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Design & policy issues on rainwater harvesting In india

Dissertation submitted to National Law

School of India University Bangalore

in partial fulfillment of
Postgraduate Diploma in Environment Law

By Punam Kumari Enrollment Number: EL/819/08 JU N E 2009


I am deeply grateful to Mr. Salahuddin Saiphy and Ms. Sushmita Sengupta from Center for Science and Environment, Delhi, for their valuable support in supervising this work and helping with the resource data. I would also like to thank Er. Ajit Seshadri from Vijay Vigyan Foundataion (VVF), Delhi for his guidance and valuable inputs especially on the real time problems associated with RWH. With the kindness and contributions of the people who provided me with useful information at the time of working on this thesis, I would not have been able to obtain the data used in this work. Therefore, I would like to thank: Ms. Nemika Relhan & Mr. Swaroop Dutta, Lecturer , Delhi University for their assistance and guidance. I would also like to thank my family and friends who supported me all through the course of this work.

Urban centers in India are facing an ironical situation with regard to water today. On one hand there is acute water scarcity and on the other, the streets are often flooded during the monsoons, requiring managerial efficiency of the Urban Local Bodies to use the surplus water of the rainy season to overcome the deficiency in other seasons. The shortage of ground water is more pronounced due to urbanization and limited open areas available for recharge of ground water. In some cities ground water extraction has reached very high levels and has brought problems like declining water table, failures of wells/ tube wells and deterioration in ground water quality and quantity. Water is more than often been seen as a cause for social conflicts, protests, demonstrations and road-blockades. In the given situation rainwater harvesting could prove to be a solution for overcoming this scenario. Depending on local environmental conditions, water harvesting may provide a supplementary supply, an alternative supply or the only feasible improved supply, especially in urban areas. The current centralized water supply paradigm seems unsustainable and extremely high on energy consumption. As an alternative paradigm for more sustainable water availability harvesting rainwater, storing it in tanks, and recharging groundwater may be put in place. On the civil society becoming more aware and sensitized regarding its potential, rainwater harvesting can perhaps be scaled up to neighborhood and micro-watershed levels. To meet these challenges, many states in India has made roof top rain water harvesting (RWH) mandatory for all buildings having plot size more than 250 square meters in municipal areas and even provided incentives and orders is not satisfactory. This thesis work aims to study and evaluate the design and policy issues involved in implementation of RWH in India and is structured to examine the RWH potential in India which is illustrated through successful case studies of Jamia Hamdard University and Tihar Jail and is further emphasized by model calculations for large scale RWH implementation in South and Southwest Delhi. The importance placed on RWH by Indian Judiciary is illustrated through the studies of recent favorable judgments involving RWH necessity in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Restoration of ancient Recharge structure in Tirupathi. rebates for promotion of construction of rain water harvesting facility. Despite the provision of this incentive, compliance of the

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Abstract List of Tables List of Figures 1. Introductions 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Background Aims and Objective Thesis Structure Science of RWH RWH for Domestic Purposes Catchment Area Conduits Storage and Collection Systems First Runoff Systems Filters Ground Water Storage Artificial Recharge Using Harvested Rainwater Maintenance 29 31 34 36 36 36 38 40 40 44 2.10 Case Study 1 : Jamia Hamdard Universitys RWH System 2.11 Case Study 2 : Tihar Jails RWH System 3. Design and Econometrics of RWH 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Design Considerations Design Criteria of Recharge Structure Typical Cost of Installation of RWH Structure in Urban environment Agencies actively involved in RWH Case of Delhi : Model Calculation for RWH in South & southwest Delhi Arguments against RWH 10 10 11 12 13 13 15 15 17 17 18 20 22

2. Rainwater Harvesting Literature Review

4. Policy Issues and Framework in India for RWH 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5.1 5.2 6.1 6.2 Policy Framework for RWH in Urban Areas in India RWH policy Implementation at Delhi Field Survey and Findings Impact Assesment Case 1 : Kranti v/s Union of India Case2 : Intellectual Forum, Tirupathi v/s State of A.P. Conclusions Recommendations

47 47 50 53 55 56 56 59 65 65 67 69

5. Recent Cases involving RWH

6. Conclusions and Recommendations


List of Tables
Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Characteristics of Roof Type Sizing of Rainwater pipe for Roof Drainage Runoff Coefficient for Various Surfaces Estimated typical cost of Recharge Structure Policies / Legislation for RWH in India 16 17 37 39 48 - 50

List of Figures

Figure 1 Conceptual Schematic of Rainwater harvesting Figure 2 Process diagram of Domestic RWH Figure 3 Charcoal Filter Figure 4 Sand Filter Figure 5 DEWAS Filter Figure 6 Varun Filter Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Recharge using Dugwells Recharge using Tubewells Settlements Tanks

14 15 21 21 21 21 23 23 24 25 26 27 27 28 31 33 33 34 35 35

Figure 10 Recharging of Service Tubewells Figure 11 Recharge Pit schematic Figure 12 Section / Plan view of Percolation Pit Figure 13 Section view of Recharge Trench Figure 14 Section view of Modified Injection Well Figure 15 Conceptual Schematic of RWH at Jamia Hamdard University Figure 16 Water Level Trend at Jamia Hamdard University Figure 17 Pre & Post Monsoon Water Quality data at Hamdard University Figure 18 Conceptual Schematic of RWH at Tihar Jail Figure 19 Water Level Trend at Tihar Jail Figure 20 Pre & Post Monsoon Water Quality data of Tihar Jail

Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Background
Water is essential to all life forms on earth - human, animal and vegetation. It is therefore important that adequate supplies of water be developed to sustain such life. Development of water supplies should, however, be undertaken in such a way as to preserve the hydrological balance and the biological functions of our ecosystems. Consequently, the human endeavour in the development of water sources must be within the capacity of nature to replenish and to sustain. If this is not done, costly mistakes can occur with serious consequences. The application of innovative technologies and the improvement of indigenous ones should therefore include management of the water sources to ensure sustainability and to safeguard the sources against pollution. As land pressure rises, cities are growing vertical and in countryside more forest areas are encroached and being used for agriculture. In India the small farmers depend on Monsoon where rainfall is from June to October and much of the precious water is soon lost as surface runoff. There is now increasing interest in the low cost alternative-generally referred to as 'Rain Water Harvesting' (RWH). Water harvesting is the activity of direct collection of rainwater, which can be stored for direct use or can be recharged into the groundwater. Water harvesting is the collection of runoff for productive purposes. Rain is the first form of water that we know in the hydrological cycle, hence is a primary source of water for us. Rivers, lakes and groundwater are all secondary sources of water. In present times, we depend entirely on such secondary sources of water. Water harvesting is to understand the value of rain, and to make optimum use of rainwater at the place where it falls. Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting Environment friendly and easy approach for water requirements RWH is the ideal solution for all water requirements. Increase in ground water level. Mitigates the effects of drought. Reduces the runoff, which other wise flood storm water drains. Reduces flooding of roads and low-lying areas.


