Archive for December, 2006

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Life is tragedy for those who feel, comedy for those who think

December 21, 2006

  

This well, 15 years old, full of water will desapear in a few days. The owner
of the plot wants to build a house on this right place.
To host all the people coming in the city, Bangalore needs housing.
So it doesn’t need water anymore ?
Open well in Vidyaranyapura, B’lore

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Ecological houses

December 20, 2006

Rembrandt loved playing with the rare rays of light entering the small rooms of his low class fellow-citizens.
Few openings to be better protected from cold winter and constant rains. In Rajasthan, people have less rain, but the sun is so generous !
They don’t have Rembrandt but actually don’t need him to make art
from their lifes. An opening over the cooking space offers a beautiful
frame full of life changing with seasons. It also allows the smoke to go
out and warm the cook with sun rays. Do you nderstand better why
their food is so delicious?
Be sensitive to your environment and catch what it has to offer to you.
Why do we always look for the most technically complicated options ?
Life is a poem and nature its source of inspiration.

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Percolation test

December 18, 2006

To know how quick water is able to enter into the ground layers of your site there are not thousand and six ways ! But a very efficient one is called Carefull Observation. First while digging a recharge well you can look at the nature of the earth you crop out. Depending on its compactness, its proportions of clay and sand, of stones, you will be able to get an idea of the facility of the water to percolate. You will also be able to determinate the right depth to reach (wich is situated in the weathered zone(see graph above). For a more accurate knowledge of the percolation rate, you will have to
observe the water flowing into the well once it done. Waiting for an heavy rain or filling the well artificially
(as on the pictures) note at regular intervals the level of water in the well. It can take few hours as several
days to empty. According to the results you will know if it is necessary to dig more wells on your site (so
that more water can percolate during heavy rains) and until wich depth croping.
 

Observation is the key tool in rainwater management. In desert of Rajasthan, when a community decided to build a pond, they started with a small bund and observed during two monsoon how this minor change affected the rain. Only after two years, they felt ready to decide if the site was a good one or not for the pond (below, a pond in desert of Rajasthan).

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Drip irrigation

December 15, 2006

drip1.JPG drip2.JPG

Drip irrigation is a simple and water-saving way to water your plants and trees. It is also used for fields irrigation.
As you see on the picture, it is a small plastic tube pricked with smaller tubes . It spreads continusly low pressured water at the base of the tree in very small quantity. Thus no runoff, no deep percolation nor evaporation.
It also reduces water contact with crop leaves, stems, and fruit. Thus conditions may be less favorable for the onset of diseases.

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Root irrigation using pipe

December 13, 2006

A good way to get water to the roots of the plant. Pour water into the pipe, 2 feet deep. Et voilà. This is in Tilonia in Rajasthan.

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Travel in Rajasthan

December 12, 2006

 

The link below will bring you into beautiful landscapes of the desert of Rajasthan. There, the average annual rainfall is 100-150 mm. Traditional structures take good care of this rainwater, without wasting a drop of it. Like all scarce entity, water is sacred there. We can see its beauty reflected in every lake and every people glance. Enjoy the photograph, taken by the over-talented-to-be-understood vishwanath.
http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/zenrainman/Rajasthan

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When an industry turns green

December 2, 2006

   

We should never presume that industrialists don’t care about environment. Here is the example of a factory at the south of Bangalore. The people there have decided to harvest the rainwater falling on the 4 acres of the factory.
The objective was 0% runoff. Three different kind of water harvesting have
been implemented.
First, four rainbarrels collect the water from the roof of the factory. This water is directly used to water the green areas around. Second the storm water  flowing on the paved areas  is directed through the open drains to a 22 000 liters sump tank, it is also used for gardening. Finally, the water from the land is lead into
the ground through recharge wells. With a depth of 25 feet,
they allow the rainwater to recharge the aquifere. The factory is thus storing for gardening more than 12 lakhs liters of rainwater every year. And sending
to the aquifere about 5 lakhs liters.
Looking at the success and efficiency of these  rainwater harvesting systems, the factory has decided to intergrate such a system in a new site currently in construction. Providing it with recharge wells and storage units as well as an adapted piping system. We hope that they will also opt for a landscaping needing less water. Through a good choice of crops and simple water keeping earthwork, we can actually reduce the demand of water for gardening by more than 70%. This is an other way to save water. One has to know for example, that grassed areas are water expensive and not productive.
Planting fruit trees or medicinal plants give more benefits for
the same green impression.

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Hidden side

December 1, 2006

   

Plunged in this well census in Bangalore, my eyes see them every where now !
Yesterday for example, I was visiting a treatment unit of the BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board).
Located at the north of the city, the system treat some 60 lakhs liters of sewage
water every day. The water is purified through an aerobic process,
passing in several tanks before being sent to a sery of lakes.
95 % of the pollution initally present in the water is thus removed.
But at a corner of the park, my eyes fell on a beautiful stone well, as people dug them few decades ago.
The well was full of stinking water.
Asking my host, he informed me that this well received the sludge of the
aerobic tanks when they were cleaned.
Mixed with the groundwater naturally present in the well this sludge escape to the aquifere.
This is how we ourselves contaminate the water we later draw from bore or open wells.
The (cynic) fun is that it happens also in the middle of a treatment water unit.
I must tell you that my host confessed me they were currently working on a way to separate
storm and sewage water of the site, so that unpleasant things like that don’t happen anymore.
Hope he is right.

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