With water cuts looming large thanks to very scanty monsoon this year, here’s a lesson for buildings in the city. One of the oldest commercial buildings in the city is turning the tide by implementing rainwater harvesting technology, thus helping it become self-sufficient.
Realising the benefits of adopting the system, Marine Chambers on Marine Lines went ahead and installed the system, thereby saving more than Rs 4.8 lakh a year. The building society, which has 65 business units, started rainwater harvesting last year, and now has continual supply of water throughout the year.
Dilip Shah, treasurer of the society, said, “It was important for us to adopt the technology, as we had insufficient water supply. I had apprehensions after reading about it, but didn’t expect it to be so simple to implement. More than being a technical job, it is a plumbing job. The water inlets on the terraces are connected to an underground tank, which filters impurities from the rainwater.
The water then makes its way to an artificial well where an electric sensor directs the water to the storage tank on the terrace, which supplies water to the flats and offices after the well has reached a specified level. You need an expert to install this sensor, who is provided by the harvesting agencies.”
Cracking the whip
Taking cognisance of the inadequate rainfall that might lead to a water crisis in the city, Mayor Sunil Prabhu has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials to verify how many buildings that were given Occupation Certificate (OC) on the condition of implementing rainwater harvesting have actually done so.
About 3,000 new buildings have been given OCs since 2007, on the grounds of implementing the harvesting technology. But, with a low rainfall this year and the scarcity of water increasing, the city’s first citizen Sunil Prabhu has decided to crack the whip on defaulting societies.
“I have asked the officials to check whether these buildings are actually putting into practice the technology, or only showing it on paper. If we find they are not following the specified norms, then the BMC would take action against them,” said the mayor.
“Cloud seeding is obviously an option but not a guaranteed benefit, as the artificial rainfall that it creates won’t fill up lakes. Rainwater harvesting can be done and is an obvious option, which along with the corporation’s help, citizens must employ,” said a senior official of BMC, on condition of anonymity.
Did you know?
The civic rainwater cell was started in 2002 with an aim to create awareness and set up rainwater harvesting projects in the city. By 2007, it became mandatory for all new buildings to adopt the rainwater harvesting system.