Reduced soil erosion. Improves the ground water quality. Low cost and easy to maintain. Reduces water and electricity bills. Who can harvest rainwater and where? People planning construction of House, Modification of house, existing house, etc. from rooftops Govt. Buildings, Institutions, Hospitals, Hotels, Shopping malls etc. from rooftops and open areas Farmlands, Public Parks, Playground, etc. Paved and unpaved areas of a layout / city / town / village Need for Rainwater Harvesting As water is becoming scarce, it is the need of the day to attain self-sufficiency to fulfil the water needs. As urban water supply system is under tremendous pressure for supplying water to ever increasing population. Groundwater is getting depleted and polluted. Soil erosion resulting from the unchecked runoff. Health hazards due to consumption of polluted water.

1.2 Aims and Objectives

This thesis aims to investigate the policy and design issues involved in Rain Water Harvesting in India and evaluate the overall performance of RWH in Indian context. Particular attention will be given to the existing policy framework and their implementations concerning Rain water harvesting. The aims and objectives are therefore to : Review the literature and determine the state of the art with regards to contemporary RWH in India principally in relation to the existing policy framework in India. The performance of RWH will be evaluated using few case studies of implementation sites. A model framework is also prepared for evaluation of economical and design performance of RWH for Delhi.


The policy framework will be examined for performance and evaluation using the case study of Delhi from the statistics provided by Delhi Jal Board and other statutory bodies. Brief outline report on recent cases involving RWH will be presented for evaluation of Environmental laws pertaining to RWH. The main objective behind this study is to evaluate overall performance of RWH in Indian context and the measure which are taken by National and State policies to ensure sustainability of RWH.

1.3 Thesis Structure

The structure of this thesis reflects the stated aims and objectives and logically progresses through the steps required to meet them. The following subsections provide a brief introduction of each chapter ( excluding Chapter 1 ). Chapter 2 : Rainwater Harvesting Literature Review This chapter will briefly cover the Science of RWH, components, types and configuration and other technical aspects of RWH. Brief Report on the implementation of RWH at Jamia Hamdard University and Tihar Jail will be presented to evaluate the performance of RWH. Chapter 3 : Design & Econometrics of RWH - A model calculation will be presented in this chapter involving the design considerations and econometrics of RWH system. A draft calculation is performed for implementation of RWH in South and South west Delhi which is the business centre of Delhi and faces acute water shortages. Chapter 4 : Policy Issues and Framework for RWH in India - This chapter will present the policy framework adopted by various Indian states for implementation of RWH. Policy implementation in Delhi will be evaluated from the statistics published by Delhi Jal Board, Central Ground Water Authority and other statutory bodies. Chapter 5 : Recent Cases involving RWH - This chapter will contain brief report on the cases dealing with RWH. The cases chosen for study are Kranti v/s Union of India and Intellectual Forums (Tirupathi) v/s State of Andrapradesh and Others . Chapter 6 : Conclusions & Recommendations - This chapter will be final chapter and will present the conclusions and recommendations as conclusion of this thesis.


Chapter 2 Rainwater Harvesting Literature Review

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) refers to collection of rain for beneficial uses before it drains away as run-off. The concept of RWH has a long history of use in India. Collection and storage of rainwater in earthen tanks for domestic and agricultural uses is very common in India since historical times. However after the implementation of dam and irrigation projects the traditional knowledge and practice of RWH has largely been abandoned in many parts of India. Since the early 90s, there is a renewed interest in RWH projects.

2.1 Science of RWH

In scientific terms, water harvesting refers to collection and storage of rainwater and also other activities aimed at harvesting surface and groundwater, prevention of losses through evaporation and seepage and all other hydrological studies and engineering inventions, aimed at conservation and efficient utilization of the limited water endowment of physiographic unit such as a watershed. Rain is a primary source of water for all of us. There are two main techniques of rainwater harvesting : Storage of rainwater on surface for future use. Recharge to groundwater. Directly collected rainwater can be stored for direct use or can be recharged into the groundwater. All the secondary sources of water like rivers, lakes and groundwater are entirely dependent on rain as a primary source. The term water harvesting is understood to encompass a wide range of concerns, including rainwater collection with both rooftop and surface runoff catchment, rainwater storage in small tanks and large-scale artificial reservoirs, groundwater recharge, and also protection of water sources against pollution. The objective of water harvesting in India differs between urban and rural areas. In urban areas, emphasis is put on increasing groundwater recharge and managing storm water. On the other hand, in rural areas securing water is more crucial. There the aim is to provide water for drinking and farming, especially for life-saving irrigation, and to increase groundwater recharge. Rooftop / 13

Runoff Rainwater Harvesting for Artificial Recharge to Ground Water harvesting is the deliberate collection and storage of rainwater that runs off on natural or manmade catchment areas as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1 : Conceptual Schematic for Rain Water Harvesting

( Source : RWH Presentation, Urban Space Consultants , Delhi )

Catchment includes rooftops, compounds, rocky surface or hill slopes or artificially prepared impervious/ semi-pervious land surface. The amount of water harvested depends on the frequency and intensity of rainfall, catchment characteristics, water demands and how much runoff occurs and how quickly or how easy it is for the water to infiltrate through the subsoil and percolate down to recharge the aquifers. Moreover, in urban areas, adequate space for surface storage is not available, water levels are deep enough to accommodate additional rainwater to recharge the aquifers, rooftop and runoff rainwater harvesting is ideal solution to solve the water supply problems. Harvested rainwater can be stored in sub-surface ground water reservoir by adopting artificial recharge techniques to meet the household needs through storage in tanks. The Main Objective of such rainwater harvesting is to make water


available for future use. Capturing and storing rainwater for use is particularly important in dry land, hilly, urban and coastal areas. In alluvial areas, energy saving for 1m rise in ground water level is around 0.40 kilo watt per hour.

2.2 RWH for Domestic Purposes

Rainwater harvesting systems can roughly be broken down into four primary processes and three treatment processes as outlined in figure 2.

Figure 2 : Process Diagram of Domestic RWH System

( Source : Handbook for RWH Practitioners , T H Thomas & D B Martinson )

The catchment of a water harvesting system is the surface which directly receives the rainfall and provides water to the system. It can be a paved area like a terrace or courtyard of a building, or an unpaved area like a lawn or open ground. A roof made of reinforced cement concrete (RCC), galvanised iron or corrugated sheets can also be used for water harvesting. A conveyance system usually consists of gutters or pipes that deliver rainwater falling on the rooftop to cisterns or other storage vessels. Both drainpipes and roof surfaces should be constructed of chemically inert materials such as wood, plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass, in order to avoid adverse effects on water quality. The water ultimately is stored in a storage tank or cistern, which should also be constructed of an inert material. Reinforced concrete, fiberglass, or stainless steel are suitable materials. Storage tanks may be constructed as part of the building, or may be built as a separate unit located some distance away from the building.

