A NEW BEGINNING

 






By the people
  

IN FOCUS

Open letter to the
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Khandwa,Catching every droplet
The lost pond
 

CAMPAIGN

From the courtroom
Face to face
Destroy, then revive

INITIATIVE

Woman power
Paying up
A tiny oasis in Uttar Pradesh
Smile!
CII’s water meet
Rotary’s initiative
Brick by brick
Nurturing the future
CSE’s pilgrims in Madhya Pradesh
Taking initiative
Experiments with water

NEWS FROM GUJARAT

Pure rain
In a great hurry!

JAL BIRADARI

As priceless as amrit
Reviving pynes

JAL YODHA

D V Subramanaian
Ashutosh Agnihotri


NEWS FROM CHENNAI

Rain centre inaugurated
The Alacrity cycle
Porous roads
Plumbers’ meet
Women’s meet


CSE' LATEST DESIGNS

Making a mark in Laburnam

TECHNOLOGY

Pollutants to bind roads
Make your own rain gauge
Smart farming tool
Techno tit bits


CLASSROOM

WATER WISDOM

FUNDING AGENCY

NEWS FROM ABROAD

WATER IN NEWS

AN OPPORTUNITY

READERS SPACE

BOOK/DOCUMENTS

VISUAL WATCH

WEB INFO

EVENT

NOTICE BOARD

    
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Vol. 4   

No. 4

August-September  2002


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CHINA

Catching rain in Gansu

CHINA
Wastage banned

More than 80 per cent of water in Beijing, China, is recycled for industrial use. Tanks with a capacity of over nine litres for flushing toilets are banned. Such changes are the result of the local government’s willingness to take action, as the average consumption rate soared from 28 (in 1949) to 300 (in 2000) litres. In 2000, decrees and regulations were issued to adopt water saving techniques. A plan detailing an annual quota of water consumption was drawn, which is strictly adhered, as any default increases the fee by 15 times the regular rate.

The people in Loess plateau of Gansu province, located in north China, have successfully turned a crisis into an opportunity to rewrite their destinies. During the drought of 1995, the households harvesting rain were able to sustain themselves, making the others realise the potential of the system.

Loess is one of the driest and poorest areas in China with a per capita availability of water is only one-fifth of that in the rest of the country. Due to an unfavourable topography it is difficult to divert river water. Ironically, about 80 per cent of the annual precipitation, received between July and September is estimated to be more than eight times the flow of the Yellow river at the Lanzhou section. In other words, the utilisation of rain was low.Realising this truth, since 1988, the Gansu Research Institute for Water Conservancy started developing demonstration projects. The 1995 drought gave the government an opportunity to initiate the ‘121’ project, to supply water for drinking and courtyard irrigation.

The positive response of the people ensured smooth functioning. About 60 – 80 per cent of the total cost was contributed by the farmers, while rest of the funds were partially given by the state and partially generated through a donation campaign. The project provided for the rainwater catchment and utilisation (RWCU) system. It is composed of three parts, namely, rainwater collection sub-system, storage sub-system and water supply and irrigation sub-system.

The results are worth noticing. Not only are the basic water needs of the population being easily met, but there is plenty of water to cultivate profitably.

To know more about such initiatives in India and across the globe, read Anil Agarwal, Sunita Narain and Indira Khurana 2001, Making Water Everybody’s Business, CSE.

SOUTH KOREA
All in the game....

Five soccer stadiums in South Korea are catching rain to keep the turf green. One of them is the Inchon Munhal Stadium built for the World Cup in the northwest port city of Inchon. It has a doughnut shaped roof that acts as the catchment area. A network of pipes diverts roof runoff to an underground tank, which has the capacity to hold six lakhs litres of water. This initiative is the result of a revision in the country’s water supply laws in 2001.

USA
From sewage to tap

Reuse the water flushed down the toilet for drinking – is a controversial solution being considered by the authorities of South California, USA. Following a court order, the water supply from the Colorado river to the city is on the decline. Reverse osmosis - the technique to treat sewage is considered, as a US $ 600 million plant has been proposed to meet the growing drinking water needs of the city. The plan is not flawless. As the experts believe, the water after treatment would not only be tasteless but would also cost more.

SOUTH AFRICA
Weeding out

South Africans are uprooting water-sucking plants, consuming estimated seven per cent of the country’s annual runoff. Faced with water scarcity, they have passed a legislation that divides such species into following three categories:

(1) Plants like, South American triffid, are being completely eliminated and their entry in the country is prohibited.

(2) Commercial plants like pine trees can be grown only in demarcated areas.

(3) Species like, jacaranda tree, are allowed to die a natural death but their fresh entry is banned.


SOUTH AFRICA
Water at Earth Summit, 2002

"Without adequate clean water, there can be no escape from poverty", said Klaus Toepfer, head of UNEP. The issue of access to safe drinking water was one of the five key themes - addressed with a sense of urgency by the 104 heads of State and more than 21,000 other stakeholders during the Johanesburg summit held from August 26 to September 4.

The participating countries have committed themselves to halve the number of people lacking clean drinking water by 2015. While recognising the key role played by the governments, the summit stressed on the need to give the water users a say in management. Worthy plans, indeed! Only time will reveal their fate.


Copyright 2002 Centre for Science and Environment
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