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Now catch every drop that falls

Why catch it at all? Simply because soon there will be no water left. Underground water is resource and all of us have to realise that it is a finite source. Water level has sunk to 109.51 feet below the ground in parts of the city. Here's how to go about getting it done at your home.

india Updated: May 16, 2003 18:27 IST

Why catch it at all?
Rainwater harvesting, a buzzword? In Delhi, definitely. Nearly everyone - be it the government, NGOs, water authorities - stress on it. One even has glamour attached to it. On April 22, 2003 actress Nandita Das alongwith husband Soumya Sen released a 90-second ad film directed by her.

Why has it suddenly grabbed peoples' attention?

If it hadn't been for the acute water shortage in certain areas of Delhi, one would never have known what this was all about. Simply put, it's a mechanism of catching rain that falls which would, otherwise, go to the seas.

The alarming news is, most areas of south Delhi, have become dry. Water level has sunk to 109.51 feet below the ground (33.38 metre; Source: Central Groundwater Authority {CGA}). Naturally, colonies after colonies, in the affected areas, have been in the habit of sinking a new tubewell every few years. With every passing year the situation has only become worst.

For a fairly long time groundwater has supplemented Delhi Jal Board's (DJB) water supply in the city. While the government does its bit in inking agreements with the neighbouring states on water, it is imperative that we take up work at an individual and community level.

The need of the hour, then, is to put back as much or may be more into the ground that we extract. This is technically called recharging the underground aquifer system.

Whom to contact?
There are a number of nodal bodies that counsel on the said subject. Delhi Jal Board (Rainwater Harvesting Assistance Cell), CGA, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) can be contacted. The first three organizations are not into contracting, meaning they do not do the installation of the systems. Once the design is through, your contractor-architect can execute it.

However INTACH under specific conditions does take up such projects.

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 Organisation Contact Address Telephone
Rainwater Harvesting Assistance Cell, DJBRajesh MittalVarunalaya -I, Karol Bagh, New Delhi - 110 005011-23558264, 23678380-82, 23516261 (F)
Central Groundwater AuthorityDr S B SinghJamnagar House, Man Singh Road, Gallery No. 18/11, New Delhi - 110011 E-mail: niccgwb@sansad.nic.in01123384355, 23073093, 23073092

011-23386743, 233820251 (F) 
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)Salahuddin, Suresh BabuMiscellaneous Services, CSE, 4th Floor, Core-6 A, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi - 110 003

011-24645334, 5

26085879 (F)
INTACHHimanshu Grover & Manu Bhatnagar71, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi - 110 003011-24631818, 24641304,  24645482, 24611290

First Published: May 14, 2003 20:35 IST