Archive for December, 2008


Rainwater harvesting in apartments

December 26, 2008


Apartments can do with RWH


Huge blocks of flats in cities can provide supplementary water requirement, manage floods and reduce pollution of the environment

Simple techniques: Storing rain and rooftop water in apartments has now become easy

Apartments are mushrooming all over our cities with the boom in the housing sector. These apartments place a huge demand on the infrastructure of the city, be it water, sewerage, stormwater drains or roads. By designing systems carefully and investing in sustainable technologies, apartments can provide supplementary water requirement, manage floods and reduce pollution of the environment.

Consider this large set of apartments in Koramangala which has eight blocks. Six of them have a roof area of 1,000 square metres and two of them have a roof area of 2,000 square metres. The flats are to a large extent dependent on borewells for their water requirement. Car washing in the basement is a significant water consumer. The apartment block wanted to implement a rainwater harvesting scheme to get enough water for the car washing purpose.

Rooftops are ideal catchments for rainwater. If they are clean and allow rainwater to runoff to the down pipes, it is more than enough. In these apartments, the rooftops were ideal catchments.

Down pipes bring the rainwater to the stormwater drains. They should ideally be separated from the sewage and grey water lines. The National Building Code recommends that rainwater pipes be separate from other waste water pipes to prevent overflowing manholes and also to prevent overload of the sewage treatment plants. Many apartments, due to faulty design, tend to merge the two. Here the case was exactly this. The rainwater pipes therefore had to be de-linked from the sewage pipes.

The down pipes were now connected to large rain barrels of 10,000 litre capacity in the basement. The harvested rainwater is to be used for car washing, gardening and other non-potable use. A total of 1.75 million litres of water annually is expected to be harvested from one block alone. Similarly, the collection process has been expanded to another block and in a phased manner will cover all blocks.

When the entire rooftop rainwater collection is put in place, the apartment will harvest 8.75 million litres annually from the rooftops alone.


The stormwater drainage network was found full of garbage and dirt. Regular cleaning will ensure that a substantial amount of storm water too becomes harvestable either to be stored or to be recharged into the aquifer.

Another set of apartments on Bannerghatta Road had not only kept the rooftop clean but also had ensured that the rainwater pipes were kept separate from sewage lines, connected and brought to one place. With a filter, the collection of rooftop rainwater into a 20,000 litre tank became very easy. When the rainwater quality was tested, it was actually found to be of potable standards. This apartment therefore decided to connect the rainwater tank to the regular sump and use the combined water for all purposes. With a 20,000 litre rainwater collection sump and a recharge well for the overflow, the apartment now collects or recharges 550,000 litres of rainwater annually.

Apartments can supplement their water requirement and increase the life of their borewells through smart designs and rainwater harvesting. They can also prevent urban floods. A system of clear guidelines and implementation skill will increase the sustainability of Bangalore’s waters. In this path is water wisdom.

Ph: 080-23641690


A competition for Gram Panchayats by google

December 22, 2008

Now the challenge is to take it to all panchayats which can apply

We need you to tell us about them.

At, we believe quality public services – clean water, health, and education – are vital for human welfare and a strong economy. Providing meaningful, easily accessible information to citizens and communities, service providers, and policymakers is a key part of creating home-grown solutions to improve the quality of public services. Better information can help governments and other providers spend scarce resources wisely. And, empowered by information, citizens and communities can demand better services from providers or develop new solutions to meet their own needs.

The Gram Panchayat Puraskar recognizes that innovations in governance are happening every day in villages across India. We want to publicly recognize good ideas and create incentives for further innovation in local governance throughout the country. And we hope that this contest helps gram panchayats celebrate successes, share ideas with one another, and improve the quality of public services in villages.

Who is eligible

All legally recognized gram panchayats in the states of Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh, India are eligible to apply.

When to apply

The contest will be open for applications from December 12, 2008 through January 25, 2009. Entries must be postmarked on or before January 25, 2009 to be considered.

How to apply

To enter the contest, visit the contest website located at and pick-up an application at your district or block panchayat office in Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh during the Contest Period.


Climate change- The clearest words from Obama

December 14, 2008

and we look forward with hope to address this issue globally and unitedly


Tears in the rain

December 13, 2008

Some of the best cinematic moments around rain is from the movie classic  Blade Runner.

Here’s Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford in pouring rain from the final moments of this sci-fi by the incomparable

Ridley Scott

Tears in the rain