Archive for the 'rainwater harvesting' Category

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Rainwater Storage At Homes To Go Binding

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“The government is going to amend the country’s ‘building code’ to make harvesting of rain water mandatory for all the buildings as the level of ground water is falling fast because of excessive use.

Sheikh Abdul Mannan, a member of Rajuk (planning), has said that the government wanted to encourage the builders so that they keep provisions for rooftop harvesting of rain waters. The developers can also preserve rain water in any ground facilities if roofs are not an option for them.

But it is going to be binding for them one way or the other.

He said a new provision titled, ‘Rain Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharging’ will be punched in the ‘Dhaka Mahanagar Building (Construction, Development, Protection and Removal) Rule’ enacted in 2008.

“The provision must be included in all building plans from 2012 if the code is amended by the end of this year,” he said.

Local government minister Syed Ashraful Islam on Tuesday told parliament that the government was working on ensuring collection of 70 percent water demanded in the capital city of Dhaka from rainwater and water holes in the next 10 years.

Engineer Mannan said 87 percent of water requirements in the city came from underground source, 13 percent from the Buriganga and the Shitalkkhya rivers.

“The water of these rivers has become unfit for use even after refining,” he said.

“Dependence on ground water is increasing to meet the demand. As a result, the level of ground water is decreasing two-three metres (eight-10 feet) every year, which raises fears of landslide. In this situation, use of surface water is being emphasised,” he added.”

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Coca-Cola Mexico harvesting 1.25Bl/y of rainwater

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“The Coca-Cola Mexico Foundation captures 1.25Bl/y of water through its water harvesting programs, Luis Fuentes, Coca-Cola Mexico’s deputy director of corporate communication, told BNamericas.

The foundation set up a national reforestation and water harvesting program in 2007 in association with the national forestry commission (Conafor), and the national commission for the protection of natural areas (Conanp).

The program aims to “return to nature 100% of the water we use in our drinks and production processes,” said Fuentes.

As well as planting 30mn trees across the country, the foundation has built 162,000 groundwater recharge wells to harvest rainwater. The wells are 2m deep and built in mountainous regions across 250ha of land.

Water captured in the wells filters into the ground and recharges the aquifers, “ensuring water for Mexico’s future,” said Fuentes.

The reforestation and water harvesting programs have ensured that 87% of the water used in Coca-Cola Mexico’s processes is returned to the land.”

Read more: Water World


Harvest rainwater or your taps could run dry

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“BANGALORE: The BWSSB has empowered itself to take stern action against owners of those houses where rainwater harvesting (RWH) apparatus is not installed. Having issued a deadline of December 31, 2011, for installation, and published a gazette notification on July 7, BWSSB can now cut off water and sanitary connections to houses without RWH.Through the notification, the regulations titledBangalore Water Supply and Sewerage (Rain Water Harvesting) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011, have come into force. The amendment states that where the owner or occupier of a building fails to provide RWH within the deadline, modified under section 72A of the Act, water supply could be disconnected.

BWSSB chairman PB Ramamurthy called on citizens to install rainwater harvesting by December 31. A senior BWSSB official said if they fail to adhere to the deadline, the water board can disconnect water and sanitary connections.”

Read more: Times of India

Lessons From the Field—Rainwater Harvesting in India

Popat Rao Pawar, sarpanch, or assemblyman, of Hiware Bazaar village in India, examines corn. His village has successfully used rainwater harvesting to secure water supplies. Photo retrieved from:

“How will vast regions of India, where highly unreliable rainfall makes the difference between famine and sustenance, cope with climate change? Over 85 percent of the cultivated area in this country is either directly dependent on rain or depends on rain to recharge its groundwater. Seasonal rain provides water for irrigation, drinking, and household needs. It provides water to livestock and is necessary to grow fodder for animals. The question of how these areas will adapt as rainfall becomes even more variable with climate change is especially important now, as groundwater is being pumped from deeper and deeper wells to grow water-guzzling crops like sugarcane, rice, wheat and even flowers.

I ask these questions once again, because for once I have some answers. I traveled to Hiware Bazaar village in Ahmednagar district to find an amazing example of environmental regeneration. This village of a thousand-odd families in the rain shadow, drought-prone region of Maharashtra was reportedly destitute and lawless some 15 years ago. Today, it is an incredible example of how rainwater harvesting can create prosperity.

In 1972, when water scarcity had hit the state, a dam to encourage water to sink into the ground was built under a new employment guarantee scheme. But like most dams this structure leaked. Water scarcity increased. The next water harvesting structure led to a murder in the village, as people fought over the water it provided. Villagers took to making, drinking, and selling country liquor (country liquor is made from a potent mix of chemicals and plants in different regions), instead of water. The surrounding forests were hacked down. Villagers recall how a forest guard was beaten and tied up as he tried to stop people from felling trees. By the early 1990s, migration was the only alternative to poverty in this village.”

Read more: National Geographic

Collecting Rainwater Now Illegal In Many States As Big Government Claims Ownership Over Our Water

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“As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from “diverting” water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use.

Check out thisYouTube videoof a news report out of Salt Lake City, Utah, about the issue. It’s illegal in Utah to divert rainwater without a valid water right, and Mark Miller of Mark Miller Toyota, found this out the hard way.

After constructing a large rainwater collection system at his new dealership to use for washing new cars, Miller found out that the project was actually an “unlawful diversion of rainwater.” Even though it makes logical conservation sense to collect rainwater for this type of use since rain is scarce in Utah, it’s still considered a violation of water rights which apparently belong exclusively to Utah’s various government bodies.”

Read more: Natural News

Syria Launches Its First ‘Water-Scarcity Park’

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“Following five years of drought which has driven nearly half a million people away from drought-hit areas and put the country at risk of increasing desertification, Syria has inaugurated a water scarcity park to highlight the need to conserve dwindling water supplies.

Using drip irrigation techniques, the 1,000 square metre ‘water scarcity park’ will harvest rainwater and also use solar power to generate electricity to pump water for irrigation. Drip irrigation is a technique used to conserve water as draws water directly from it sources and takes it the plants through a network of pipes with small holes so that water waste is minimal.

The park which was opened by the country’s Vice-President Dr Najah Al-Attar, is located in Dummar, a suburb of Damascus and is planted with various drought-resistant flora. It is hoped that the park will be used as model for public and private parks and help rationalize the consumption of water and energy.

The water scarcity crisis in Syria has been blamed on a combination of poor water management, lack of rainfall and the over-extraction of water. In the past, Syria was comfortably supported by the Euphrates River in the top half of the country but the diversion of large amounts of water into agriculture and industrial sector means that the supplies are not sufficient to support the population. According to reports in The National, scientists reported that between 2002 and 2008, water availability dropped from 1200 cubic meters to 750 cubic meters per person in Syria.”

Read more: Green Prophet

Water Infrastucture Overlooked In Climate Policy

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“GWP worked with the government and local communities in Swaziland to rehabilitate an earth dam at KaLanga. Restoring the dam’s broken-down irrigation set-up, constructing sanitation facilities and drinking troughs for cattle, along with raising community awareness and training in water conservation and rainwater harvesting contributed to improving access to water for the more than 9,600 people in the area.

Burkina Faso, where 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for a living, has invested in the construction of more than 1,500 small dams since 1998. These reservoirs – built at relatively low-cost, often with local communities contributing labour to their construction – are a vital protection against drought.

Most African agriculture is rain-fed, says Grobicki. “As climate variability increases and temperatures rise, water security drops radically. Dams ensure water is available throughout the year.”

The scale and operation of water infrastructure needs to be carefully planned. “Using water from the river for irrigation might benefit a farming community, but it could have damaging effects downstream. That’s why it is important to have shared decision-making. In this process there will be trade-offs, but also shared benefits,” she says.

Other adaptation measures include shifting to more drought-resistant crops and the use of satellite imaging to reveal moisture content of soil and guide farmers’ irrigation efforts: pilot projects in several countries already send out such information via text messages to farmers’ phones.

Water-saving technologies can further maximise the benefits of these strategies. “Drip irrigation offers huge potential for saving water in rural areas, while remote sensing can be used to inform farmers about the moisture content of the soil so they know how much water they need to use to”

Read more: Alternet

Water Pressure

Photo: Ethiopian boy drinks water

Drawing deep from a new well, Soti Sotiar is among a lucky few: the 10 to 20 percent of rural Ethiopians with access to clean drinking water. Photograph by Peter Essick

“Among the environmental specters confronting humanity in the 21st century—global warming, the destruction of rain forests, overfishing of the oceans—a shortage of fresh water is at the top of the list, particularly in the developing world. Hardly a month passes without a new study making another alarming prediction, further deepening concern over what a World Bank expert calls the “grim arithmetic of water.” Recently the United Nations said that 2.7 billion people would face severe water shortages by 2025 if consumption continues at current rates. Fears about a parched future arise from a projected growth of world population from more than six billion today to an estimated nine billion in 2050. Yet the amount of fresh water on Earth is not increasing. Nearly 97 percent of the planet’s water is salt water in seas and oceans. Close to 2 percent of Earth’s water is frozen in polar ice sheets and glaciers, and a fraction of one percent is available for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use.”

“Gloomy water news, however, is not just a thing of the future: Today an estimated 1.2 billion people drink unclean water, and about 2.5 billion lack proper toilets or sewerage systems. More than five million people die each year from water-related diseases such as cholera and dysentery. All over the globe farmers and municipalities are pumping water out of the ground faster than it can be replenished.”

“Still, as I discovered on a two-month trip to Africa, India, and Spain, a host of individuals, organizations, and businesses are working to solve water’s dismal arithmetic. Some are reviving ancient techniques such as rainwater harvesting, and others are using 21st-century technology. But all have two things in common: a desire to obtain maximum efficiency from every drop of water and a belief in using local solutions and free market incentives in their conservation campaigns.”

Read More: National Geographic

EPA Water Pollution Controls in Nation’s Capital Are Off to a Good Start – Tell Them to Finish the Job

Washington DC Day Trip

“Two weeks ago, on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, EPA released a draft stormwater permit for Washington, DC that gives us hope about the future of the District’s waters. This region has some of the dirtiest urban rivers in the country, especially the Anacostia River, which is severely polluted by sediment, nutrients, pathogens, toxins, and trash. Every time it rains, water runs off of impervious surfaces in the District and dumps all of those pollutants into our waterways.

“That’s why it’s crucial for EPA to issue a strong permit that will control how much stormwater pollution runs into DC’s rivers and streams. When we first saw the permit draft, we were excited to see certain provisions in there, especially the requirements for “green infrastructure” or “low impact development” controls throughout the District. Not only does green infrastructure clean up our waters, but it also creates jobs and livable, walkable neighborhoods that are good for businesses and our health. That’s the kind of innovative, smart water practice that communities across the country need to be focused on.”

read more: NRDC

PAKISTAN: Harvesting rain, restoring dignity

“Tharparker District in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan, is among the most arid regions in the country. Limited rainfall, brackish underground water and the private ownership of wells by an elite minority have made access to potable water very difficult for much of the district’s 900,000 mostly rural inhabitants.

“However, an innovative project by local NGO Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP) in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Sindh is helping alleviate Tharparker’s drought problems.”

read more: AlterNet