IMPACT OF RAIN WATER HARVESTING IN CHENNAI CITY by Ms A Jebamalar., Chennai, India. E-mail : jebaj@yahoo.


Location: Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu State, the oldest of the presidential cities in India and the fourth largest Metropolis of the country. In Chennai, Besant Nagar is taken as a study area to carry out the impact of Rain water Harvesting. Demand for water is high in the city due to the increased population, rapid urbanization and industrial growth. Chennai gets an average of 1300 mm of rainfall every year, but this rainfall occurs in short spells of a high intensity and nearly 65 percent of the rainfall is lost due to surface runoff to the sea and evaporation. With the open space area around houses and buildings being cemented, rain water, which drains off from terraces and the roofs, and not percolating into the soil. Therefore, precious rainfall is being squandered, as it drains into sea eventually. If better methods like roof top rain water harvesting techniques are adopted, will have proper recharge and the water will be available throughout the year. Local hydrogeological features: Besant Nagar is situated close to the Bay of Bengal and the area has been known to yield potable water in the past when the area was moderately populated. Due to the construction of dwellings and rapid growth of this area in recent years, the extraction of groundwater has increased enormously. At the same time, because of the corresponding decrease in the unpaved area available for absorption of rainwater, the recharge of groundwater table has also sharply come down. Such a situation renders the area vulnerable for seawater intrusion into the land. The soil condition of this area is sandy in nature as it lies near to the coast. The average depth of water table from ground level is 7.8 m. The water is salty in nature. All the houses have roof top RWH systems. Most of the houses have recharge wells for RWH. Problem description: Ground water is the largest reservoir of liquid fresh water on the planet and is critical for sustaining life on earth. It is an integral component of the hydrologic cycle and

recharge well (large diameters / deep) may be provided. For clay subsoil areas percolation pit with bore. agricultural and industrial water needs around the world. recharge trench and recharge well( small diameter/ shallow) may be provided. human beings are growing increasingly dependant on ground water resources. due to shrinking of open spaces. For effective recharge of rain water. The Government’s determination to execute RWH was translated into policy direction: • • Implementation of RWH in all Govt. If ground water is used more than the replenished. rainwater can be harvested and recharged as ground water. area of the building and soil conditions. artificial recharge of ground water by rain water harvesting is the only solution to improve ground water potential in order to maintain the sustainable water resource. the concept of rainwater harvesting has been actively promoted by the Tamil Nadu Government. RWH structures made mandatory for all buildings proposed for construction. As global water demands rise and surface water source become further stressed and exploited. hospitals and residential buildings made compulsory. recharge trench with bore and recharge well (Large diameter and deep) may be provided. schools. a combination of different structures may be used as per site requirements viz. In cities. offices. . From 2001. then the ground water present in the aquifer will be depleted and the ability of the aquifer to store water may eventually be diminished. Rainwater harvesting means “Catch the rain water where it falls”. It is the activity of direct collection of rainwater. The ground water resources should be managed in such a ay that the withdrawal is kept at pace with the recharge by considering the rain water. The rainwater collected can be stored for direct use or can be recharged into ground water for later use. percolation pit. Rain water may be collected and recharged into the ground water aquifers through the following simple and cost effective methods a) c) e) g) i) Open well method Percolation / Recharge pit Recharge trench Recharge used to domestic. Hence. Recharge shaft b) Bore well method d) Percolation/Recharge pit with bore f) Recharge trench with bore h) Recharge well cum bore For sandy subsoil areas. For hard rock areas.

though the consumption is less i. carry out and analyze a questionnaire survey to derive RWH information in the selected study area. it is clear that one should understand the present pattern of rainfall occurrences. Hence the recharge is increasing from 0. as because of less population. this area could have possible recharge of 32678.7 mm.4mm which is less than the year 1995. . RWH made an in-built component for all rural and urban water supply schemes. which is of prime importance for RWH. though the consumption is more i. Analysis shows that in the year 1995. the objectives of this study are framed as below: a) to develop.e approximately 98550 m3. totally 11 samples were taken once a month from all study areas from Nov 2004 to April 2005 and it was analysed in wet chemistry lab in Anna University. b) to analyze the recorded rainfall pattern. So the people invested money to build RWH structures in their houses with great expectation. Steps taken to solve the problem: Based on the above discussion. this is said to be the impact of RWH on ground water quantity. To identify whether this RWH system serves the purpose effectively and to give feed back about the effectiveness of RWH systems to the society. For quality study. ground water level fluctuations and efficient methods of RWH systems to improve ground water potential and quality. the possible recharge was found to be 102644 m3 though the annual rainfall is 1313.e the year 2002. For impact study.36 m3/ m2 to 0. and c) to study the impact of adopted RWH system for improved ground water quantity and quality. To address these issues. primary data of ground water level is taken continuously from 15 wells from Sep 2004 to April 2005 in Besant Nagar and secondary data of monthly ground water is taken from Central Ground Water Board for the years 1995 to 2004.e approximately 51100 m3.6 m3 though the annual rainfall is 1560. if RWH were not erected. this study of “Efficacy of RWH in selected areas of Chennai city” is attempted.This is the impact of RWH on ground water quantity. It also warned the citizens that the water supply connection would be disconnected. But after the provision of RWH i. The dead line to construct RWH structures was set as October 2003.65 m3/ m2 from the year 1995 to 2005.• • RWH became a prerequisite for obtaining new water and sewage connection.

Carbonate. RWH does not have any significant influence on ground water quality as this area is been very badly affected by sea water intrusion. These parameters along with secondary data from 1995 to 2004 are checked with IS: 10500 -1991 drinking water quality standards. Total Hardness. Total dissolved solids. Magnesium and Chloride.So it can be concluded that Besant Nagar is been affected by sea water intrusion as EC and Chloride values are so high. Bicarbonate. So. Also chloride value is between 2500 -4600 mg/l but the permissible limit is 250-1000 mg/l . Water quality parameters selected for the analysis are pH. Calcium. Electrical conductivity. In Besant Nagar TDS values are between 500 and 6600 ppm but the permissible limit is 500-2000 ppm.Water quality analysis is done once in month in water quality lab for 11 samples. Borewell Openwell Recharge well Water tank Roof water pipe to well .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful