Model Projects 2002
Kanpur Meeting
Nodal Environmental Cell
Training Programs
Miscellaneous Services
Urban wetland meet
Paani Yatra

Lecture on RWH for ECO CLUB schools in New Delhi
CSE delivered a lecture on RWH in a programme organised Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Kalkaji, New Delhi, (an Eco Club lead school identified by Government of Delhi) on December 12, 2003. The target group included teachers and students from 15 government schools of Delhi.

CSE's lecture focused primarily on water management and rainwater harvesting. The talk outlined the water scarcity in India and reasons of scarcity amidst plentiful rains. Uncontrolled exploitation, rampant usage, polluted water resources are not new in most of the urban areas. Concepts and principles of RWH was explained by narrating the rich traditions of rainwater harvesting that existed in India right from the Indus valley civilization. Starkling experiences from CSE's Model RWH were also shared during the occasion.

Manoj Dabas, Regional Director (North), Ashoka Trust For Reasearch on Environment and Ecology (ATREE) delivered a lecture on Environment, education and biodiversity. The Programme was focused to introduce the students and teachers, the varied environmental problems.

TSRDS organises a workshop in Ghato Tand, in Jharkhand
A workshop on rooftop rainwater harvesting was organised by Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS) in Ghato Tand, West Bokaro District on December 3, 2003. The participants included villagers from the four watershed areas of Mandu Block (Kusum Daha Jal Chajan Pariyojna (JCP), Bonghara JCP, Tirlanal JCP and Chainpur- Atna JCP) and the contractors working in the area.

Prolonged mining and lack of water conservation activities has adversely affected the hydro-geological regime of the area. This is clear from the fact that despite receiving an annual average rainfall of 1400 milli metre, these villages do not have enough water for drinking or irrigation. Most of the chappakals (handpumps) in the area have failed. So is the case with open wells, which serves 90 per cent of the drinking water requirement of the villagers.

The CSE staffer sensitized the participants on the need for adopting rooftop rainwater harvesting at the household level which can ensure water availability during lean periods. RWH techniques like storage and groundwater recharge, the implementation strategies and precautions to be taken were discussed in detail.


Release of English and Marathi versions of RWH manuals for Mumbai
On December 6, 2003 Mohan Dharia, former Cabinet Minister and President, Vanarai Trust, a Puna based NGO released the English version of Mumbai specific How to do water harvesting manual, published by CSE at a seminar in IIT Powai. This manual provides basic information on the water scenario, hydro-meteorology, RWH techniques and case studies from Mumbai. The seminar titled “Jal Sangrah Shibir” was organised by alumnus of the IIT Powai with the objective of sensitising the professionals as well as other individuals on the water related issues and the concept of RWH. CSE also conducted a workshop on urban rainwater harvesting with the success stories from Mumbai and Delhi highlighting the issues related to implementation, maintenance and monitoring. Subraba Marathe, Asssitant Engineer, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), who spoke on the occassion highlighted the initiatives of MCGM in spreading the concept of RWH. Builders and architects who are involved in water harvesting in Mumbai also shared their experiences with the participants. At the end the participants charted out a “Powai Declaration ” as an outcome of the two day workshop. This declaration highlighted the main issues that need to be addressed in the future to make water resources sustainable.

The Marathi version of the manual was released by the Kiran V. Shantaram, Sheriff of Mumbai on December 9, 2003 in a workshop organised jointly by CSE, United States –Asia Environmental Partnership (USAEP) and Hotel Lotus Suites. The participants included the members of Rotary Inner wheels, Advanced Locality Management (ALM) Group (who looks after the welfare of residential colonies) and individuals. During this seminar Vithal Kamat, Chairman, Kamat Group of Hotels announced the launching of first Raincentre in Mumbai at Lotus Suites hotel in collaboration with CSE.

The focus of CSE lecture in both the seminars was the relevance of water conservation in general and RWH in particular to overcome the water crisis in Mumbai. It also highlighted the mechanisms required to popularise this concept as well as the policy interventions that would lead to Jal Swaraj-water independence in Mumbai.

For more:

CSE's presentation on Mumbai's water status

Mumbai Specific RWH Manual"Water scenario in Mumbai alarming"

Huge potential for RWH in Jharkhand

CSE in its key note address on "Water 2003- Water Resources Management and Conservation" organised by the Confederation of India Industry (CII), Jharkhand state council in association with department of water resources, government of Jharkhand on December 8, 2003 at Ranchi highlighted the potential of rainwater harvesting (RWH) inmitigating water scarcity in the state. During the presentation, CSE's representative emphasised on the conflicting situation of scarcity amidst plenty as far as Jharkhand water is concerned. The state is blessed with plenty of rain--1400 milli metre (mm)--16 river basins; and 29,335 ponds and tanks. Yet, Jharkhand faces acute water problems. All its 22 districts were declared drought affected in 2002. The situation was quite grim in 2003 too, with 113 blocks in 13 districts facing acute water crisis.