2.3 Catchment Area

Roof Catchment Systems : This is the most common type of catchment and is usually the


roof of houses or buildings. The effective roof area and the type of roof material influence the efficiency of collection and the water quality. Galvanised corrugated iron sheets, corrugated plastic or tiles all make good catchment surfaces. However, roofs made of asbestos or painted with lead based paints should be avoided. Roofs should also be free from over-hanging trees to prevent entry of bird and animal faeces as well as decomposing leaves. Properly and maintained roofs are the best choice as a collection surface, because their isolated location protects rainwater from pollution. Type Galvanised Iron Sheets Runoff Coefficient >0.9 Remarks Excellent quality water. Surface is smooth and high temperatures help to sterilise bacteria Good quality water from glazed tiles. Tile (glazed) 0.6 0.9 Unglazed tile can harbour mould Contamination can exist in tile joints New sheets give good quality water Asbestos Sheets 0.8 0.9 No evidence of carcinogenic effects by ingestion Slightly porous so reduced run-off coefficient and older roofs harbour moulds and even moss Poor quality water (>200 FC/100 ml) Organic (Thatch, Palm) 0.2 Little first-flush effect High turbidity due to dissolved organic material which cannot easily be filtered or settled out Table 1 : Characteristics of Roof Type
( Source : Handbook for RWH Practitioners , T H Thomas & D B Martinson )

Ground Catchment Systems : These are normally employed where suitable roof surfaces are not available. The advantage is that water can be collected from a larger area and is useful in low rainfall regions. The disadvantage is runoff is easily contaminated and the underground tanks are less assessable for maintenance and cleaning. Ground catchments


systems are less suitable for collecting drinking water. Rock Catchment Systems : These are generally constructed for communal supplies in areas where un jointed massive rock outcrops provide suitable catchment surfaces.

2.4 Conduits
Conduits are pipelines or drains that carry rainwater from the catchment or rooftop area to the harvesting system. Conduits can be of any material like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or galvanized iron (GI), materials that are commonly available. The following table gives an idea about the diameter of pipe required for draining out rainwater based on rainfall intensity and roof area: Diameter of Pipe ( in millimeter ) 50 65 75 100 125 150 Table 2 : Sizing of Rainwater pipe for Roof Drainage Source : National Building Code Average Rate of Rainfall in millimeter / hour 50 13.4 24.1 40.8 85.4 75 8.9 16.0 27.0 57.0 100 6.6 12.0 20.4 42.7 80.5 125 5.3 9.6 16.3 34.2 64.3 150 4.4 8.0 13.6 28.5 53.5 83.6 200 3.3 6.0 10.2 21.3 40.0 62.7

2.5 Storage and Collection Systems

The collection system refers to the arrangement made for collecting and storing the rainfall with minimal quantitative loss. In general channel pipes draining the catchment and a storage structure constitute the collection system. Collection systems are installed in such a way that runoff is collected and drained by gravity. The storage structure can vary from a small jar/tank for household uses to a large masonry/cement concrete tank for community use to natural depressions/basins/dams for village use. The harvested rainwater is stored and used for domestic purposes, either directly or after preliminary treatment (such as screening). However, costs of storage tanks often become a constraint for adopting this type of usage.


Plastic storage tanks are generally too expensive for RWH, especially in rural areas. In some other developing countries, it has been reported that their cost is 2 or 3 times that of brick or Ferro-cement tanks of similar capacity. Another disadvantage posed by plastic tanks is that they have a low proportion of their cost in the form of local labor, which may be an important feature of subsidized RWH programs in rural areas. Ferro-cement tanks, Gl sheet tanks and properly lined brick masonry tanks are low-cost storage options. However ferrro-cement and brick masonry tanks are not as water tight. GI sheets can rust and impart an undesirable taste to the stored water. The stored water can be stored cleanly for months or years in suitable RW tanks. Observations in India showed good quality even after 180 days of storage, and in South Africa even after 2 years. However, such long storage time will require good maintenance of RWH systems such as regular cleaning of RW tanks, roof surfaces and water in storage kept in dark and sealed conditions. Collection gutters, down pipes and filters are often poorly made or not maintained, and therefore constitute the main form of system failure. Despite the roof being higher than the ground, dust and other debris can be blown onto it, especially if the roof is near to a roadway. Leaves can also fall onto the roof from nearby trees and flying and climbing animals can defecate upon it. The quality of water can be much improved if this debris is kept out of the system. To accomplish this filters and separators can be added to a rainwater harvesting system at the inlet, outlet or both. Filters simply remove the debris and allow all water to flow; separators remove the debris and wash it away in a portion of the water.

2.6 First Runoff Systems

The first line of defence is a course leaf filter. The filter can be installed anywhere from the gutter to the entrance to the tank. The most popular positions are in the gutter, at the beginning of the down pipe, in the down pipe, in the ground before the tank and at the entrance to the tank itself. Of these, the tank entrance is by far the most common in very low cost systems. Whatever location is chosen for the filter, there are several criteria that should be met for good design: The filter should be easy to clean or largely self-cleaning It should not block easily (if at all) and blockages should be obvious and easy to rectify It should not provide an entrance for additional contamination


The cost should not be out of proportion with the rest of the system. Contaminants from a roof are usually concentrated in the first run off from the roof. After this runoff has passed and washed the roof the water is considerably safer. The amount to be removed varies and a number of studies have had differing results. Despite this uncertainty, first flush systems are a popular method of improving the quality of roof runoff prior to storage, particularly in Asian countries. There are basically four methods of separating the first flush; Manual Fixed volume Fixed mass Flow rate The manual method is the simplest and widely recommended it does, however rely on the user both being home and prepared to go out into the rain to operate the device much reducing its usefulness. The fixed volume method, which relies on the water simply filling a chamber of a set size (usually a length of downpipe) until it overflows, is the "automatic" method usually applied in low cost systems. The method can be used either with or without a floating ball seal which helps in reducing mixing between early dirty water and later clean water, however Michaeledes (1987) has found that this mixing is transient. They are also found with either automatic draining over a period of time or require manual draining. Manual draining systems have little to recommend them as if left to drain will not only fail to work for the next storm, but can cause additional pollutants to be washed in to the tank from the first flush device itself. The fixed mass system has also been promoted. The devices, usually relying on a mass of water to tip a bucket or seesaw tend to be unreliable and users inevitably disable the system. A newer first flush concept is to use the changes in flow rate over the course of a storm. Stormwater management designers have been using a flow rate model of first flush for some time to reduce the large land areas required for "volumetric" facilities. Australian Company has developed a system whereby flow rate is used for roof runoff. The SafeRain system balances the rate of water intake into a suspended hollow ball against its leakage, raising its weight and stretching its suspension until it descends into a recess, blocking the opening and


allowing water into the tank. The system has the advantage of being self-cleaning and removes the need for any storage of the first flush water (and its subsequent drainage).

