Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My City My Responsibility - Rainwater Harvesting

Dear All


Last week we saw, how a terrace gardening initiative can make our lives simply Sustainable. Similarly we are going to see more of such initiatives and one such initiative is rooftop rainwater harvesting.

I am sure everyone has heard about harvesting rainwater, however one may find it difficult to implement it in an existing set up. Or may find it a tedious and a costly affair or may be you think you don't need to harvest rainwater since you have enough water today. Kindly note that the benefits of harvesting rainwater are not limited to an individual, they are linked to all of us locally as well as globally.   

Let us look at a local initiative undertaken by a retired military official Col. Shashikant Dalvi in his society. In 2002, Col.Dalvi shifted to a society in viman nagar after his retirement, he became the Chairman of the society. While reviewing the annual and monthly bills of the society, he saw that the society is spending maximum on water due to the use of water tankers. At that time, PMC water supply was inadequate in the area and hence the society depended on water tankers for fulfilling their water demands. Though there was one bore well in the society, it had lower levels of water and could run only for half an hour and hence was not used. Col. Dalvi realized that temporary investments in water tanker was not a long term solution. So he learnt about rooftop rainwater harvesting and thought of using the freely available natural resource i.e. rainwater. Though rainwater is available making it usable water it needs to be harnessed.
www.parjanyarwh.com

Col. Dalvi initially tried using only 1/3rd of the terrace area for collecting rainwater and saw the amount of rainwater that could be harvested. He found that the society could cut down on 50% of their water tanker usage. So in 2003, he made arrangements to collect entire terrace water in an underground tank through pipes and a primary filter (jali). This resulted in zero usage of water tankers in the society. The tentative cost of setting up such an initiative in their society was approx. Rs. 50-70 per sq.ft at that time which is a one time cost. As per the PMC scheme, the society received a 5% rebate on property tax for implementing rooftop rainwater harvesting. This project inspired many societies around and they installed rooftop rainwater harvesting system. National Water Academy, Pune has included a visit to Col Dalvi's housing society as a part of their course syllabus to study the functioning of the project. Also its noteworthy that the water levels in their bore well increased and it could run for six to eight hours now due to percolation of water. 

Rainwater harvesting system ensures healthy and clean usable water for all, even for those who are dependent on groundwater sources. In case if you want to harness your rainwater, you can contact Col S.G Dalvi at 9860577364 or visit his organization Parjanya rainwater harvesting consulting at www.parajyarwh.com 


Pournima Agarkar.


P.S. While buying a new home just ensure if the building has rooftop rainwater harvesting system. 


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My City My Responsibility - Terrace Gardening

Dear All, 

Veena Godbole's terrace garden
Is it really difficult to change our habits and shift to sustainable living? 

There are many citizens in Pune city itself who are living a sustainable lifestyle. Lets see what has driven the change in them. 

Veena Godbole: I got introduced to her through Dr. Priyadarshini Karve. She's a middle-aged women who just does not allow any of her kitchen waste out of her house. She has developed a beautiful terrace garden by using her household wet waste and cultivates her own vegetables and fruits. Of course, it takes a lot of dedication and effort to undertake such an initiative. But we can start with one vegetable or fruit. 

We saw in earlier blogs that wet waste generated in our household is quite a lot, and it is very easy to reuse it in our own garden or potted plants. If all of us ensure that our kitchen waste should not go out of the house, I think there will be a time when we may fall short of wet waste, and will have to borrow it. Something like this happened with Veena, she had to tie up with the local vegetable vendor for more wet waste. 


So, its like hitting two birds with one stone.We are resolving the problem of wet waste management at our end by forming a closed loop system where the waste of one product, acts as source of nourishment for another product and the cycle goes on. 

Think about it!

If you are also involved in doing something sustainable, please post a comment or write to me! Also if want to visit Veena Godbole terrace garden let me know.
  
Pournima Agarkar.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

My City My Responsibility - The World is a family

Dear All,

In the last week I got a chance to attend a session on India and the World - A history in nine stories by Neil MacGregor at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts. India and the World - A history  in nine stories is a unique exhibition in collaboration between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) in Mumbai, the British Museum in London and the National Museum in Delhi, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Tata Trusts and the Getty Foundation. 

With regard to this exhibition project Neil MacGregor narrated landmark events that occurred in India which show strong connections India had historically with the rest of the world. India has always promoted sharing of ideas as well as knowledge, spices, textiles, and treasures etc., with the rest of the world. India has been an integral part of the cultural history of the world and thus we also inherit a global culture. Mr. MacGregor rightly used the term that the World is a family. This made we feel like a global citizen already and thus could relate to Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam as it is said in Sanskrit.  

History has a record showing we as Indians being global citizens, which is something to be proud of, but it also should carry a sense of responsibility towards the world. Why are we being so self centered today? I mean in spite of facing impacts of climate change, environmental pollution and socio-economic inequities in India and the whole world. Our vision document for 2020 gives priority to economic development giving social and environmental aspects the last priority. Recently we all heard about Cape town in South Africa going to run out of water completely, experiencing a Day Zero by mid May 2018. We are not far from this situation if we fail to understand the impacts of our choices on people, economy and environment locally and globally.
  

Pournima Agarkar.