“Next world war could be on WATER” “Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science. ” John F. Kennedy Water Crisis: Water is a basic requirement for all life, yet water resources are facing more and more demands from, and competition among, users. President Kennedy has expressed the crisis of water in the above said lines so beautifully. According to World Water Council “While the world’s population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold.
Within the next fifty years, the world population will increase by another 40 to 50 %. This population growth – coupled with industrialization and urbanization – will result in an increasing demand for water and will have serious consequences on the environment. ” India, one of the many countries has also been facing serious water crisis. “The Union budget of 2005-06 had given the impression that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had a plan to promote water conservation and management. ” (Tanwar, Ritu)
Situation in urban India: The urban India faces a very ironical situation today. One side it faces acute water crisis and on the other hand during monsoons it is over flooded. This is due to negligence with the quality and quantity of groundwater. The cities receive ample amount of rainfall but it is short spell of high intensity. Because of the short duration most of the rain falling on surface seeps through quickly leaving very little recharge for groundwater. Capturing the run off is one of the solutions been incorporated in some cities.
Technological determinism is a reductionist doctrine that a society’s technology determines its cultural values, social structure, or history. In India in the rural areas the practice of rain water harvesting has always been there. The families collect the rain water which is then used for household purposes. But in the urban areas the cities the technology is quite new. This is because people living in the cities have a busier lifestyle. Even the space available is very limited. The space factor is also a main concern their.
As the population is increasing so is the space getting scarce. As a result now the houses are replaced with sky touching apartments. Thesis question: Coming from the “City of Taj” the following research essay of mine is going to examine the current urban life style in one of the cities in India, Agra, and “How rain water harvesting can be implemented in the urban lifestyle and be a step towards conserving water? ” Rain Water Harvesting: Rain water harvesting is enjoying a renaissance in today’s times. Evidence of rain water harvesting can be traced from 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. (http://www. tn. gov. in/dtp/rainwater. htm) Rain water harvesting is a process in which the rain water is collected and stored in an underground reservoir. There are two main techniques of rain water harvestings. Storage of rainwater on surface for future use. ?Recharge to ground water. Rain water harvesting is imperative. It can be a very important step in conserving water. The personal consumption of the individual families can be minimized if they start using this technique. If every family utilizes the technology the world’s water problem can be minimized reasonably. The benefits of rain water harvesting and Artificial Recharge in Urban Areas can be summarized as follows: ?Improvement in infiltration and reduction in run-off. ?Improvement in groundwater levels and yields. Improvement in groundwater quality ?Estimated quantity of additional recharge from 100 sq. m. roof top area is 55. 000 liters. ?In areas where there is inadequate groundwater supply or surface resources are either lacking or insufficient, rainwater harvesting offers an ideal solution. ?Helps in utilizing the primary source of water and prevent the runoff from going into sewer or storm drains, thereby reducing the load on treatment plants. ?Reduces urban flooding. ?Recharging water into the aquifers help in improving the quality of existing groundwater through dilution.
Situation in India: India is a developing country. The illiteracy rate there is comparatively high. Also water has been a main concern there. Even though the rate of urbanization in India is among the lowest in the world, the nation has more than 250 million city-dwellers. Experts predict that this number will rise even further, and by 2020, about 50 per cent of India’s population will be living in cities. This is going to put further pressure on the already strained centralized water supply systems of urban areas. (http://www. rainwaterharvesting. org/Crisis/Urbanwater-scenario. tm) According to Central Public Health Engineering Organization (CPHEEO) estimates, as on 31 March 2000, 88 per cent of urban population has access to a potable water supply. But this supply is highly erratic and unreliable. Transmission and distribution networks are old and poorly maintained, and generally not trustworthy. The proper conservation of the water is one of the crises that need to be solved immediately else serious consequences may follow. Rain water harvesting in this prospect seems a very favorable stroke. Research: I had been a member of a team in Agra in Grade 12 where we had a project on
Water consumption in Agra city and the effect of using rain water harvesting as a technique to improvise the water crisis. The team of 4 people took a survey of 200 families. They were questioned about the water consumption in their household. It was found that the upper income families had a more water consumption and even the wastage was more there. Once the findings were calculated the numbers gave us an idea as to how the water consumption can be minimized in every family. Awareness: There were pamphlets distributed to people explaining importance of conserving water. Saving every drop of water is essential.
The rain water harvesting could be one of the many ways to save water. Awareness among people about using this technique was an essential thing. First suggested technique: Many of the rain water harvesting plants were investigated. One of the models was based on creating four pits underground and all the waste water could be directed in them. Every tank contained specific constituents. The water was purified as it was passe through each tank. At the final outlet the water could be re used for any of the household requirements. This model was effective but expensive to install.
Not many families could bear the cost of installing the plant. Second suggested technique: Researching on better options it was concluded that an absorption pit could be built. It required very little labor and installation cost. The rain water from the house top could be collected and led through a drain to the absorption pit. After successfully installing in one of the families home it could be actually seen that the ground water level increased. Also the vegetation nearby that area improved in quality. The water stored in the pit could then be used for the household consumption.
Practical implication: Also it was researched that in Agra city prison had used the technique. All their waste water was used internally for the vegetation. Also they used to collect rain water and utilize for the consumption. As a result the prison did not use any of the water supplies by the city officials. This was an astounding finding. If the same could be used by every household the water shortage would just vanish. The prison had an underground storage for all the rain water to be collected. This stored water could later on be used as per requirements.