2.7 Filters
Finer filtering can remove small sediment which would otherwise either be suspended in the water or settle to the bottom of the tank leaving a sludge. The techniques are well known, employing gravel, sand or fine screens but the needs of rainwater harvesting systems are unique, as in a tropical downpour flow rates can be very high - with short-term peaks of more than 1.5 lit/sec. This calls for either very large surface areas or courser screens. A filter consisting of a 300mm tube filled with 150mm sand on a bed of 200mm of pebbles has been used in Sri Lanka which copes with all but the very highest peak flows, however the filters were often bypassed or filled with courser material when user saw water overflowing the filter during heavy downpours. Another problem of fine filters is cleaning. As all water passes through most designs of fine filter, particles become trapped in the filter requiring periodic cleaning. If this is not carried out, the filter will eventually block and simply overflow which has resulted in filters being emptied of media and abandoned. In developed countries self-cleaning filters are available with a fine mesh screen (typically 0.4mm). These screens use the first flow of water from a storm to flush the filter of debris or have a continual washing action using about 10% of the water. In VLC systems there is usually a significant overflow of water and these types may be viable if suitable filter mesh or cloth is available locally. The filter is used to remove suspended pollutants from rainwater collected over roof. A filter unit is a chamber filled with filtering media such as fibre, coarse sand and gravel layers to remove debris and dirt from water before it enters the storage tank or recharge structure. Charcoal can be added for additional filtration. Charcoal water filter (figure 3): A simple charcoal filter can be made in a drum or an earthen pot. The filter is made of gravel, sand and charcoal, all of which are easily available. Sand filters (figure 4): Sand filters have commonly available sand as filter media. Sand filters are easy and inexpensive to construct. These filters can be employed for treatment of water to effectively remove turbidity (suspended particles like silt and clay), colour and micro organisms. In a simple sand filter that can be constructed domestically, the top layer


comprises coarse sand followed by a 5-10 mm layer of gravel followed by another 5-25 cm layer of gravel and boulders.

Figure 3 : Charcoal Filter ( Source : CSE )

Figure 4 : Sand Filter ( Source : CSE )

Figure 5 : DEWAS Filter ( Source : CSE )

Figure 6 : Varun Filter ( Source : CSE )

Dewas filters (figure 5) : Most residents in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, have wells in their houses. Formerly, all that those wells would do was extract groundwater. But then, the district administration of Dewas initiated a groundwater recharge scheme. The rooftop water was collected and allowed to pass through a filter system called the Dewas fillter, designed by Mohan Rao, district collector of Dewas, and engineers of the rural engineering services. The water thus filtered is put into the service tubewell. The filter consists of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe 140-mm in diameter and 1.2m long. There are three chambers. The first purification chamber has pebbles varying between 2-6 mm, the second chamber has slightly larger pebbles, between 6 and 12 mm and the third chamber has the largest - 12-20 mm pebbles. There is a mesh at the outflow side through which clean water flows out after 21

passing through the three chambers. The cost of this filter unit is Rs 600. Varun (figure 6): S Vishwanath, a Bangalore water-harvesting expert, has developed a rainwater filter "VARUN". According to him, from a decently clean roof 'VARUN' can handle a 50-mm per hour intensity rainfall from a 50 square meter roof area. This means the product is relatively standardised. For new house builders we therefore can recommend the number of downpipes they have to optimise on and the number of filters they 'VARUN' is made from a 90-litre High-Density polyethylene (HDPE) drum. The lid is turned over and holes are punched in it. This is the first sieve, which keeps out large leaves, twigs etc. Rainwater coming out of the lid sieve then passes through three layers of sponge and a 150mm thick layer of coarse sand. Presence of sponge makes the cleaning process very easy. Remove the first layer of sponge and soak /clean it in a bucket of water (which you then don't waste but use it for plants). The sand needs no cleaning at all. The basic cost of the filter is about Rs 2250/-

2.8 Groundwater Storage - Artificial Recharge (AR) using Harvested Rainwater

In tropical semi-arid country like India, one of the main issues of RWH relates to the seasonal nature of rainfall. India has short but intense rainy season followed by long dry season. Most of the annual rainfall occurs in four monsoon months. This imposes serious constraints on the type of storage. It is too costly to construct large local storage facilities with adequate capacities for water supply to last throughout the year. Additionally, protecting the quality of harvested rainwater during periods of long storage is difficult. In urban areas that already have substantial population covered by municipal water supply, there is little incentive for householders to install rainwater harvesting systems. This is due to the lack of space for a storage facilities, the financial outlay; and to avoid operating and maintaining RWH systems. A cost-effective way of storing the harvested rainwater would be to replenish the groundwater by adopting artificial recharge (AR) methods. Groundwater recharge, in general, refers to natural replenishment of an aquifer by percolation of surface run-off, stream flows, or melting snow into the ground. AR is a process in which water is introduced into groundwater aquifers by anthropogenic means. RWH and AR is a promising solution for


effectively increasing the utilization of surface run-off, and augment the freshwater supplies in urban areas at low costs. AR by rainwater will also help to qualitatively improve contaminated groundwater aquifers by reducing the concentration of pollutants by dilution. Widespread adoption of AR will alleviate the severely degraded groundwater aquifers in many Indian towns and cities. Rainwater may be charged into the groundwater aquifers through any suitable structures like dugwells, Borewells, recharge trenches and recharge pits. Various recharge structures are possible - some which promote the percolation of water through soil strata at shallower depth (e.g., recharge trenches, permeable pavements) whereas others conduct water to greater depths from where it joins the groundwater (e.g. recharge wells). At many locations, existing structures like wells, pits and tanks can be modified as recharge structures, eliminating the need to construct any structures afresh. Here are a few commonly used recharging methods: Recharging of Dugwells and abandoned Tubewells In alluvial and hard rock areas, there are thousands of wells which have either gone dry or whose water levels have declined considerably. These can be recharged directly with rooftop run-off.

Figure 7 : Recharge using Dugwells

(Source : Rainwater Harvesting Manual, CSE )

Figure 8 : Recharge using Tubewells

(Source : Rainwater Harvesting Manual, CSE )

Rainwater that is collected on the rooftop of the building is diverted by drainpipes to a settlement or filtration tank, from which it flows into the recharge well (borewell or dugwell) as shown in figure 7. If a tubewell is used for recharging, then the casing (outer pipe) should preferably be a slotted or perforated pipe so that more surface area is available for the water to percolate as shown in figure 8. Developing a borewell would increase its recharging


capacity (developing is the process where water or air is forced into the well under pressure to loosen the soil strata surrounding the bore to make it more permeable). If a dugwell is used for recharge, the well lining should have openings (weep-holes) at regular intervals to allow seepage of water through the sides. Dugwells should be covered to prevent mosquito breeding and entry of leaves and debris. The bottom of recharge wells should be desilted annually to maintain the intake capacity. Providing the following elements in the system can ensure the quality of water entering the recharge wells: Filter mesh at entrance point of rooftop drains Settlement chamber Filter bed Settlement tank (chamber) Settlement tanks are used to remove silt and other floating impurities from rainwater. A settlement tank is like an ordinary storage container having provisions for inflow (bringing water from the catchment), outflow (carrying water to the recharge well) and overflow. A settlement tank can have an unpaved bottom surface to allow standing water to percolate into the soil as shown in figure 9. In case of excess rainfall, the rate of recharge, especially of borewells, may not match the rate of rainfall.

Figure 9 : Settlement Tanks ( Desilting Chamber)

(Source : Rainwater Harvesting Manual, CSE )

In such situations, the desilting chamber holds the excess amount of water till it is soaked up by the recharge structure. Thus, the settlement chamber acts like a buffer in the system.


Any container, (masonry or concrete underground tanks, old unused tanks, pre-fabricated PVC or ferrocement tanks) with adequate capacity of storage can be used as a settlement tank. Recharging of service tubewells. In this case the rooftop runoff is not directly led into the service tubewells, to avoid chances of contamination of groundwater. Instead rainwater is collected in a recharge well, which is a temporary storage tank (located near the service tubewell), with a borehole, which is shallower than the water table.

