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Urban rainwater harvesting : the way ahead
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Greening Konkan
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TECHNOLOGY

Wireless water meter
Water minus fluoride
Catch water from riverbed
Floodwater harvesting in Tanzania

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Vol. 4                                      No. 1                          February 2002

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Wireless water meter

For decreasing consumption and for the accurate measurement of water used, by consumers in apartments, US-based water firm Wellspring Wireless Utility Services has come out with a new product called Aqura.

It utilises advanced wireless technology to track each resident’s intake of hot and cold water. Aqura resembles a small radio and is placed on water entry point within an apartment. A flow sensor continuously monitors inflow and temperature of water transmitting every eight hours to the base station. This system has allowed the apartment owners to record how much water energy they are using and based on which they are billed accordingly. Previously, the water bill was accounted in their monthly rental bill discouraging residents from saving water, costing owners money. But now the residents have to pay 18 to 39 per cent for their own water consumption. It is estimated that if all of America’s 25 million apartments units utilise Aqura, about 2.5 billion gallons of water could be saved daily.

Apart from control of water usage, this kind of sub-metering help in decreasing fuel demand reduce sewage flow and lessens the stress on infrastructure.

For further information:
Brian D Brittsan, President
Wellspring Wireless Utility Services
Email: bbrittsan@wellspringwireless.com

Water minus fluoride

Balisana means laden with sand. The village in the dry Patan district of Gujarat has been under the acute grip of fluoride pollution amidst drought. Almost all of the villagers from early to middle aged population are suffering from fluorosis or other fluoride related diseases.

Six years back, the villagers started a community drive to solve the crisis, with help from Ahmedabad-based non governmental organisation, UTTHAN. The vi lagers started to desilt a 3.05 metre (m) long canal through which they diverted rainwater to a 300-year-old tank. About 82,000 cubic metre of silt has been extracted from the tank at a cost of Rs 52 lakh. Sixty per cent of the cost came from the government, 40 per cent was community shramdaan (voluntary labour).

A 12 kilo meter long bund was reconstructed to hold the diverted rainwater. Adjacent to the tank, is a 45 m deep recharge well that was fitted with an ultra-poly vinyl chloride (high density pipe). The horizontal pipe carries water from the tank to the recharge well. Water from the well is pumped into a storage tank near the well. (see figure: Harvesting rain to fight flouride in Balisana village)

Harvesting rain to fight flouride in Balisana village 1.Catchment area
2.Canal
3.Earthen tank
4.12 km long earthen bund
5.Underground pipe 6.Recharge well
7.Well
8.Storage tank
9.Ground water table
(shallow aquifer)
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A 12 year old dead well nearby has got water now that is also free from fluoride. This water is increasingly used by villagers for drinking purposes. According to the villagers, since last 20 years groundwater extraction has been increasing, due to which the fluoride contents have creeped into the groundwater.

The woes of the villagers are not only related to drinking water but are also with the crops they grow - as they are also laden with traces of fluoride. At present, they have no solution. But they hope to solve this problem by regularly recharging the groundwater table with rainwater.The villagers have evolved laws to protect the resource like, no new tube wells will be dug and water from the well will be first used for drinking purposes and then can be used for irrigation.

For further information:
UTTHAN
36, Chitrakut Twins,
Nehru Park, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad 380015
Gujarat
Tel: 079-6751023, 6763624
Email: utthan@icenet.net
Website: www.icenet.net.in\utthan


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