CII in association with department of water resources, government of Jharkhand organised this seminar with an objective to initiate a water management and conservation movement in Jharkhand to overcome the water problems. Experts from different parts of the country were invited to share their experiences with politicians, bureaucrats, water engineers, members from non-governmental organisation (like United Nations Children's Fund and Dahod based N M Sadguru Water and Development Foundation), academia and research institutes (like Jadavpur University and International Water Management Institute) and interested citizens.

Harnath Jagawat of N M Sadguru Water and Development Foundation (NMSWDF) shared his experiences of initiating a water conservation interest and work in the tribal areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan. His presentation focused primarily on the approach and techniques adopted by NMSWDF to popularise water harvesting and in assessing the impact on the villagers, ecological region and the resource per se.

In the inaugural session, the water resources secretary, government of Jharkhand Sudhir Tripathy shared the plans of the state government in addressing water-related issues. According to him, the state is trying to increase the irrigation coverage through a mix of major, medium, minor and groundwater development projects. He mentioned that the state is working towards the restoration of the eroded irrigation potential of existing schemes and by establishing irrigation network and institutionalising participatory irrigation management approach within the state. While talking on the issue of groundwater, Tripathy mentioned that the state government would be launching the 'Gram Bagirathi Yojana', with a total outlay of 10.24 billion rupees, developing 0.44 million hectare of land within the state. During his presentation he categorically mentioned that this programme has taken into consideration the principles propagated by CSE's Jal Swaraj campaign. According to Tripathy, the state is also working towards
  • Preparing model groundwater act and
  • Establishing a state groundwater authority

The Jharkhand government will also be generating awareness on water issues through a well thought out campaign strategy.

In his inaugural speech Ram Chandra Keshri, Minister for water resources, Jharkhand highlighted the plans of the state government in addressing the water issue. According to him 6 major and 17 medium projects, developing 0.45 million hectare of land is in the pipeline. The total outlay of the programme is 47 billion rupees. He also reiterated the facts shared by Tripathy on the Gram Bagirathi Yojana.

For more information

Slide show on Jharkhand's water status

Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) organises a workshop on rainwater harvesting

Inspired by the latest order of the Government of Uttar Pradesh making rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems mandatory in all buildings with a rooftop area of 300 square metre, GDA organised a RWH workshop on November 14, 2003. D P Singh, Vice Chairman, GDA, in his inaugural address briefed the participants, on the growing urban challenges of the city. Professor Gauhar Mehmood, Jamia Milia Islamia University, discussed the role of rivers in developing and distressing the civilizations all over the world. He emphasized that RWH technique not only depends on geology and hydrogeology but also engineering, landscaping, architecture and others. Dr Mehmood also highlighted the problems of maintenance of rainwater harvesting structures. In an audio-visual presentation, CSE staffer presented the principles and concepts of rainwater harvesting. He also unveiled the planning and designing aspects of rainwater harvesting at individual as well as community level. S B Singh of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) presented the trend of decline in water table in Ghaziabad in the recent years. He also discussed the geology of Ghaziabad region and availability of potential zones for ground water recharge.


I. Training Programe For Plumbers
The Brihan Mumbai Licensed plumbers Association (BMLPA) organised the workshop for plumbers on 15th of October, in which around 70 plumbers from various parts of Mumbai attended. The programe was conducted at Juhu Jagruti Hall, Opp to N M College, Vile-Parle.

Mr Gandhi, president of the plumber association inaugurated the workshop. The CSE's staffer during his presentation explained in detail the various types of water harvesting structures and their construction methodology. He also explained the various case studies from Delhi and their impact on groundwater through PowerPoint presentation.

II. Exhibition Cum Workshop At Jamnabai Nursee School
A three day exhibition cum lecture on rainwater harvesting was organised by Jamnabai Nursee school, Vile parle between 13th - 15th of October 2003. The exhibition was jointed put up by CSE and Maharastra Natural Park. The exhibition was mainly on water related issues. The exhibition cum workshop was inaugurated by film actor Paresh Rawal.

Posters depicting traditional water harvesting practices and latest techniques and case studies were put up in the exhibition. The Mahrastra Natural Park has put up working model of rainwater harvesting in the stall.

The workshop was attended by parents and student from the school. The exhibition days started from 3 and ended at 6 PM and at the end of the session a presentation on rainwater harvesting was done by the CSE's staffer.

