It was out of concern for the fast depleting groundwater levels in South Delhi that the Panchshila Park Cooperative Housing Society set up their rainwater harvesting system as early as 2002.
“We were probably the first residential colony in the NCR region to set up a rain water harvesting system. The idea came from Japan, where they were doing it on the roof-tops,” said Krishan Saigal, the then president of the club.
The society went for a rooftop and surface run off harvesting system costing Rs. 8 lakh, capable of harvesting around 174 lakh litres of water annually.
Water would be collected in 36 recharge wells constructed inside the storm water drain and help recharge groundwater.
Natural material such as coarse sand, pebbles and boulders were used for filtration.
The results quickly started showing. “Groundwater levels started going up, with an increase of 2 metre in the first year itself,” said honorary secretary RL Bawa.
Due to maintenance issues, the system was not functional for a while but 16 recharge wells have been rehabilitated recently.
“Unfortunately, some recharge wells were covered by the PWD and the civic body,” said Bawa.
The society is now thinking of new ways to become sustainable.
“We reuse our pool water in the lawn.We are also constructing a system whereby rain water from our parking site can be collected and used to recharge groundwater,” said president Omesh Saigal.