Figure 10 : Recharging of Service Tubewells

(Source : Rooftop Rainwater Recharge, Arjun Bhattacharya & ONeil Rane)

This borehole has to be provided with a casing pipe to prevent the caving in of soil, if the strata is loose. A filter chamber comprising of sand, gravel and boulders is provided to arrest the impurities as shown in figure 10.


Recharge pits A recharge pit is 1.5m to 3m wide and 2m to 3m deep. The excavated pit is lined with a brick/stone wall with openings (weep-holes) at regular intervals. The top area of the pit can be covered with a perforated cover. Design procedure is the same as that of a settlement tank ( refer figure 11).

Figure 11 : Recharge Pit Schematic

(Source : Rooftop Rainwater Recharge, Arjun Bhattacharya & ONeil Rane)

Soakaways / Percolation pit Percolation pits, one of the easiest and most effective means of harvesting rainwater, are generally not more than 60 x 60 x 60 cm pits, (designed on the basis of expected runoff as described for settlement tanks), filled with pebbles or brick jelly and river sand, covered with perforated concrete slabs wherever necessary. Refer figure 12 below.


Figure 12 : Section / Plan View of Percolation Pit

(Source : Rainwater Harvesting Manual, CSE)

Recharge trenches A recharge trench is a continuous trench excavated in the ground and refilled with porous media like pebbles, boulders or broken bricks. A recharge trench can be 0.5 m to 1 m wide and 1 m to 1.5 m deep. The length of the recharge trench is decided as per the amount of runoff expected. The recharge trench should be periodically cleaned of accumulated debris to maintain the intake capacity. In terms of recharge rates, recharge trenches are relatively less effective since the soil strata at depth of about 1.5 metres is generally less permeable. For recharging through recharge trenches, fewer precautions have to be taken to maintain the quality of the rainfall runoff. Runoff from both paved and unpaved catchment can be tapped. Refer figure 13

Figure 13 : Section View of Recharge Trench

(Source : Rainwater Harvesting Manual, CSE)


Recharge troughs To collect the runoff from paved or unpaved areas draining out of a compound, recharge troughs are commonly placed at the entrance of a residential/institutional complex. These structures are similar to recharge trenches except for the fact that the excavated portion is not filled with filter materials. In order to facilitate speedy recharge, boreholes are drilled at regular intervals in this trench. In design part, there is no need of incorporating the influence of filter materials. This structure is capable of harvesting only a limited amount of runoff because of the limitation with regard to size. Modified injection well The injection techniques are used as an alternative to surface spreading operations usually where a zone with low permeability, within the unsaturated zone, impedes the recharge to a designated aquifer. A cased recharge well or bore is generally used to penetrate a zone with low permeability. The open or perforated section at the base of the well allows infiltration into either the aquifer or vadose zone.

Figure 14 : Section View of Modified Injection Well

(Source : Rainwater Harvesting Manual, CSE)


Injection is either by gravity or under pressurized. Pressurized injection is where water is pumped into the recharge unit under pressure and is desired when more discharge is required than provided by a gravity fed system. In this method water is not pumped into the aquifer but allowed to percolate through a filter bed, which comprises sand and gravel. A modified injection well is generally a borehole, 500-mm diameter, which is drilled to the desired depth depending upon the geological conditions, preferably 2 to 3 m below the water table in the area. Inside this hole a slotted casing pipe of 200-mm diameter is inserted. The annular space between the borehole and the pipe is filled with gravel and developed with a compressor till it gives clear water. To stop the suspended solids from entering the recharge tubewell, a filter mechanism is provided at the top. Refer figure 14 above.

2.9 Maintenance
Rainwater harvesting systems require few skills and little supervision to operate. Major concerns are the prevention of contamination of the tank during construction and while it is being replenished during a rainfall. Contamination of the water supply as a result of contact with certain materials can be avoided by the use of proper materials during construction of the system. The main sources of external contamination are pollution from the air, bird and animal droppings, and insects. Bacterial contamination may be minimized by keeping roof surfaces and drains clean but cannot be completely eliminated. If the water is to be used for drinking purposes, filtration and chlorination or disinfection by other means (e.g., boiling) is necessary. The following maintenance guidelines should be considered in the operation of rainwater harvesting systems: A procedure for eliminating the "foul flush" after a long dry spell deserves particular attention. The first part of each rainfall should be diverted from the storage tank since this is most likely to contain undesirable materials, which have accumulated on the roof and other surfaces between rainfalls. Generally, water captured during the first 10 minutes of rainfall during an event of average intensity is unfit for drinking purposes. The quantity of water lost by diverting this runoff is usually about 14l/m2 of catchment area. The storage tank should be checked and cleaned periodically. All tanks need cleaning; their designs should allow for this. Cleaning procedures consist of thorough scrubbing of


the inner walls and floors. Use of a chlorine solution is recommended for cleaning, followed by thorough rinsing. Care should be taken to keep rainfall collection surfaces covered, to reduce the likelihood of frogs, lizards, mosquitoes, and other pests using the cistern as a breeding ground. Residents may prefer to take care to prevent such problems rather than have to take corrective actions, such as treating or removing water, at a later time. Gutters and downpipes need to be periodically inspected and cleaned carefully. Periodic maintenance must also be carried out on any pumps used to lift water to selected areas in the house or building. More often than not, maintenance is done only when equipment breaks down. Households must establish a maintenance routine that will be carried out by family members. As has been noted, in some cases the rainwater is treated with chlorine tablets. However, in most places it is used without treatment. In such cases, residents are advised to boil the water before drinking. Where cistern users do not treat their water, the quality of the water may be assured through the installation of commercially available in-line charcoal filters or other water treatment devices.



Figure 15 : Conceptual Schematic of RWH at Jamia Hamdard University Source : www.rainwat
Notes :Got 1st rank in Institutional category for Chief Ministers Award for Rainwater Harvesting in 2007.

Total rooftop and surface area Average annual rainfall in Delhi Total volume of rainwater harvested Water Supply Source before implementation of RWH RWH Implementation Total Cost of RWH

3,15,380 sq m 611 mm 67444 m or 6,74,44,000 litres (35 per cent of total rainwater harvesting potential) The daily water requirement of approximately six lakh litres is extracted from six bore wells. The remaining requirement is met through private water tankers. Since June 2001 The total cost for implementation of recharge structures was Rs. 6.52 lakhs.