III. Workshop For Advanced Locality Management Group, (ALM)

A workshop for ALM was organised on 15th of October 2003 by Lotus Suites and The United States Asia Environmental Partnership Program (USAEP).

The United States Asia Environmental Partnership Program (USAEP) jointly along with Briham Mumbai Corporation (BMC) has recently entered the campaign and funding for rainwater harvesting in Mumbai. Its Deputy Director Nutan Zarakar, is interest in campaigning for rainwater harvesting along with CSE in Mumbai. The USAEP has also decided to fund the ALM's for implementing water harvesting.

The Lotus Suites of Orchid Hotel has decided to run a sustained campaign for the ALM programme of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). The ALM is a unique concept initiated by the MCGM about two years ago. Under this programme the residents of a particular area or lane take up the cleaning and maintenance of that place.

In the workshop around 50 ALM's from various parts of Mumbai participated in the workshop. In the presentation made by the CSE staffer he explained the alarming water situation in Mumbai and explained to the participants the case studies for Back Bay Bus Depo and Tata Institute of Social science. He also explained the benefits of rainwater harvesting through case studies from Delhi also.

Workshop on water for Kanpur schools

Members CSE Jal Swaraj members participated as resource persons in a two-day workshop organised by the Kanpur-based NGO, Eco-friends, on Sept. 27-28. More than 80 students from the 10 to 12th standard from 29 Kanpur schools, together with several teachers, participated in the workshop.

Inauguration of the two-day workshop
The workshop addressed five major themes: Ganga Action Plan; interlinking of rivers; rainwater harvesting and drinking water quality. Students actively participated, especially in staging a play that dealt with mitigating the current water crisis.

Many eminent professionals and government personnel attended the various sessions. During the first session on Ganga Action Plan (GAP), B P Shukla, CPCB, F U Rahman, PPCU and Dr Padma, IIT Kanpur, highlighted the ambitious plans, impact, failures and lessons learnt from implementing GAP.

B P Shukla said that 35 % of total sewage generated has been tackled in the first phase of the GAP. Using graphical presentations he explained how the river water quality has improved significantly due to interception of large quantities in Kanpur.

In his presentation on GAP, F U Rahman explained to the students the changes that will take place under Indo Dutch Ganga Action Plan Support Project. He said that by constructing the 200 MLD sewage treatment plant on the bank of River Pandu, Kanpur would be the only city in the central India, which treats the entire waster water before letting it to Ganga.

Dr Padma explained to the children's about the failure of the GAP in cleaning the river. She said that IIT Kanpur along with Eco Friends had conducted an independent survey on the existing treatment plants and ground water quality, which indicated the failure of GAP, as the pollution level is high.

During the second session on River Interlinking, water and energy expert Dr Sudhireendra Sharma, and Dr Bithin Datta, IIT Kanpur, spoke about the political, social and economic issues involved in the extremely ambitious Interlinking Rivers plan.

Dr Bithin Datta elaborated on the experiences of China and other countries concerning interlinking of rivers, and underscored the high costs involved -- estimated to about Rs. 560,000 crores - in implementing such a project.

In response to a student's query, that this plan could bring agricultural boom in the country, Sharma reiterated that the problem was not agricultural productivity or water availability but equitable distribution of foodgrains - something that this project cannot improve.

During the third session on rainwater harvesting initiatives, Chakresh Jain, of the Kanpur Development Authority and CSE's R K Srinivasan, led a discussion on the urgent need, benefits and requirements for implementing rainwater harvesting in Kanpur. Students also viewed a short public service film produced by CSE during this session.

CSE staff also cited the benefits of RWH initiatives in several Delhi schools, and highlighted the important role played by schools, teachers, students in spreading awareness on this issue. They also answered several queries regarding the quality of stored water.

During the fourth session on drinking water quality, Dr R K Singh of the Central Pollution Control Board, Kanpur and Dr Krishna Gopal of the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre (ITRC), Lucknow discussed common groundwater pollutants, and the pattern of groundwater pollution in Kanpur. Dr R K Singh also explained how contaminated can travel a long distance through underground aquifers only to show up after 10 or 15 years, making the task of cleaning up contaminated groundwater extremely difficult.

Similarly, Dr Krishna Gopal spoke on various diseases caused by groundwater contaminants, especially those caused by excess amounts of heavy metals in the drinking water.

In ensuing interactive session, the experts stated that as 32 parameters have to be tested, there is no one instrument available in the market that could determine drinking water quality easily.

For the final session of the workshop, the students where divided into six groups. The groups evaluated all they had learned during the past two days. At the end of this session, the students developed an action plan for the future.

