage tanks should be covered to prevent

mosquito breeding and to reduce evaporation losses, contamination and algal growth. Rainwater harvesting systems require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep the system hygienic and in good working order.

[edit] Subsurface dyke A subsurface dyke is built in an aquifer to obstruct the natural flow of groundwater, thereby raising the groundwater level and increasing the amount of water stored in the aquifer.

The subsurface dyke at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University with the support of ICAR, has become an effective method for ground water conservation by means of rain water harvesting technologies. The subsurface dyke has demonstrated that it is a feasible method for conserving and exploiting the groundwater resources of the Kerala state of India. The dyke is now the largest rainwater harvesting system in that region.

[edit] Groundwater recharge Rainwater may also be used for groundwater recharge, where the runoff on the ground is collected and allowed to be absorbed, adding to the groundwater. In the US, rooftop rainwater is collected and stored in sump.[2] In India this includes Bawdis and johads, or ponds which collect the run-off from small streams in wide area.[3][4]

In India, reservoirs called tankas were used to store water; typically they were shallow with mud walls. Ancient tankas still exist in some places.[4]

[edit] Advantages in urban areas Rainwater harvesting in urban areas can have manifold reasons. Some of the reasons rainwater harvesting can be adopted in cities are to provide supplemental water for the city's requirements, to increase soil moisture levels for urban greenery, to increase the ground water table through artificial recharge, to mitigate urban flooding and to improve the quality of groundwater. In urban areas of the developed world, at a household level, harvested rainwater can be used for flushing toilets and washing laundry. Indeed in hard water areas it is superior to mains water

for this. It can also be used for showering or bathing. It may require treatment prior to use for drinking

In New Zealand, many houses away from the larger towns and cities routinely rely on rainwater collected from roofs as the only source of water for all household activities. This is almost inevitably the case for many holiday homes.

[edit] Quality As rainwater may be contaminated, it is often not considered suitable for drinking without treatment. However, there are many examples of rainwater being used for all purposes — including drinking — following suitable treatment.

Rainwater harvested from roofs can contain animal and bird faeces, mosses and lichens, windblown dust, particulates from urban pollution, pesticides, and inorganic ions from the sea (Ca, Mg, Na, K, Cl, SO4), and dissolved gases (CO2, NOx, SOx). High levels of pesticide have been found in rainwater in Europe with the highest concentrations occurring in the first rain immediately after a dry spell;[5] the concentration of these and other contaminants are reduced significantly by diverting the initial flow of water to waste as described above. The water may need to be analysed properly, and used in a way appropriate to its safety. In the Gansu province for example, harvested rainwater is boiled in parabolic solar cookers before being used for drinking.[6] In Brazil alum and chlorine is added to disinfect water before consumption.[citation needed] So-called "appropriate technology" methods, such as solar water disinfection, provide low-cost[citation needed] disinfection options for treatment of stored rainwater for drinking.

[edit] System sizing It is important that the system is sized to meet the water demand throughout the dry season. Generally speaking, the size of the storage tank should be big enough to meet the daily water requirement throughout the dry season. In addition, the size of the catchment area or roof should be large enough to fill the tank. Urban Water Supply Demand for water is growing in most cities as every urban citizen requires almost double the amount of water that a rural citizen requires. Moreover, India is rapidly urbanising.

Urban population in India has grown almost five times in five decades from 1951 (62.44 million) to 2001 (286.08). Not long ago, most of our cities were self sufficient in meeting their water needs from the extensive urban water bodies to supply water to citizens. Today these water bodies have completely disappeared. Municipalities have been stretched to their limits to find water for the growing urban populations. Groundwater is being extracted by the government as well as the private parties.

[edit] Around the world Currently in China and Brazil, rooftop rainwater harvesting is being practiced for providing drinking water, domestic water, water for livestock, water for small irrigation and a way to replenish ground water levels. Gansu province inh China and semi-arid north east Brazil have the largest rooftop rainwater harvesting projects ongoing. In Rajasthan, India rainwater harvesting has traditionally been practiced by the people of the Thar Desert. In Bermuda, the law requires all new construction to include rainwater harvesting adequate for the residents. The U.S. Virgin Islands have a similar law. In the Indus Valley Civilization, Elephanta Caves and Kanheri Caves in Mumbai rainwater harvesting alone has been used to supply in their water requirements. In Senegal/Guinea-Bissau, the houses of the Diola-people are frequently equipped with homebrew rainwater harvesters made from local, organic material. In the United Kingdom water butts are oft-found in domestic gardens to collect rainwater which is then used to water the garden. In the Ayerwaddy Delta of Myanmar, the groundwater is saline and communities rely on mud lined rainwater ponds to meet their drinking water needs throughout the dry season. Some of these ponds are centuries old and are treated with great reverence and respect. Until 2009 in Colorado, water rights laws restricted rainwater harvesting; a property owner who captured rainwater was deemed to be stealing it from those who have rights to take water from the watershed. The main factor in persuading the Colorado Legislature to change the law was a 2007 study that found that in an average year, 97% of the precipitation that fell in Douglas County, in the southern suburbs of Denver, never reached a stream—it was used by plants or evaporated on the ground. In Utah and Washington State, collecting rainwater from the roof is

illegal unless the roof owner also owns water rights on the ground. In New Mexico, rainwater catchment is mandatory for new dwellings in Santa Fe.[7]

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