Archive for August, 2010

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On Acid Rain in India and rainwater harvesting

August 28, 2010

WATERWISE

Cleaning rain

Rain is the single biggest source of water in India. Snow, ice, fog and desalinated sea water would make up the rest. As rainwater harvesting picks up all across the country it is important to focus on the cleanliness of rain itself. Inevitably the first question is of ‘acid rain’. What is acid rain? pH is a measure of the acidic or basic nature of a substance. This is a measure used scientifically to understand the concentration of Hydrogen ions contained. Rainwater with a ph below 5.6 would be acidic and would be called acid rain. Typically pH balanced water would have a pH value of 7. Rainwater being naturally acidic coming in contact with the Carbon Dioxide in the air, would have a ph of 6.0 to 7. Acid rain occurs when rainwater picks up weak sulphuric acid and weak nitric acid from the atmosphere. These acids are a result of the polluting sulphur and nitric oxide emissions from vehicles, thermal power plants, oil refineries and other gas emitting industries. Acid rains are known to have had pH values of 4 and less. What harm can acid rain do? Acidity in water may in itself be not harmful to health. However this water can leach lead or copper if present in pipes and this can be harmful when ingested. Acid rain can also destroy life in water bodies and vegetation by its corrosive effect. BIS standards for drinking water in India specify that the pH value of potable water be between 6.5 and 8.5. It is therefore important that all waters we drink measure up-to this standard though many carbonated drinks and even lime juice would have far less pH. How to tackle the impacts of stored rainwater if it is acidic? The ancient rainwater harvesters of Rajasthan and Gujarat had shown remarkable wisdom when it came to combating the natural acidity of rainwater. They would immerse a perforated clay pot with limestone or marble pieces in the storage tank. The limestone would be gradually released and would increase the pH and neutralise the acidic rainwater. This is a good method still if rainwater is stored and used for consumption purpose as in many Fluoride affected areas of the country. If harvested rainwater is allowed to recharge the ground the buffering effect of soil with its minerals tends to neutralise the acidity in the rain. Naturally present limestone and carbonate rich rocks and a contact time which is long tend to make the water better. Testing for pH is very simple and can also be done by children using the sensitive litmus paper or solution test. It is always good to check stored rainwater or the water from wells and bore wells for its pH value. If the pH is not within the permitted range it can easily be balanced using limestone or caustic soda if the pH is higher than 7. Water wisdom is in understanding the interconnectedness of nature. Humankind cannot afford to pollute the air and believe its water will be unaffected, Source control, lesser use of vehicles , stabilising thermal power air pollutants are all measures equally necessary to maintain the sustainability of water resources. Rain is the greatest distillation and availability made to mankind by the forces of nature. To preserve its pristine state is our responsibility. In these acts lies water wisdom. SE Cleaning rain S.Vishwanath http://www.rainwaterclub.org http://www.arghyam.org zenrainman@gmail.com Rain is the single biggest source of water in India. Snow, ice, fog and desalinated sea water would make up the rest. As rainwater harvesting picks up all across the country it is important to focus on the cleanliness of rain itself. Inevitably the first question is of ‘acid rain’. What is acid rain? pH is a measure of the acidic or basic nature of a substance. This is a measure used scientifically to understand the concentration of Hydrogen ions contained. Rainwater with a ph below 5.6 would be acidic and would be called acid rain. Typically pH balanced water would have a pH value of 7. Rainwater being naturally acidic coming in contact with the Carbon Dioxide in the air, would have a ph of 6.0 to 7. Acid rain occurs when rainwater picks up weak sulphuric acid and weak nitric acid from the atmosphere. These acids are a result of the polluting sulphur and nitric oxide emissions from vehicles, thermal power plants, oil refineries and other gas emitting industries. Acid rains are known to have had pH values of 4 and less. What harm can acid rain do? Acidity in water may in itself be not harmful to health. However this water can leach lead or copper if present in pipes and this can be harmful when ingested. Acid rain can also destroy life in water bodies and vegetation by its corrosive effect. BIS standards for drinking water in India specify that the pH value of potable water be between 6.5 and 8.5. It is therefore important that all waters we drink measure up-to this standard though many carbonated drinks and even lime juice would have far less pH. How to tackle the impacts of stored rainwater if it is acidic? The ancient rainwater harvesters of Rajasthan and Gujarat had shown remarkable wisdom when it came to combating the natural acidity of rainwater. They would immerse a perforated clay pot with limestone or marble pieces in the storage tank. The limestone would be gradually released and would increase the pH and neutralise the acidic rainwater. This is a good method still if rainwater is stored and used for consumption purpose as in many Fluoride affected areas of the country. If harvested rainwater is allowed to recharge the ground the buffering effect of soil with its minerals tends to neutralise the acidity in the rain. Naturally present limestone and carbonate rich rocks and a contact time which is long tend to make the water better. Testing for pH is very simple and can also be done by children using the sensitive litmus paper or solution test. It is always good to check stored rainwater or the water from wells and bore wells for its pH value. If the pH is not within the permitted range it can easily be balanced using limestone or caustic soda if the pH is higher than 7. Water wisdom is in understanding the interconnectedness of nature. Humankind cannot afford to pollute the air and believe its water will be unaffected, Source control, lesser use of vehicles , stabilising thermal power air pollutants are all measures equally necessary to maintain the sustainability of water resources. Rain is the greatest distillation and availability made to mankind by the forces of nature. To preserve its pristine state is our responsibility. In these acts lies water wisdom.