The highlights of their Action Plan include:
  • Proper laws should be made for water quality
  • Water conservation effort should start from home
  • The river interlinking issue should be looked on since it has been successfully implemented in other countries.
  • Rainwater harvesting should done in large scale.
  • PIL should be filed against the GAP
  • Student should not use poly bags in schools
  • Untreated raw water should be used for non potable purpose.
  • Proper planning and coordination must be developed among the various departments.
  • More awareness and more workshops must be done, and,
  • Scientist must develop cost effective water purifying methods.

Training programme for New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC)
As part of its Jal Swaraj campaign, CSE organised a training programme for New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) engineers at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium in Delhi on September 25, 2003. The objective was to sensitize the engineers on the technical aspects of water conservation. This was essentially a follow up of CSE network meeting at the India Habitat Centre in August where the NDMC officials requested CSE to develop a rainwater harvesting master plan for the city. As a follow-up a strategy was outlined for harvesting rainwater in the entire 42 square kilometer area of NDMC, stretching from Paharganj in the north, to Green Park in the south and Sundernagar in the east to Dhaulakuan in the West.

The meeting commenced with Vijay Saluja's address on the significance of rainwater harvesting in NDMC area. CSE staffers then spoke on CSE's Jal Swaraj Campaign, their experiences of rainwater harvesting in model projects, and explained the planning and designing aspects of rainwater harvesting structures for both individual houses and large colonies. The meeting threw up important facts and figures like the number of dry tubewells and borewells, which can be used for groundwater recharge while drawing up a plan for rainwater harvesting in NDMC area.

Public awareness meeting at Sarita Vihar, New Delhi

South Delhi's Sarita Vihar colony is facing an acute water crisis. This colony does not get municipal water supply. The demand is partially met through several tube wells in the colony. Due to burgeoning demand and over-extraction, the water level has fallen sharply and the quality of water has rapidly deterioted. To mitigate the situation, the Delhi Environmental Education Project (DEEP), a New Delhi-based NGO, organised a public awareness meeting at Arya Samaj Mandir Hall at G pocket of Sarita Vihar on September 14. Devendra Sahai, DEEP director, underscored the lack of awareness among the residents, and highlighted the need to create awareness about the importance of rainwater harvesting.

The Chief Guest of the function, Dr Priyaranjan Trivedi, Chairman of Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment, spoke about the need for rainwater harvesting in Sarita Vihar. He expressed his full cooperation to the Resident Welfare Society in getting the project implemented, and in taking up the issue to higher officials and to the Delhi chief minister.

Dr S B Singh of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) spoke about the role of CGWB in taking care of groundwater quality and quantity in Delhi. He stressed the need of having recharge wells inside storm water drains, which reduce the size of storm water drains, reduction on the cost of constructing big storm drains and also benefit recharging groundwater.

In an audio-visual presentation on rainwater harvesting, R K Srinivasan of CSE’s Jal Swaraj campaign, quoted the case study of Panchshila Park colony, which stands out an ideal model for the group houses in Delhi. He stressed the need for community-based rainwater harvesting that costs less to implement than individual RWH initiatives and benefits the entire community in a given area. The interactive session at the end of the meeting was useful, and several queries from the audience were addressed.

Save water - Our concern

A Seminar on Water Management was organised by Rotary International District 3010, on 5th September, 2003 at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi. DG Rajesh Batra, Distt.Governer of Rotary International, inaugurated the meeting. He informed that the workshop was a curtain raiser for the forthcoming international conference of water, which will be organised by rotary in the month of December 2003.

The technical session included the presentation by Harnath Jagawat of Sadguru Foundation, Dr Chakraborty, CGWB, and R K Srinivasan, CSE. Harnath Jagawat in his presenataion narrated how his experiences on water harvestingin the villages of Maharastra, Gujarat and Madya Pradesh.

The CSE staffer started with the ground water deteriotion condition in Delhi and solution to the raising crisis. He narrated CSE experience through the findings from model projects both quality wise and quantity wise. The CGWB staffer explained the various techniques of rainwater harvesting and methods of constructing the water harvesting structures.

After the presentation Sushil Gupta, the chairperson of the session invited Krishen Saighal of Panchsheel Park Colony to narrate his water harvesting experience. In his presentation he explained how the colony came out to the water crisis with cost effective designs given by CSE.

The seminar also extended invitation to the participants to attend the Water Management conference proposed to be held at Vigyan Bhawan on December 9-10, 2003.
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Training programme for plumber and masons

As a part of its environmental programme Hotel Maurya Sheraton Hotel, New Delhi, organised a training programme on September 1, 2003, in collaboration with CSE. The target group was plumbers and masons. About 25 Plumbers, masons, contractors, supervisors and engineers from Maurya Sheraton, Hotel Mariot and interested plumber and masons attended the workshop.

