Rainwater harvesting is becoming popular in Chennai. The pro-active attitude of the government has improved the rate of implementation of rainwater harvesting structures in the city.
On February 2 - 4, a four member European delegation headed by Hans Hartung, consulant, FAKT, a Germany-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) visited Chennai, as a part of their tour to India to know more about rainwater harvesting. The delegation
comprised of Christen Wilhem, GEP; Leo Prakash, rainwater harvesting facilitator from Germany and Williem P Boelhouwer, Aqua Sure, Netherlands. This two-day tour was organised by a renowned rainwater harvesting consultant, R Jeyakumar. The delegation
visited the rainwater harvesting structures as implemented by individuals, NGOs and government agencies.
Rainwater harvesting system with a treatment unit in Ramanis house attracted all of them. Boelhouwer was particularly impressed, as his company has also devised a unit for purifying rainwater. Groundwater recharging techniques adopted in individual residences, residential colonies, temple, highways offered a good learning experience for these experts who are working on the storage and reuse related aspects of rainwater.
The envoy also met the government agencies involved in propagating rainwater harvesting in Chennai. During the discussions it was revealed that since 1994, in Chennai city rainwater harvesting has been done in over 400 schools, 216 buildings and 56 parks owned by the corporation. (see box: Facilitators) This is over and above the projects implemented at the individual level.
The European delegates shared their experiences in rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling. Hans Hartung suggested to develop a model house with both the rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling systems installed.
Christian Wilhelm discussed the experiences from German project on rainwater management of a model block in Beijing and some of the standard technologies used in this project. The discussion was centred on dry and wet sanitation, mechanical filters and concepts for the future. The delegation appreciated the enthusiasm shown by the government and the community for harvesting rain.
At the end of the day, there were two delighted groups full of experiences to work together for the common goal of making water every bodys business.
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