A brilliant, brilliant piece.
A brilliant, brilliant piece.
The peripheral areas of cities are seeing an unprecedented growth and Bangalore is no exception. Land use is changing from agricultural to non-agriculture use and sites are being developed in ‘layouts’ all across. While infrastructure like roads and electricity can and will eventually reach the layouts the case of water and sanitation infrastructure is more difficult.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority assisted by 11 Local Planning Authorities is the planning approval authority for over 8000 square km. of area around the city of Bangalore.
Since no more water is likely to be pumped from the Cauvery River with the completion of the Phase IV Stage 2 it is groundwater that most of the peripheral development must depend on. Ground water is however getting increasingly overused in the surrounding semi-arid areas of the city where the rainfall is 700 mm on an average.
How can the authority make sure that the people who move in to these developments have water and sanitation in the future? One good way to begin is to get the layout developer do a yield test for the bore-wells dug or available on site. If this is done in summer it is likely to give a better understanding of reliable yield for the entire layout. A quality test of the bore-well waters would also establish potability or otherwise. Water treatment plants may become necessary if the water is hard or contaminated. This should be basic information with the authority as well as what potential buyers of sites or buildings should demand from the developer.
No individual bore-well should be permitted to be drilled and only common use of groundwater under metered and tariff conditions should be encouraged in the layouts.
While rainwater harvesting is insisted upon by the entire local planning authorities a more detailed implementation and design would help both the authority and the consumer. For example it should be made conditional that all homes and flats have rainwater harvesting structures to store or recharge 60 mm of rainfall .
It should also be made conditional that all storm-water falling on non private plot area is completely recharged in to the ground. The recharge structures should be site specific and should be based on infiltration and recharge data from each site. Only in case where recharge is not possible should storage and reuse be permitted. In any case each layout should be designed as a zero run off area for rainwater.
However all conditions imposed should be easily implementable, should bring tangible benefits to the occupiers, should be easy to monitor and should have clear ownership so that it is maintained in the long run and is therefore sustainable.
At the macro-level, the BMRDA would be better off generating a detailed micro-watershed map of the area under its jurisdiction. It should then be able to push for the maintenance of these tanks and other water bodies plus their inter-connectedness through adequate policy, legislative and fiscal incentives.
The BMRDA should also map the aquifers and detailed sub-aquifer maps overlapping with the micro-watershed maps should be generated so that groundwater situation is better understood and managed with the development that will take place inevitably in the megalopolis area.
Sanitation: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board insists on a sewage treatment plant for each development in the BMRDA zone. While this is motivated with a need to prevent water pollution and to add to reuse and recycling of water, the practical aspects of what happens to these treatment plants and who maintains them should be studied. Resident Welfare Associations and Flat owner associations find it difficult to maintain these units. As units or houses are built incrementally, it is difficult for the treatment plants to become fully functional until occupancy is at least 50 % and above.
As a matter of choice individual on-plot sanitation systems like septic tanks and baffled reactors with the right design should be permitted. These have the benefits of being maintained by individual owners and also they demand much less water than piped sewerage. A dual system of grey-water disposal and back water disposal on plot should be permitted.
While on-plot sanitation systems can be maintained with as low as 70 lpcd of water, piped sewerage will demand at least 135 litres per person per day especially for self cleansing velocity requirements.
The sustainable management of water and sanitation outside the BWSSB influence zone is a challenge. The BMRDA has to think wisely and move ahead quickly so as to avert a serious water shortfall situation.
This would be water wisdom for a city.
Neighbour’s plunge in to help place the stone slab covers for the rainwater tank in a house in the village Arjunabetahalli near Bangalore. With a little bit of help from friends systems work better and additional water is available for household use.
Kavya, all of 8, is fascinated by the operations as much as the camera. She however lets the cameraman know that a ‘Totti’ (tank) is being built to collect rainwater. She also know that the first rain separator allows the initial dirty water from the roof to flow out. The clean rainwater collected can be used for washing clothes, for animals to drink and other such uses.
The stone slabs being placed are a local slate called Cuddapah stone after the place here it is prevalent. This is the cheapest covering available though heavy. Once placed on top, the gaps between two pieces of stone are sealed with mud mortar to prevent mosquito breeding.
Late evening gives the film a Bergmanesque touch :).
These are the new eco-warriors – the toilet man Sharad Nayak – explains an arch panel roof
and how he hopes to fly with his new weapon, an eco-san pan , to Madhya Pradesh to change the defecation
habits of people :) there
Ecosan uses less water, prevents pollution of ground wter and converts human waste to a resource. It is youngsters with the skill set and the interest levels like Sharad who are part of India’s movement for sanitation. The Rainwater Club is prou of its latest honorary member Sharad Nayak.
In Arjunabettahalli of Nelamangala and about 40 km from Bangalore little Vinutha, all of 10 and studying in the 5th standard answers questions on water and rainwater harvesting. She emphasizes that water is a limited natural resource (Parimita sampanamoola in Kannada and in her own beautiful words) and therefore should be used carefully. She also has been studying about rainwater harvesting in school and now sees one being built in her house. Every day she and her mother spend half an hour to 2 hours in bringing water to the house.
When questioned she is perplexed as to why the boys in the family do not do this work. Harvesting rain helps the girl child from hauling water during the rainy days at least. Ultimately gender equality will alone answer the burden put on little girls. (less)
Can a state level survey be done asking 9 to 12 year old girl children their relationship with water and sanitation?
Can we then take the results of the survey to policy makers and institutions as the girl childs voice on water and sanitation?
We can do this at 2 places – The house and the school. Questions can elicit information an arm her with knowledge on many things such as
1. Who is responsible for bringing water to the house hold ?
A survey in 1990 by IMRB suggested that nearly 68% of the water collection in households was done by women.
4% of this was by the girl child younger than 15 years.
2.What is the source of the drinking water?
Dug wells were a pre dominant source yet there was no programme for protecting the dug well and ensuring its sustainability through recharge
3. How far is it from your house?
4.How much time does it take to bring the water?
To collect approx 192 litres per family per day it took 1.2 to 3.5 hours daily
5.How many trips do you make in a day?
6. Where do you store the water brought to your house?
7. Where does the waste water from your house go?
8.Do you have a toilet in your house?
9.Who takes care of the cleanliness of the toilet?
10. Do the boys/men in the house help with water in the house?
11. Do you have sheep/goat/cows in your family?
12.How do they get water to drink? Who takes them to the water? Who brings water for them? How much water?
1.Does your school have a water source?
2.Do you take water to school from home?
3.Does your school have a toilet?
4.Do you use the toilet in the school?
5.Who keeps the toilet clean in school?
1.How often do you have a bath?
2.Do you use soap to wash your hands ?
3.How often do you wash your clothes?
4.How often do you change your clothes?
5.Do you have a water borne disease or have you had one in the last week?
Diarhoea /skin disease
6.Have you had malaria/chikungunya/dengue in the last one year?
Lakshmi here for example has understood the benefit of rainwater harvesting to combat fluorosis. Can this knowledge be translated to all the women in the more than 5400 habitations with excess fluoride.?
An ecosan toilet is a source separating composting toilet and a black water saver. It also generates good nutrients for plant growth. It also does not pollute
our precious water resources. This is the way to go with sanitation