Thursday, May 29, 2014

Securing water access through rainwater harvesting

This morning we visited a wealthy middle class community in the greater Bangalore area, where the families took it upon themselves to secure their water access through sustainable rainwater harvesting initiatives.

This morning we visited a wealthy middle class community in the greater Bangalore area. A community of progressive families, they took it upon themselves to secure their water access through sustainable rainwater harvesting initiatives in response to dried up wells.

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This community's water management initiatives have been an ongoing practice. Currently, every house is mandated to install a rainwater harvesting unit that flows to a groundwater recharge well and have a meter monitoring water usage.

Families will be charged progressively higher and higher rates the more water they consume. Their efforts have yielded better water quality and quantity, all the while reducing water costs.

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The community is almost completely autonomous from the government, with the exception of electricity. They source their water, treat their sewage, handle trash collection, have security, and maintain roads and streetlights.

An interesting response to an ineffective government, one that their income has allowed them to afford, they are an example of what many other affluent families in India have turned to.

Although they are achieving noteworthy success for their efforts, these results would not necessarily be replicated to the same degree elsewhere.

To be able to meet the water needs of the city - specifically those at the bottom of the pyramid - a combination of creative technologies and strict management practices will need to be tailored to each unique setting.

Furthermore, governments, NGOs, businesses, and communities will all need to holistically work together. Simply continuing the way things are today is not an option.

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