Brief Details of Rain Water Harvesting System 1. Rooftop RWH Rainwater from the library's rooftop is taken to a desilting chamber measuring 2m x 2m x 3m through a closed drain. A baffle wall divides the desilting chamber into two compartments--settlement and filtering chambers. The rainwater first enters the desilting Rooftop RWH at the Library chamber where the silt gets collected and then overflows Building into the filtering chamber. The filtering chamber has pebbles, which further filters the rainwater before diverting it into the recharge well. The recharge well measures 1.5m x 1.5m x 3m in size with a 30m deep recharge borewell measuring 100 mm in diameter. Rainwater from the hostel terrace is diverted to a circular recharge well 2m in diameter and 3m deep through a closed channel. A desilting chamber is created by constructing a baffle wall inside the recharge well. The Rooftop RWH at the Girls' rainwater from the terrace flows into the desilting Hostel chamber, where the silt gets deposited. The silt-free water overflows into the recharge well. The recharge well encompasses a borewell which is 100mm in diameter and 30m deep. 2. Surface Runoff RWH Surface runoff from the paved and unpaved areas surrounding the library is collected in two trenches located in the eastern part of the campus (near Gates 5 Surface runoff RWH near and 6). The runoff collected near Gate 5 is diverted into a Library Building recharge well. Similarly, the runoff from the northern side of the building is drained into an abandoned open dugwell near Gate 6. The surface runoff from the Jahanpanah reserve forest collects in a pond from where it flows through a storm water drain adjacent to the Scholars House. This runoff Surface runoff RWH from water is channelised into a desilting chamber and then Jahanpanah Reserve Forest into a recharge well which measures 2m x 2m x 3m with the help of a 1m high diversion wall. 3. Surface Runoff RWH & Rooftop RWH The rooftop rainwater and the surface runoff are Surface runoff & Rooftop collected in an open drain which runs adjacent to the RWH at Hamdard Archives & building. This drain, measuring 450mm in width and Research Center 300mm in depth carries the rainwater into the desilting chamber. The silt-free water is diverted to a recharge well which has a borewell to recharge the groundwater.


Results & Conclusions

Figure 16 (Above) & 17 ( Below ) : Water Level / Quality Data

(Source : Center for Science and Environment, Delhi)

Conclusions : Before installing the rainwater harvesting system water levels in Jamia Hamdard were declining at alarming rates. Most of the tube wells that are the only source of water supply in the 100-acre campus were going dry every year. The water level in May 2002 was 47.5m below ground level (bgl). After successfully implementing rainwater harvesting in the campus at different locations, the water level rose to 38.0m (bgl) in September 2002, after the monsoon. The water level in May 2003 was around 45.0 m (bgl). The water level in July 2003 stands at 39.0 m (bgl), representing a net rise of 6m, or 19.68 feet.



Figure 18 : Conceptual Schematic of RWH at Tihar Jail Source : www.rainwat Total rooftop and surface area 4125 sq m For Ward 1 & Ward 13 Average annual rainfall in 611 mm Delhi Total volume of rainwater 1280 m or 12,80,000 litres harvested (50.78 per cent of total rainwater harvesting potential) Water Supply Source before implementation of RWH RWH Implementation Total Cost of RWH Water supply in these wards is fulfilled by two borewells located inside the jail premises Since November 2002 The total cost for implementation of recharge structures was Rs. 0.2 lacs

Brief Details of Rain Water Harvesting System Rooftop rainwater and runoff from unpaved areas In Ward 1, the rooftop rainwater from the barracks and the surface Ward 1 runoff from the unpaved area are collected in a low-lying area between the buildings. This water is collected by a collection chamber measuring 0.5m x 0.5m x 0.5m, which is covered by a perforated RCC slab. The water collected in the chamber is diverted to recharge well measuring 1m x 1m x 2m with a recharge bore of 150mm diameter and 10m deep. The recharge well is filled with layers of 34

Ward 13

pebbles and coarse sand, which act as filtering media to improve the quality of the water harvested. The rooftop rainwater from the buildings and the surface runoff from the open areas are collected in a low-lying area located at southwest corner of the ward. This water is collected in a collection chamber measuring 0.5m x 0.5m x 0.5m, which is covered by a perforated RCC slab. The water collected in the chamber is diverted to a recharge well measuring 1m x 1m x 2m in size with a recharge bore of 150mm diameter and 10m deep. The recharge well is filled with layers of pebbles and coarse sand, which act as filtering media to improve the quality of the water harvested.

Results & Conclusions

Figure 19 (Above) & 20 ( Below ) : Water Level / Quality Data

(Source : Center for Science and Environment, Delhi)

Conclusions : This project demonstrated that rainwater harvesting can help solve the problem of water logging. Tihar Jail's barracks used to remain flooded for hours after every rainfall. The water level in the jail was 14m below ground level (bgl) in April 2003. Concerned with flooding in the barracks and with sharply declining water levels in the area, the Tihar Jail authorities decided adopt rainwater harvesting in Central Jail No. 4.


Chapter 3 Design and Econometrics of RWH

3.1 Design Considerations

Three most important components, which need to be evaluated for designing the rainwater harvesting structure, are: Hydrogeology of the area including nature and extent of aquifer, soil cover, topography, depth to water levels and chemical quality of ground water. Area contributing for runoff i.e. how much area and land use pattern, whether industrial, residential or green belts and general built up pattern of the area. Hydro-meteorological characters like rainfall duration, general pattern and intensity of rainfall.

3.2 Design Criteria of Recharge Structures

Recharge structures should be designed based on availability of space, availability of runoff, depth to water table & litho logy of the area. Assessment of Runoff : The runoff should be assessed accurately for designing the recharge structure and may be assessed by following formula. Runoff = (Catchment Area) X (Runoff Coefficient) X (Rainfall) Runoff Coefficients : Runoff coefficient plays an important role in assessing the runoff availability and it depends upon catchment characteristics. It is the factor that accounts for the fact that not all rainfall falling on a catchment can be collected. Some rainfall will be lost from the catchment by evaporation and retention on the surface itself. General values are tabulated below which may be utilised for assessing the runoff availability.


Type of catchment Roof Catchments Tiles Corrugated Metal Sheets Ground surface coverings Concrete Brick Pavement Untreated ground catchments Soil on slopes less than 10 percent Rocky natural catchments Green area Table 3 : Runoff Coefficient for various surfaces

Runoff coefficient 0.8 - 0.9 0.7 - 0.9 0.6 - 0.8 0.5 0.6 0.0 - 0.3 0.2 0.5 0.05 - 0.10

(Source: Pacey, Arnold and Cullis, Adrian 1989, Rainwater Harvesting: The collection of rainfall and runoff in rural areas)

The total amount of water that is received in the form of rainfall over an area is called the rainwater endowment of that area. Out of this, the amount that can be effectively harvested is called the Rainwater harvesting potential. Rainwater Harvesting Potential = Rainfall (mm) X Collection efficiency Quality of Stored Water : Rainwater collected from rooftops is free of mineral pollutants like fluoride and calcium salts that are generally found in groundwater. But, it is likely that to be contaminated with these types of pollutants: Air Pollutants Surface contamination (e.g., silt, dust)

Such contaminations can be prevented to a large extent by flushing off the first rainfall. A grill at the terrace outlet for rainwater can arrest leaves, plastic bags and paper pieces carried by water. Other contamination can be removed by sedimentation and filtration. Disinfectants can remove biological contamination. Cost Analysis


Cost of a Rainwater harvesting system designed as an integrated component of a new construction project is generally low. Designing a system onto an existing building is costlier because many of the shared costs (roof and gutters) can be designed to optimise system. In general, maximising storage capacity and minimising water use through conservation and reuse are important rules to keep in mind. With careful planning and design, the cost of a rainwater system can be reduced considerably.