The workshop started with a brief introduction of the participants followed by a slide show by Niranjan Khatri, Manager, Environment Initiatives, Welcom group, on diverse aspects of water. In his speech he insisted the need for urban rainwater harvesting the role the plumber and mason can act in implementing the projects.

CSE staffer gave a presentation on different aspects of rainwater harvesting including basic principles, need of the technology in present context and specially the designing aspects. Through simple line drawings he explained the methodology of constructing water harvesting structures.

Training Programme for plumbers and masons in New Delhi

CSE in collaboration with Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi, organised an one day training programme for plumbers and masons on July 21, 2003. About 30 plumber and masons from different parts of Delhi attended the workshop.

The objective of the programme was to impart training on the basics and design aspects of rainwater harvesting and to generate the resource base in implementation sector. Engineer from CSE provided technical guidance to the plumbers who attended the meeting.

Niranjan Khatri, Manager, Environment Initiatives, Welcom group, during his address presented the relation of environment with man and importance of different components.

In his presentation, CSE staffer presented a comprehensive picture of rainwater harvesting. He spoke on the basics principles of rainwater harvesting. Specifications for making the structures and the precautions to be taken during the implementation were discussed in detail. Performance of the model rainwater harvesting projects were also discussed. He spoke about he impacts of rainwater harvesting practice in these model project in both water quality and quantity and in social mobilization. Number of doubts and queries were cleared to participants.

After looking at the response and interest of participants CMS decided that it would conduct series of similar training programme in different parts of the city in near future.

ALTT Centre, Ghaziabad, organises a training programme for BSNL Engineers

On August 6, 2003, Advanced Level Telecom Training Centre, Ghaziabad, organised a training programme on rainwater harvesting. BSNL's Engineers, Architects and Planners from different parts of country attended the workshop. On this occasion CSE staffers made a presentation on rainwater harvesting. The focus of the deliberation was "urgency of water management and scope of rainwater harvesting in India". Participants were given an introduction to the basics principles, planning and design aspects of rainwater harvesting. Some case studies from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai were also discussed. Maintenance related issues were also given the due attention.
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Network Meeting
Centre for Science and Environment organised a Networking meeting of rainwater harvesters in the city on August 20, 2003 at India Habitat Centre. The objective of the meeting was to take stock of RWH initiatives in Delhi and to bring together individuals, organisations and government agencies who are actively promoting and practicing this simple, people-friendly technology. CSE also unveiled its new set of six model RWH projects.

The participants included hosts of CSE's Model Projects and citizens who have implemented RWH under the technical guidance of CSE or other agencies such as the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). Besides this, a large number of people who were keen to acquire detailed information related to RWH also attended the meeting. Representatives from concerned government departments, including the Delhi Government's Bhagidari cell, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), CGWB and the DJB took active part in the event.

The meeting began with Sumita Dasgupta, Coordinator of CSE's Natural Resource Management, flagging some of the key issues and concerns related to RWH. Access to relevant, viable technical information and authentic cost estimates by reliable agencies; need for focused government policies and incentives were some of issues that were put on the table.

Later CSE's technical expert, RK Srinivasan, presented the data on quality and quantity of ground water in CSE's first set of five model projects, monitored during the past one and a half years. CSE also launched the next set of six-model rainwater harvesting projects. These are:
1. Tihar Jail (Central Jail No.4) -Janakpuri, New Delhi
2. Indian Spinal Injuries Centre-Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
3. Mother's International School (Aurobindo Ashram)- Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi
4. Ford Foundation-Lodhi Road, New Delhi
5. Garden Estate- Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon
6. Texcorp Ltd- Mohammadpur, Khandsa Road, Gurgaon

This was followed by a group discussion, led by CSE's director Sunita Narain. A vibrant and interactive session of exchanging ideas, experiences and opinions took place, with the government officials responding to various queries raised by the people. People who have adopted RWH, including CSE's model project hosts, also came up with some very effective solutions to the problems that were identified by the group. Among some of the critical points discussed were, maintenance of structures; identifying sources of financial support; developing a standardised monitoring process to assess impact; and the wide variation in the costs of designs available.

