Six years after HT highlighted water recycling and reuse at a structure off Khandwa Road the world is taking note.
The modest G+1 building which hosts the office of the Dhas Gramin Vikas Kendra features in a six-minute documentary by Makarand Purohit titled 'A House of Solutions' that bagged this year’s Delft Urban Water media contest.
The annual award is given by Delft Water Centre, located on the premises of TU Delft campus (Holland), which aims at bringing together the combined expertise of scientists, students and policymakers to "tackle future problems of increasing urbanisation, flooding and a worldwide shortage of good quality water."
The citation (http://www.delfturbanwatercontest.org/) says, "In this 6 minute film we were guided through a household with different water solutions. In the movie, Rahul Banerjee, an urban water expert (and also the building owner), tells about how we can manage our water and sanitation problems in our home by using a water and energy saving model."
Water problems in India’s cities are many, the citation goes on to add, but Purohit shows inventive solutions to (almost) close the urban cycles of water and energy.
The jury, it says, "was especially impressed by the creative use of few resources that led to massive improvements to the water use of the house".
Furthermore, "the combination of creativity and the range of inventive and practical solutions was inspiring." The short film can be seen on YouTube.
Contacted over the phone in Bhilai, where he is based, Purohit said he had originally travelled to Indore to make a film on the overall water supply scenario after reading Bannerjee’s study on the topic.
"When I met him he told me about the house and that’s when I decided to also make a short film on the house," said Purohit who works for India Water portal.
"Ever since the film was uploaded on the portal (www.indiawaterportal.org) many people have contacted me to know about Rahul’s whereabouts," said Purohit.
Bannerjee, a qualified civil engineer from IIT-Kharagpur, has installed rooftop and wastewater harvesting systems that not only help conserve water but also keep power bills down to a bare minimum.
"The rooftop system drips water on to khus sheets that hang outside every window, cooling the incoming air," said Bannerjee.
Rainwater is fed to a bore overlaid with brick and sand while excess water is funnelled to a garden fronting the house via a pair of thick pipes to creepers that cover practically the entire facade. Wastewater is trapped through a separate system.
"The entire thing cost me just around Rs 50,000 at today’s rates. Since my house is around 1,500 sq feet it works out to a mere Rs 30 per sq feet," Bannerjee pointed out.