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Voices from the Waters-2010 5th International Film festival on Water, Bangalore

August 24, 2010

The schedule of the films….

Friday 27th August, 2010

10.30am

Grit (Australia/Brigid Burke/10min)

10.40am

Brooks Soak Country (Mer Rrkwer-akert)(Australia/Lisa Watts/24min)

11.05am

Slippery Slope (USA/Lisa Seidenberg/9min)

11.15am

TEA BREAK

11.30am

Addicted to Plastic (Canada/Ian Connacher/85min)

1.00pm

LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm

Karez in Kurdistan (The Netherlands-Iraq/Joshka Wessels/20min)

2.20pm

The Soul of Water (Sweden/Kurt Skoog/57min)

3.15pm

TEA BREAK

3.30pm

Laya Project (India/Harold Monfils/68min)

4.40pm

For Tomorrow (Nalegagi) (India/Praveen Malnad/13min)

(Director will be present for the screening)

5.00pm

Water and a City (India/Swati Dandekar/52min)

(Director will be present for the screening)

6.45pm

Invocation Film

Once Upon a River (India/Ajith Samuel & Narahari/9min)

Introduction by Film-makers

Inauguration of VOICES FROM THE WATERS 2010: 5th International Film Festival on Water by National award-winning actress Umashree.

Inauguration of WATER VOICES by H.A. Kishore Kumar, President, Malanadu Janapara Horatta Samithi

Inaugural Film

The Waters of Chenini (Le Acque di Chenini) (Italy/Tunisia/Elisa Mereghetti/15min)

Saturday 28th August, 2010

10.30am

Tranquil Streams (South Africa-India/ Ryan Beifus/5min)

10.35am

World of Water (Yaku Patsa) (Peru/Carlo Brescia/34min)

11.10am

Go with the Flow (The Netherlands/ Joshka Wessels/26min)

11.35am

TEA BREAK

11.50am

Flooded (Bulgaria/Maria Averina/20min)

12.10pm

Chronicle of a Death (India/Gautam Sen/3min)

12.15pm

Parobas- The Émigré (India/Sudipta Mukhopadhaya/41min)

1.00pm

LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm

Be Water, My Friend (Italy-Uzbekistan/Antonio Martino/14min)

2.15pm

Water (India/Films Division/19min)

2.35pm

Renukaji, In Delhi’s Taps (Renukaji Dilli Ke Nalon Mein) (India/Kurush Canteenwala/30min)

(Director will be present for the screenings)

3.15pm- 3.45pm

WATER VOICES: Mr. Hanumanthu & Mr. Hanumavva, Khyada Village, Badami

3.45pm

TEA BREAK

4.00pm

A Journey (India/R. Boopalam/5min)

(Director will be present at the screening)

4.10pm

Harida Nenapugalu (India/Murali Mohan Kati/30min)

(Director will be present for the screening)

5.00pm

Centipede Sun (France/Mihai Grecu/10min)

5.10pm

Journey with River Cauvery (India/ Bhavani G.S./12min)

(Director will be present for the screening)

Kere Stop (India/Bhavani G.S./4min)

(Director will be present for the screening)

5.40pm

Meltdown in Tibet (Canada-Tibet/Michael Buckley/12min)

6.00pm

TEA BREAK

6.15pm

Cattle Camp (Kyrgyzstan/Alijan Nasirov/28min)

6.45pm

The Damned Rain (Gabricha Paus) (India/Satish Manwar/95min)

Sunday 29th August, 2010

10.30am

Winds of Change (Badalti Fizayen) (India/Sunil Shukla/25min)

10.55am

UR (Basque Country/Heli Suarez & Mario Angulo/20min)

11.15am

When the World Sinks (Greece/Yorgos Averogoulos/52min)

11.15am

Melting Paradise (India/Ajay Bedi & Vijay Bedi/13min)

11.30am

TEA BREAK

11.45am

H2Oil (Canada/Shannon Walsh/77min)

1.00pm

LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm

Owners of the Water: Conflict & Collaboration Over Rivers (Brazil-Venezuela/Laura R. Graham, David Hernandez Palmar, Caimi Waiasse/34min)

2.35pm

Life for Sale (Greece/Yorgos Avgeropoulos/61min)

3.35pm

TEA BREAK

3.50pm

Goa Goa Gone (India/Kurush Canteenwala/25min)

(Director will be present for the screening)

4.30pm

WATER VOICES: C. Nataraj, Nagadala

5.00pm

Woman (Ikwe) (Canada/Caroline Monnet/ 5min)

5.05pm

Living on the Edge (India/Raseena Sherif & Anu Priya/15min)

(Director will be present for screening)

5.30pm

The Land of Vanishing Lakes (India/Ishani K. Dutta/20min)

5.50pm

TEA BREAK

6.00pm

CLOSING CEREMONY

6.15pm

The Voice of the Mapuche (La Voz Mapuche) (Chile-Argentina/ Pablo Fernandez & Andrea Henriquez/113min)

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