Action plan:
The group concluded that such network meetings were absolutely imperative to ensure that more citizens entered the fold of 'rainwater harvesters'. And the initiative must be taken jointly, not by a particular organisation or group. The following are salient features of the action plan that was finalised at the end of the meeting:

1. The Delhi government will create a forum of rainwater harvesters and will organise regular meetings;
2. The government will also arrange a meeting of technical experts working in this field to develop standardised, cost effective RWH systems;
3. A forum will be created including the representation of all schools.
4. A newsletter will be published to ensure regular flow of information and act as a platform to share experiences. Madhu Bhatnagar, Vice Principal, The Shri Ram School and Atul Bhalla, Vice Principal, Mira Model School, will be Incharge of the newsletter and CSE will render all kind of support.
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Paani Ghano Anmol (Precious Water)

The research conducted by Janhit Foundation (JF), a Meerut based non governmental organisation (NGO) with financial support from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), points out that the deterioration of ponds and johads (traditional water harvesting systems) is the primary cause of Meerut's water woes. The study says "The district is left with only 1944 out of 3062. Out these,1543 ponds are dry." More than fifteen hundred wells 1540 out of 2086, are being used as garbage dumps or as septic tanks posing a serious threat to groundwater quality.


Sumita Dasgupta, Anil Rana and Bhure Lal at the release function in Meerut

The document urges the government to address the issue of fund availability for reviving the ponds. It proposes utilisation of 10 per cent of development funds available for each members of parliament and legislative assembly for this purpose. It also recommends adoption of alternate cropping system and cautions against widespread sugar cultivation in the district.

Releasing the book, Bhurelal, Chairman Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) for national capital region, said, "This book underlines the need for protecting the water resources which are vital for economic development of any country".]

"Lack of scientific data on waterbodies, has led to their indiscriminate encroachment in the region. To stop such a destruction we have taken up this study" says Anil Rana, President, JF.

Sumita Dasgupta, Coordinator, Natural Resource Management Unit, CSE says, "An inventory of natural resources being prepared by an independent, local group is immensely useful. It can play a significant role in policy formulation and in mobilizing local groups."
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BSNL organises a seminar on rainwater harvesting

On August 11, 2003, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Tamilnadu Zone organised a seminar on rainwater harvesting for civil engineers. The objective was to impart training on the basics and design aspects of rainwater harvesting, thereby facilitating them to implement the system in all BSNL offices, staff quarters and other buildings under the civil engineering wing of BSNL.
About 200 engineers participated in the seminar.

M Karmegam, Director, Centre for Water Resources, Anna University, Chennai, in his key note address stressed the importance of eri-traditional water harvesting system in Tamilnadu. He pointed out that there were about 350 tanks (ponds) in and around Chennai at the rate of one tank for every 3.3.square kilometre. He said, "Chennai's daily domestic water requirement can be met by conserving just 35 per cent of the total rainfall".

Speaking on the occasion the CSE staffer explained the design and implementation aspects of rainwater harvesting. He also highlighted the problems encountered during retrofitting and the precautions to be taken while implementing rainwater harvesting system.

Shobnath, Regional Director, CGWB, AL Radhakrishnan., and P Subramanian from Metrowater also spoke on the occasion.

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Seminar in Mumbai

On July 23, 2003, the Indian Merchants of Commerce's Young Entrepreneurs wing (IMC-YEW) organised a seminar on " monsoon hope" to deliberate on rainwater harvesting. The target group comprised of architects, engineers and industrialists. Inaugural address by Milind Deora, Chairman, IMC-YEW was followed by screening of a short film on rainwater harvesting produced by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and directed by renowned actress, Nandita Das. The water expert from CSE spoke on the role of water harvesting in averting looming water crisis in Mumbai.

The chief guest of the seminar Karun C Srivastava, commissioner, Brihan Mumbai Mahanagar Palika, during his address revealed the corporation's decision to reduce the water supply to the new buildings from 135 litres per capita per day (lpcd) to 90 lpcd. The remaining water has to be managed by the citizens themselves by grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting. Water harvesting has been made mandatory for all new buildings as well. The occupation certificate for the new buildings will be given only after verification by rainwater harvesting cell of Brihan Mumbai Mahanagar Palika.

While speaking about the disincentive schemes the commissioner declared that for those who have not implemented rainwater harvesting the price of water would range from Rs 6.50 to Rs 10 per kilolitre (Kl). At the same time the price would be Rs 3.25 per Kl for those who have done water harvesting in their premises.

During the meeting Ashoke Maitra, Director, Times Foundation spoke about their initiatives in bringing together the non governmental organisations (NGO) and government bodies to a common platform to promote the concept of rainwater harvesting. Vetran film actress Waheeda Rahman narrated her experiences on convincing people to undertake rainwater harvesting. She said, "Even my house owner told me that she could provide additional tanker but not rainwater harvesting". Mr. Vikram Jaisinghani, General Manager, Asian Paints, explained the rainwater harvesting system in his factory and the way in which it is used for daily consumption. Meeting concluded with a press conference.

