Set­ting up unit is cost- ef­fec­tive: Ex­perts

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Sang­hami­tra Sen­gupta sang­hami­tra. sen­gupta@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

NAVI MUM­BAI: Ex­perts work­ing in the field of wa­ter con­ser­va­tion said that while the state is fac­ing one of the worst droughts in the last four decades, it is high time peo­ple started con­serv­ing wa­ter.

Among all other wa­ter­sav­ing tech­niques, rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing is highly ef­fec­tive for con­serv­ing wa­ter.

The En­vi­ron­men­tal Sta­tus Re por t ( 2013- 14) of the Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NMMC) had said the ground wa­ter level in its area has de­pleted con­sid­er­ably, thus rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing is nec­es­sary to in­crease the yield and to ar­rest salt wa­ter in­tru­sion. The wa­ter re­quire­ment of Navi Mum­bai is ex­pected to reach 500 mld by 2040, said the re­port.

How­ever, t hose work­ing to­wards these sys­tems said peo­ple in the satel­lite city are ei­ther not aware about rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing or are not in­ter­ested.

Tap­ping ben­e­fits from wa­ter con­ser­va­tion is the need of an hour, but ex­perts said the sys­tem has been pushed into the back­seat. “With easy avail­abil­ity of wa­ter at low cost, most peo­ple do not un­der­stand the im­por­tance of sav­ing wa­ter. While there is al­ready a steep wa­ter cut im­posed across the city, peo­ple still use domes- tic wa­ter for clean­ing cars and wa­ter­ing plants,” said Vishal Sin­gavi, co­or­di­na­tor of Hariyali, a Thane- based non­gover nmen­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion spread­ing wa­ter con­ser­va­tion aware­ness across cities.

He added, “Even if peo­ple are aware about rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing, they do noth­ing about it. The con­ser­va­tion method can go a long way in sav­ing wa­ter.”

Res­i­dents have the mis­con­cep­tion that set­ting up rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing sys­tem is costly. Wa­ter con­ser­va­tion ex­perts said it is a one-time in­vest­ment but goes a long way in sav­ing wa­ter.

“The cost starts from Rs50,000 de­pend­ing on t he plot area. Our cal­cu­la­tion for a 50-apart­ment build­ing comes to around Rs5,000 per house­hold. This is a one-time in­vest­ment by the fam­i­lies liv­ing in a hous­ing so­ci­ety,” said Pranay Pawar, man­ager of Alak­nanda Tech­nolo­gies, an Airoli- based firm which deals in rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing set­ups and waste wa­ter treat­ment.

He added ,“There is prac­ti­cally lit­tle main­te­nance re­quired. Once a year, recharge pits have to be cleaned which cost around Rs1,000. Pumps need to be ser­viced ev­ery few months.

The main­te­nance work is has­sle- free and re­quires to be done once a year be­fore the mon­soon,” he added.

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