Success Parameters: Level of Water Table: Increase in the level of groundwater is an obvious and visible parameter for success of rainwater harvesting systems. Quality of Water: Rainwater is available as the purest form of natural water. The very process of dilution that occurs as rainwater mixes with the groundwater leads to an improvement in the quality of groundwater. Decrease in Salinity, Fluoride concentration, Nitrate concentration, Bacteriological and Heavy Metal concentration are taken into consideration to assess the groundwater quality before and after rainwater harvesting: 3.3 Typical Cost of Installation of RWH Structures in Urban Environment A typical Roof top Rainwater Harvesting System comprises of Roof catchment Gutters Down pipes Rain water/Storm water drains Filter chamber Ground water recharge structures like pit, trench, tubewell or combination of above structures. Cost of Recharge Structures : The cost of each recharge structure varies from place to place. The approximate cost of the following structures is as under:


S/ No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Recharge Structure Recharge pit Recharge Trench Recharge through hand pump Recharge through dug well Recharge well Recharge shaft Lateral Shaft with Bore well

Approximate cost (Rs.) 2,500 5,000 5,000 10,000 1,500 2,500 5,000 8,000 50,000 80,000 60,000 85,000 Shaft per m. 2,000 3,000 Bore well 25,000 35,000

Table 4 :Estimated Typical cost of Recharge structure ( Source : Estimated average cost of installing a Water Harvesting System for: 1. An individual house of average area of 300-500 m2, the average cost will be around Rs. 20,000 - 25,000. A recharge well will be constructed near the existing bore well. The roof water through PVC pipe will be diverted to recharge well. 2. An apartment building, the cost will be less since the many people will share the cost. More over in apartments there are separate storm water drains, which join the MCD drains in the main road. Here along with recharge well, recharge trench and percolation pits can be constructed. The cost will be around 60 to 70 thousand. 3. A colony, the cost will be much less. For example, in Panchsheel Park colony, around 36 recharge wells were installed at the cost of 8 lakh, which is around Rs 500-600 per house. In many colonies in Delhi, storm water drains are present but it is difficult to isolate them from sewage drains because there has been violation of the drainage master plan. Also, these drains are not properly maintained. Hence, care needs to be taken while using storm water for water harvesting. Rooftop harvesting is preferred because the silt load is less. In storm water drain the silt load is high and generally the municipality does not maintain the storm drains properly. 4. An institution with campus, the cost was around 4 lakhs. Here two recharge wells and three trenches cum percolation pits were constructed. Average annual maintenance cost would be around Rs 200-300 for two labourers once in a year to remove the pebbles and replace the sand from trenches.


3.4 Agencies actively involved in Rainwater Harvesting

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) : Established in 1954, the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), a National apex organisation, functions under the Ministry of Water Resources. The Central Ground Water Board has been entrusted with the responsibilities to carry out scientific research, surveys, exploration, monitoring of development, management and regulation of countrys vast ground water resources for irrigation, drinking, domestic and industrial needs. The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) was set up in 1997 under sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (Act of 1986) and has been given the mandate for the Regulation and Control of Ground Water Development and Management in the country. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) : The Centre for Science and Environment is a public interest research and advocacy organisation, which promotes environmentally sound and equitable development strategies. CSE has been involved in raising awareness about the need of community based water management for a number of years. A water crisis that has come about because rain, as a source of water has been ignored. As a technological solution CSE is therefore promoting the concept of community and household based water harvesting as this decentralised technology can be adopted by all concerned and also promote a participatory paradigm of water management.

3.5 The Case of Delhi : Model calculation for RWH in South & Southwest Delhi
The National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi is facing a water crisis and is even likely to face a water famine. Rapid urbanization coupled with population explosion is attributed as the major cause. The situation becomes grimmer during dry seasons and large numbers of residents have to depend on groundwater to augment the municipal water supply. In South and Southwest districts of Delhi, the situation is explosive and water levels are declining at alarming rates. The Central Ground Water Authority has notified South and Southwest districts of Delhi in August 2000 for regulation of ground water development. Proper water management strategy is the need of the hour. A number of measures are also being promoted to arrest the falling groundwater levels. One of the foremost and essential measure is rainwater harvesting followed by artificial recharge of groundwater. Delhi has a 40

population of roughly 14 million. Against the present requirement of about 3,324 million litres per day (MLD), the installed capacity is only 2,634 MLD.5 There has been a widespread drop in the groundwater table in Delhi, especially in the south and south western localities of Delhi. Lack of regulation related to private and individual extraction of groundwater aggravates this situation. Delhi has an annual average rainfall of 611.8 mm. Due to poor recharge and heavy extraction of groundwater, groundwater levels in Delhi have declined by as much as 8 metres in the past decade. Hydrogeology of Delhi and Surrounding Areas : The groundwater availability in NCR, Delhi is controlled by the hydro geological situation characterized by occurrence of alluvial formation and quartzite hard rocks. The following distinct Physiographic Units and Ground Water Potential. The Four physiographic units that influence and control the groundwater occurrence and movement are: Alluvial plain on eastern and western sides of the ridge (low to moderate yield prospects 25-30 m3/hr.) Yamuna flood plain deposits (large yield prospects 50-100 m3/hr.) Isolated and nearly closed Chattarpur alluvial basin (low yield prospects 10-15 m3/hr.) NNE-SSW trending Quartzitic Ridge (limited yield prospects 5-10 m3/hr.)

Depth to Water Levels : The periodic monitoring of groundwater levels indicates deeper water levels in the range of 20 to 45 m below ground level (bgl) in southern parts of Delhi extending from Rajokri in the west to Kalkaji-Okhla industrial area including Chattarpur basin in the south. In the central part of southwest district, water levels are in the range of 12 to 16 m bgl. Shallow water levels within 5 m bgl are mainly in the flood plains of Yamuna falling in east and northeast districts. Most areas of north, central, New Delhi and northwest districts are having water levels in-between 5 to 10m bgl. Physiographic units further influence the groundwater occurrence. Decline in Water Levels : A comparison of water levels from 1960 to 2001 shows that water levels in major part of Delhi are steadily declining because of over-exploitation. During 1960, the groundwater level was by and large within 4 to 5 meters and even in some parts water logged conditions existed. During 1960-2001, water levels have declined by 2- 6 m. in most part of the alluvial areas. Decline of 8-20 m. has been recorded in south-west district and in


south district the decline has been 8-30 m. Areas registering significant decline fall mainly in south and south-west districts and have been identified as priority areas for taking up artificial recharge to groundwater by roof top rain water harvesting. Ground Water Quality : Chemical quality of groundwater in NCR Delhi varies with depth and space. In alluvial formations, the quality of groundwater deteriorates with depth, which is variable in different areas. Brackish groundwater mainly exists at shallow depths in northwest, west and southwest districts with minor patches in north and central districts. Groundwater is fresh at all depths in the areas around the ridge in the central, New Delhi, south and southwest districts. In the areas west of the ridge, in general, the thickness of fresh water aquifers decreases towards northwest. In the flood plains of Yamuna, fresh water aquifers exist down to 30-45 m. In other parts of NCT, Delhi areas falling under central, New Delhi, east and north-east districts ground water is fresh and potable at shallow depths except in a few pockets around Nizamuddin and Connaught Place where ground water is marginally brackish to saline. Model Calculation for RWH in South and Southwest Delhi : Though the government is supplying 148 lpcd (litres per capita per day), the demand and supply gap in these two districts is high because of being posh and economically developed nature. To meet this demand supply gap there has been an explosion of tubewells in this area leading to rapid depletion of groundwater table. Any man-made scheme or facility that adds water to an aquifer system may be considered to be an artificial recharge to groundwater. Artificial recharge to groundwater in south and southwest Delhi needs to be given top priority so as to make the groundwater resources sustainable and improve the quality, which is deteriorating because of over-exploitation. The thickness of unsaturated zones (potential unsaturated aquifer system for recharge) in these areas varies from 12-50 m. The success rate of Water Harvesting Systems in south Delhi is high compared to other parts of Delhi due to deeper water levels. The intake capacity of the recharge well is good. Where as in Yamuna flood plain and in north Delhi where the water level is very shallow, the intake capacity is low. Water harvesting structures work effectively when the water is more than 15 m below ground level. Hence, south Delhi is ideal for water harvesting. Recharge from high intensity rainfall is not a rapid process, but occurs through stagnant pools that are left in low lying areas after significant amount of surface