For more details:
RK Srinivasan

Model Projects 2002
CSE is constantly deluged with queries, opinions and ideas from people who are concerned about the prevailing water crisis and are keen to play an active role in managing water. The five model projects provide the answers, at least to some of them. These also act as effective tools to establish the fact that rainwater harvesting can be taken up and implemented successfully in urban centers, by all concerned individuals who are looking for a way to fulfill their own water needs.

As a part of the Centre for Science and Environment's (CSE) campaign to spread awareness about community based rainwater harvesting techniques, the centre has identified five model projects in Delhi, from among those that have been designed by it. CSE has helped in the process of implementation of these and has been monitoring their impact on a regular basis. These five model projects have been constructed by enterprising citizens who sought CSE's help to setup rainwater harvesting structures in their colonies and institutions. The structures have a distinctive geographical and geological characteristic; for example the Mira Model School model has been constructed on a sedimentary terrain and the Shri Ram School project is on a hilly terrain. They also feature different forms of rainwater harvesting - rooftop harvesting and surface water harvesting.

The following are the selected sites:
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Kanpur city, which lies in the Indo Gangetic plain, has recently joined the group of water scarce regions. The groundwater quality of the region has deteriorated as well. A study done by the State Groundwater Department clearly indicates the presence of high level of chromium, due to the unregulated and unchecked discharge by the leather industry.

In order to find a sustainable solution, the Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) took the initiative. Anita Bhatnagar Jain, vice chairperson of KDA, while addressing the gathering informed that rainwater harvesting for houses and plots measuring more than 1000 square metres has been made compulsory in the city of Kanpur. On June 21, 2003, a one-day workshop was organised to promote and popularise rainwater harvesting (RWH) at Merchants Chamber Hall, Kanpur.

Divisional commissioner Mohammad Halim Khan inaugurated the seminar. Architects, engineers and concerned citizens attended the event. CSE was invited to make a technical presentation along with Prof H P Chowdhary of Chandra Shekar Azad Agricultural University, Vipin Dutta from IIT, Kanpur and R S Sinha from State Groundwater Board of Lucknow. CSE's 90 seconds public service advertisement about RWH was screened, which impressed most of the participants. KDA has decided to show it regularly in all the film theatres in Kanpur, to take the message to turn RWH into a mass movement. Later, they also distributed CSE's technical manual among the state ministers and officials. This easy to read step by step guide, gives an opportunity to them to know all about how to implement RWH systems in urban areas.

For further information:
R K Srinivasan / Salahuddin Saiphy
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The Nodal Environmental Cell: A Defence Services-CSE Partnership

In a bid to spread awareness among the Indian army personnel on the significance of water management and the tremendous potential of rainwater harvesting, the Centre for Science and Environment has forged a tie-up with the Defence Services. A new entity, the Nodal Environmental Cell, has been set up that will include representatives from both the organisations. Its main task will be to provide technical know-how to military professionals so that they can implement this simple, yet effective technology in the vast tracts of land-spread across the country--that are now managed by the army.
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Training programmes on rainwater harvesting

For generating water literacy CSE have been extensively conducting training programmes for stake holders ranging from individuals, representatives from educational institutions, government organisations and industries, engineers, architects, builders, contractors, plumbers and masons. Keeping in view their needs and requirements, we have developed group specific modules. Following is a glimpse of our earlier training programmes organised during 2002-2003:

Month Year Target Group
February 2002 Professionals from industries (automobile, sugar, hotel and construction), government agencies (Central Public Works Department, Delhi Jal Board, National Capital Region Planning Board), academic institutions (School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi School of Engineering)
May 2002 Plumbers and masons from New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida
August 2002 Professionals from construction industry (builders like Larsen and Toubro Ltd (ECCO), Nirman Consultants, Ansal Housing & Construction Ltd; architects from Dimension architects, Atrium Architects and engineers form Delhi Public School)
December 2002 Engineers in the defence services
February 2003 Professionals in Jaipur


CSE conducted a one-day training programme at six municipalities in Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad, Kurnool, Tirupathi, Vishakhapatnam, Guntur and Warangal) from June 4 to June 15, following a request from the state government. Plumbers, masons and municipality engineers attended the workshop, whose average attendance was around 50 to 60. The workshops were conducted in two sessions. The pre-lunch session explained the theory and reasons behind rainwater harvesting. Plumbers were introduced to various rainwater harvesting techniques, and construction and cost estimate details. In the post-lunch session, which consisted of practical details, plumbers were given a model building and were asked to design water harvesting structures for them. They were also asked to come up with cost estimates.

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The training programe at Hyderabad

A mason at Tirupathi explaining his design

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Plumber and masons during the practical session at Kurnool

Most of these municipalities have been practicing water harvesting since 2000. One problem that the commissioners and engineers have been facing is that their water harvesting structures get silted up in no time. When the CSE personnel went to the site to study the existing structures, they found that they were not technically sound.

