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Groundwater on a mission - one housing society at a time

Dams at an all-time low. Groundwater depleted. This monsoon it is time to reap a harvest of water. Here’s how and why

pune Updated: Jun 14, 2019 15:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,housing societies,Groundwater
Second unit of rainwater harvesting is under construction at Kumar Sahwas society, Baner-Pashan link road.(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)

Since 2018, Acwadam (Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management); Mission Groundwater; and Centre for Environment Education, have been conducting studies on the groundwater situation in Pune. “Some areas of Pune have adequate natural water table recharge mechanism, while some areas need artificial water recharge,” says Sanskriti Menon, a member of the centre.

“This city needs to develop a city-level strategy for protecting areas which have a natural recharge mechanism and should create recharge structures wherever required. Managing and monitoring the usage of groundwater is also important as it will give the authorities an insight on how much water a person/society is using and how much is going waste,” says Menon.

“Since last year, we have had success in creating awareness about rain water harvesting, but it has not exponentially increased. We feel that we can reach out to people through one-to-one conversations,” says Manoj Bhagwat, hydro geologist, Acwadam.

Acwadam received at least 15 enquiries post their awareness sessions, but only two societies actually agreed to implement rainwater harvesting.

One such society is Camelia apartments on the Baner-Pashan link road. “We had one pit earlier created three years ago, but this year we wanted to have another dedicated pit solely for rainwater harvesting. This we are doing with the guidance of the scientists at Acwadam. This new recharge pit will help collect all the rain water from the terrace. This pit is going to benefit not just our society, but societies downstream,” explains Ravindra Sinha, resident and member of Mission Groundwater.

Kumar Sahwas, a residential complex also on the Baner-Pashan link road used to divert all the rainwater flowing down the roads to recharge borewells, after passing the water through soak pits and sand filters.

Dr Vishram Rajhans says, “We were the first society to implement rainwater harvesting. Water collected from rooftops using pipes was filtered and then diverted to recharge bore wells. We ensured that not a single drop of water was wasted.”


Recharging groundwater, helps improve falling groundwater tables,” says Rahul Bakre, hydrogeologist, adding “Rainwater harvesting essentially involves collecting rainwater in an area, filtering it and channelling it into a collection pit for storage. What is important is the identification of catchment area to collect water, which can be terrace areas, car parking, roads or even concrete surfaces. ”Filtration is the next part and Bakre says, “Install filters and then install dummy bore-wells or recharge shafts, for filtration (water percolates from here to the main borewell).”

First Published: Jun 14, 2019 14:57 IST