"A local place where people could learn how to harvest rainwater from the display of posters, models of water harvesting structures, and learn from first-hand advice from the experts," was how Anil Agarwal, the founder director of CSE, visualised a series of Rain Centres across the country. Now, the Centre of Science and Environment (CSE) in partnership with Akash Ganga Trust, a Chennai-based citizen's action group, will unveil its first Rain Centre in Chennai later this month.
The founder of the Centre of Science and Environment, the late Anil Agarwals vision will be housed in the heart of Chennai as a permanent exhibition displaying different aspects of traditional and modern rainwater harvesting systems in India. Visitors can learn about rainwater harvesting initiatives spearheaded in the city and in the western coastal plains. The Centre also showcases Chennais water management system and urban water status. This comprehensive resource on rainwater harvesting houses a functioning rainwater harvesting model and features colourful panels and posters on water harvesting in different ecological zones of India. Visitors can watch electronic simulations and "water scenarios," outlining the availability, rainfall, distribution and water usage in the western coastal plains. Water testing kits and information on testing water quality are also available.
Other resources at the Centre include a CD Rom presentation that details CSEs campaign on rainwater harvesting, an urban and rural technological database, together with detailed case studies of rainwater harvesting initiatives and practitioners in India. As part of its outreach efforts, the Rain Centre will organize eco tours for school students.
idea was to establish a network of Rain Centres in urban areas across the country in a bid
to attract, educate and raise awareness of rainwaters tremendous potential in
checking and controlling scarcity of water that has reached critical levels in most urban
regions in the country. It also highlights the key role played by local communities in
sustaining such projects.
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