The harvesting structures in all municipalities had the same design, irrespective of hydro-geological conditions. Each such structure cost around Rs 3,500. The structures are designed to harvest surface runoff, which carries a huge amount of silt. These are open structures, hence there is always a possibility of accumulation of leafs and debris. The municipality engineers said these designs were given to them by the groundwater department and they simply implement them phase-wise.

A sketch of the existing designs

An existing rainwater harvesting
structure at Vishakhapatnam

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This is the common design applied in the rainwater harvesting structures for all six municipalities. No space is provided for temporary storage of surface runoff. Therefore, the amount of water that enters these structures is far less than the runoff. There is no brick wall separating the filtering materials from the sub-soil. So the filtering materials gets mixed up with the sub-soil. Since the structure is also not covered, debris and dried up leafs could settle on them.

Now in the newly-made structures promoted by the state government under Neeru Meeru Programme, a small brick wall of about 9 inches is constructed around the recharge structure.
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A modified recharge structure in Kurnool
The advantage in this structure is that they can, at least, be easily identified for maintenance purposes. On every third Saturday of the month, under the Clean & Green programme, engineers scrape off the top sand layer and replace it with a new one. But then again, the main filtering materials are not serviced properly.

Among all the municipalities visited, Guntur municipality has best water harvesting structures.

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Diversion of roofwater to an existing open well after proper filtration in Guntur

In the Guntur municipality, three of the six existing water bodies were revived under Neeru Meeru Programe. Encroachments were removed and the water bodies were neatly fenced in. Stormwater is diverted to these water bodies
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In the Warangel municipality, the CSE personnel asked the masons to design a sustainable rainwater harvesting structure that takes care of the existing drawbacks. This structure will approximately cost Rs 5,000.

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Rainwater harvesting structure designed by masons in Warangal

Since reinforced cement concrete (RCC) rings of 4 ft diameter and 1ft height are easily and cheaply available in Andhra Pradesh, the masons think it will be practical to use cement rings instead of bricks for the wall. This will reduce the cost of the structure dramatically.

The main advantage of providing a recharge bore inside the recharge well is to transport the rainwater to the aquifers. The existing structures can only replenish the soil moisture and most of the water gets lost by evapo-transpiration. These newly-designed structures can be covered with perforated slabs to prevent entry of debris into the structures. Since the filtering materials are separated from the sub soil, maintenance of the structure is also easy.
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Miscellaneous services

Every Friday between 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Centre for Sceince and Environment (CSE) provides detailed technical guidance to interested individuals and institutions to implement rainwater harvesting, as a part of Miscellaneous services programme. If you are interested in setting up a water harvesting system at your place, please attend our Miscellaneous services programme:

Contact address:
Miscellaneous Services
Centre for Science and Environment
4th Floor, Core-6 A
India Habitat Centre
New Delhi-110 003
Phone: 011-24645334/5

Meeting on protection of urban waterbodies
To promote the movement to revive dying urban wetlands, CSE organised a workshop on October 3-4 in New Delhi. "Our objective is to motivate the urban population to understand the manifold uses that these decaying water bodies once served, and to emphasise the urgent need to protect and revive them," specified CSE director Sunita Narain. Individuals and organisations from across the country, who have made significant efforts to conserve ailing lakes, ponds and tanks in their respective cities, shared the experiences. Case studies from Udaipur, Rajasthan; Delhi; Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Srinagar, Kashmir, Uttranchal and Kolkatta, West Bengal were presented. Technical, legal and institutional experts also took part in the vibrant enriching dialogue.

  Core Committee

-A Vaidyanathan
-Bharath Jairaj
-Devaki Panini
-Gurunadha Rao
-Mohit Ray
-M K Ramesh
-Sandeep Virmani
-Shyam Parekh
-Sunita Narain
-Tej Razdan
-Videh Upadhyay
-S Vishwanath

CSE has constitiuted a core committee to facilitate dialogue and action among the litigants as well as the members of civil society (See box: core committee). The twelve- member committee will work on the issues flagged during the meet. The emphasis will be on strengthening the role of the civil society in protecting urban waterbodies.

CSE LakeNet
CSE LakeNet is an e-group to share experiences, opinions and ideas on the protection of urban waterbodies. CSE LakeNet is a platform that will highlight topical themes on urban lakes and allows members to discuss relevant issues threadbare. The objective of this e-group is to develop a comprehensive, unbiased strategy on what needs to be done to protect these once bountiful lakes. Interact, network and help us sustain a lively and constructive dialogue.
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