Rain Water Harvesting
By Marianne de Nazareth
23 March, 2011
It's not yet full blown summer and Bangalore and India is already reeling from lack of fresh water. Yesterday's anchor in one of the local papers said, residents of a locality in Bangalore are buying bottles of mineral water to bathe in! There is also a tanker mafia in the city that charges anywhere upwards of 500 rupees for a tanker of water. Most buildings need at least two tankers of water to manage in a day. That is how tough this summer is going to be. Then why? Why is it so difficult for us to understand the efficacy of Rain Water Harvesting and how it will help ease water shortage in the coming months?
In Karnataka , India , the government has made RWH mandatory across the state for new buildings. Any new building has to fit RWH on its roof and solar panels for water heating. It is these enlightened policies which will help make us more interactive instead of waiting for the government to supply us water for our needs which are becoming scarce and rare with populations galloping forward especially in Asia..
Vessela Monta the Executive Director Of the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance IRHA, based in Geneva says, “ The UN Human Rights Council affirms the human right to safe drinking water. Now is the time for the world's governments to contribute to the provision of a regular supply of safe, accessible and affordable drinking water in sufficient quantity for 884 million more people.
On World Water Day 2011, the undersigned organizations wish to strongly advocate for the use of rainwater: it must be considered as an important tool in efforts to minimize the water related problems that already exist.
• Rainwater is a valuable resource that is underutilized. Its capture and use can alleviate challenges
related to potable, non-potable, storm water and energy.
• Local rainwater harvesting solutions enhance water security and provide important relief to
households and communities. All around the world, rainwater infiltration, collection and storage
offers benefits for the environment, wildlife and humans, and improves water availability for
industry and agriculture.
• It is time for rainwater catchment to be included in the development plans of all governmental
agencies as part of their integrated water resource management strategies.
• Introduction of the concept of rainwater management – maximizing rain's benefits as a vital
resource while minimizing potential rain hazards – to curricula of technical schools and
universities will bring future benefits to urban planning, architectural and agricultural projects.
“ We will have about 50 signatories: universities, NGOs, companies, media. The statement that we will sign is translated in 6 different languages and we hope that the media will give our mission wide coverage in many countries,” reiterates Vesella. Signatories include:
American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) www.arcsa.org
International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) www.irha-h2o.org
International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (IRCSA) www.ircsa.org
Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (SearNet) http://worldagroforestry.org/projects/searnet
Ingénieurs du Monde www.ingenieursdumonde.org
Safe Water International www.safewaterintl.org
Consortium Across the Community to Harvest Water
University of Arizona www.arizona.edu
Watershed Organisation Trust www.wotr.org
Rain Harvesting Pty Ltd www.rainharvesting.com.au
INTEWA GmbH www.intewa.de
Association pour un environnement CONstruit VIvant et VErt www.convive.org
Rain for All www.rainforall.org
Integrated Rainwater Management Systems Project for the Ethiopian Highlands
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association www.horttrades.com
Dundee UNESCO Centre, University of Dundee www.dundee.ac.uk/water
Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association www.GardenMinnesota.com
NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation www.ngoforum.net
Rainwater Harvesting Implementation Network www.rainfoundation.org
Groupements pour la Promotion et l'Exploitation des Ressources de l'Environnement (GROPERE)
DEMON of ECOLOGY-AVGI
Kenya Rainwater Association www.gharainwater.org/kra_about.html
Combined Harvesters Ltd. www.combinedharvesters.co.uk
Watershed Management Group www.watershedmg.org
Ontario Parks Association
FAKT GmbH www.fakt-consult.de
RainWater Harvesting Ltd. www.rainwaterharvesting.co.uk
Rainwater Services http://rainwaterservices.com
Conseil de gouvernance de l'eau des bassins versants de la rivière Saint-François www.cogesaf.qc.ca
Europe Rainwater Catchment Association www.rainwaterconference.org
Save Our Life – Ghana Foundation
Network of Rural Women Producers Trinidad and Tobago http://ttnrwp.net/
Green Cross International http://www.gci.ch/
Oasis Aquatic Gardens www.oasisaquaticgardens-ky.net
Rainwater Club www.rainwaterclub.org
iMAP Africa www.imapafrica.com
Rainwater Collection Solutions, Inc ~ The Original Rainwater Pillow www.rainwaterpillow.com
Come join the movement of encouraging RWH on World Water Day 2011 and let us grow self sufficient and improve the ground water table which we are depleting with our senseless over exploitation of years of collection of under ground fresh water supplies.
(The writer is a freelance environment journalist and media fellow with UNFCCC, UNEP & Robert Bosch Stiftung and adjunct faculty St Joseph 's PG College Bangalore)
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