A general hospital was also visited. They had the first model installed in their building. The water collected through rain was sent directly underground to the storage tanks. It was then passed on from the 4 different types of tanks where they the water was treated with various constituents. The end water was again utilized for the hospital use. This way it cut down the usage of city water supply for the hospital by a considerable amount. Rain water harvesting has been a practical implication in many of the industries. Hospitals and prison were many of the two I personally inspected.
Many other industries are ready to install rain water harvesting technique to their plants so that they can contribute in conserving water. Similarly many households have also put a step forward in changing the infrastructure of their houses. They are ready to collect and save the rain water so that the water can be re utilized in a proper way. This small step from every one’s side can create a massive momentum in conserving water. Consequence: Researching for the project it was presumed in the beginning that rain water was only one of the solutions to conserve water and re-use it.
But as the research went on it was seen that not only it was effective to conserve water also it had the potential to increase the ground level water. This was an added benefit. “Next world war can be on WATER”. The statement holds so true in present day circumstances. Water crisis is on its toll. And there has to be steps taken for saving every drop of water. Rain water harvesting is a very effective way to conserve water. Some of the techniques have been stated here as to how Rain water harvesting can be implemented in the urban lifestyle and be a step towards conserving water.
Everyone understands that water is essential for life. But many are only just now beginning to grasp how essential it is to everything in life – food, energy, transportation, nature, leisure, identity, culture, social norms, and virtually all the products used on a daily basis. Water is the founding block for all the utilities required for a smooth running of an individual’s life. Thus it is essential to understand the importance of conserving every single drop of water. “In just a few short decades, we have depleted our water supply.
In the eastern states, which once had an abundance of water, bitter disputes and legal battles have become commonplace over water shortages caused by over appropriation. In the western states, where water has always been in short supply, population growth in dry areas has led to water shortages that threaten to severely restrict or perhaps even bar further growth. It could well be that burgeoning western cities such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, San Diego, and even Los Angeles and San Francisco may begin to experience population declines when what is now a search for new sources of water becomes an absolute lack.
And predicted shortages of water in California’s Central Valley, combined with the current water depletion in the High Plains, could bring to a halt in the productivity in two of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States. ” —Ken Midkiff, Not a Drop to Drink: America’s Water Crisis (And What You Can Do) (2007, New World Library) Appendix A: Rain Water Harvesting Methods In houses and flat complexes rainwater falls on both the terrace as well as on the area all around. It is this water which will have to be led into the ground wherever possible, this can broadly be done in two ways: ) Direct the terrace rainwater drain pipes directly into open wells through a filter tank 2) Direct these pipes to percolation /absorption pits and wells constructed specifically for this purpose. A similar thing will have to be done for the water falling on the area around. A. Percolation/Absorptions Pit A percolation/absorption pit is a hand bore made in the soil with the help of an augur and filled up with pebbles and river sand on top. The depth of these pits will be anywhere between 4 and 8 meters depending on the nature of the soil if the soil is clayey the pit has to be dug to a depth till a reasonably sandy stratum is reached.
These pits will be 25 cm (10 in. ) square/ circular collection chamber with still arrestor is provided at the top. B. Percolation/Absorption Well These wells are constructed using cement rings readily available in the market. The diameter of these rings from 2ft. to 6 ft. the depth to which these wells are dug depends on the nature of the soil and the diameter depends on the number of roof top pipes that are likely to be connected to each one of these wells. These wells are left unfilled and are covered with RCC slabs of suitable thickness to facilitate free pedestrian and vehicular movement on the ground.
C. Percolation Well cum Bore pit (for clayey soil) In areas where the soil is likely to be clayey up to say 15″ft. and more, it is advisable to go in for a percolation well up to 10 ft or 15 ft. and a hand bore pit within this well up to a depth of 10 ft to 15 ft. from its bottom. A PVC pipe of 6 in. diameter is inserted into the bore for the entire length. Rainwater Harvesting in Individual Houses Dig a number of 3 to 6 meter deep and 30 cm diameter -percolation pits at 3 meter intervals all around the house.
Lead the terrace pipes into the open well if any, through a 60cm x 60cm x 60cm filter (filled with pebbles) under the ground level. Rainwater Harvesting in a Flat Complex (Service well cum Recharge well method) Utilize the open well if any within the complex to divert the rainwater from the terrace into it. If not, construct a well for this purpose. The rainwater falling on the open space around the complex can be collected near the gate by providing a gutter with perforated lid. The collected water can be led through necessary piping arrangements into a recharge well of 1 meter diameter and 5 meter deep
Appendix B: Layout (www. nipstec. com/rainwater. html) Appendix C: BIBLIOGRAPHY: Books: Hunter, Norrie Water reuse: Making use of wastewater Filtration & Separation, Volume 44, Issue 7, September 2007, Pages 24-27 Katz, Ilan. Dosoretz, Carlos G. Desalination of domestic wastewater effluents: phosphate removal as pretreatment Desalination, Volume 222, Issues 1-3, 1 March 2008, Pages 230-242 Scott, D. V. ADVANCED MATERIALS FOR WATER HANDLING: COMPOSITES AND THERMOPLASTICS. First ed. Elsevier, 2000. Websites: Perlman, Howard. “Water Science for Schools. 18-Dec-2007 2007. <http://ga. water. usgs. gov/edu/index. html>. “Rainwater Harvesting. ” Centre for Science & Environment. 2007. <http://www. rainwaterharvesting. org/>. “Canadian Water Network. ” Network of centre’s of excellence. 2007. <http://cwn-rce. ca/index. php? fa=CWN. showHome> “Rain water harvesting and artificial recharge to ground water – an essential for urban sustainability” NIPSTEC. 2007. <www. nipstec. com> Journal: McKinney, Daene C. “The Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. ” 134 (2008).