runoff from surrounding areas and farm lands. Thus, rainfall recharge being depression focussed, certain parts of groundwater recharge zones may never receive direct infiltration to the water table. Hence, there is a need to conserve this large amount of water which can be utilised for artificial recharge of groundwater. The annual precipitation over NCT of Delhi in volumetric terms comes out to be 910 MCM (Million Cubic Metres). The amount of runoff generated out of this is about 193 MCM. Thus, it is essential to conserve each and every drop of water falling on the territory so as to solve the problem of water supply through augmentation of groundwater resources in suitable areas of the territory. Total aerial extent of South & Southwest Delhi Total population Yield Potential of fracture zones Groundwater level varies from Rate of decline of groundwater level 670 km2 40.07 Lac (Census 2001) 100-200 lpd 5m-50m bgl 1-4m per annum

Source: Rainwater Harvesting: A necessity in south and southwest districts of NCT, Delhi, Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources, GOI

Annual natural recharge of groundwater is (Area X Annual Rainfall) = (670,000,000 m2 X 0.6 m) = 402,000,000 m3 ------------- ( 1 ) Rainwater Recharge potential @ 10 % of (1) = 40,200,000 m3 or 40,200 million litres per year ( 1 m3 = 1000 litres) Total water recharged naturally = 40,200 Million Litres per Year

Assuming that 65 % of the total area is occupied by constructed buildings, then the Total Rooftop area = 435,500,000 m2 ( @ 65 % of 670 km2) Taking Runoff coefficient as 0.85, total rainwater harvested is = (Area X Annual Rainfall X Runoff coefficient for rooftop) = 435,500,000 X 0.6 X 0.85 = 222,105,000 m3 or 222,105 million litres / year

The recharge is roughly 5.525 times more than the consumption No. of Buildings with 2 average Bedroom Hall Kitchen which can be constructed in the Harvested area : If these are the specifications of an average 2-BHK:


One Bedroom (12 ft X 14 ft) X 2 = 336 ft2 Kitchen (10 ft X 6 ft) = 60 ft2 Living Room (20 ft X 14 ft) = 280 ft2 Total for one flat = 676 ft2 Total area for two flats = 1,352 ft2 Staircase = 80 ft2 Total area per level = 1,432 ft2 Total built-up area of a building = Approx. 1,500 ft2 = 135 m2

Total number of buildings of 135 m2 that can be built in an area of 435,500,000 m2 = 3,225,926 Hence, cost of installing Rooftop WHS for 3,225,926 buildings at Rs 70,000 per building would be = Rs. 225,814,820,000

3.6 Arguments Against Rainwater Harvesting

Despite the growing awareness about the benefits of water harvesting, there is another school of thought that argues that roof water harvesting systems (RWHS) are not alternative to public systems in urban and rural areas of regions receiving low rainfall. It says that very little empirical work has been done to assess the impact of roof water harvesting on urban and rural water supply situation. Two important factors seem to be missed out. First, there is significant variation in rainfall in many arid and semi-arid regions and it can pose serious limitations on the amount of water that could be captured. Second: the roof area per capita that is available for capturing rainwater is quite limited and this again could pose a constraint on the amount of water that can be captured. Therefore, the estimates currently available over-emphasise the scope of this technique. Further, there has been no systematic inquiry into the technical feasibility of storing water captured from rooftop in the urban areas. The hydrological opportunities for roof water harvesting would vary significantly from year to year, as well as from location to location, and variation likely to be more in low rainfall areas.


The physical feasibility of RWHS in urban and rural areas is of great importance. To analyse this, M Dinesh Kumar studied the city of Ahmedabad, which falls within the semi-arid tropic of India. He showed that there could be major variations in the volume of water that could be stored across different housing stocks. In case of large individual bungalows (600 sq. m roof area), it can vary from 72 m3 to 21 m3. Assuming the per capita requirement for the upper class family as 500 litres per day, the water stored would be sufficient to meet the domestic water requirement for 5 months in a good year to one and a half months in a bad year. For a small bungalow (200 sq. m roof area), the amount of water that could be stored varies from 24 m3 in a good year to 7 m3 in a bad year. Assuming the per capita water requirement to be 300 litres per day, the stored water would be sufficient to meet the requirements for 80 days in a good year to 23 days in a bad year. In the case of a 3-storeyed middle-income housing stock, the volume varies from a maximum of 7.5 m3 to a minimum of 2.7 m3. For the lower income groups (320 sq. m roof area), it can vary from 4 m3 to 1.2 m3. Assuming the per capita water requirement of the middle income group as 200 litres per day, stored water would be sufficient to meet the requirements for 5 weeks in a good year to 2 weeks in a bad year. Similarly for the lower income group, assuming a per capita water requirement of 150 litres per day, the stored water would be sufficient for just four weeks in a good year to just one week in a bad year. In the case of multi-storeyed apartments for the high-income groups, the volume of water per capita varies from a maximum of 5.3 m3 to a minimum of 1.5 m3. Similarly for the middle-income groups it can vary from 2.4 m3 to 0.70 m3. Taking the per capita water requirement for the high income group as 200 litres per day, the stored water would be sufficient to meet the requirements for less than 4 weeks in a good year and one week in a bad year. Taking the water requirement of middle-income groups as 150 litres per day, the stored water would be sufficient to meet the requirements for 16 days in a good year to 5 days in a bad year. RWHS require underground storage tanks. For an apartment with roof area of 320 sq. m, the maximum volume of water that can be stored is 416 m3 to 112 m3 for rainfalls of magnitude 1200 mm and 350 mm respectively. The capacity of existing storage tanks in a typical 10storeyed apartment will be 30-40 m3. Most urban housing stocks do not provide the kind of land area required for building such large tanks, which is necessary for storing the water for lean seasons.


The actual size of a new storage tank would depend on the time duration between two large rain spells, given the magnitude of rainfall. If there is good number of non-rainy days between two large wet spells, the capacity requirement would come down, provided water from the new storage tank is used up during this period. For this, two things are required. First: when rainwater is available, the public system will have to cut down its supplies, which means that both the systems have to be synchronised. Second: rainwater stored in the new tank will have to be lifted and put in the old storage tanks as and when it gets empty space. This would pose complex management problem in case of large housing stocks with several users under one roof. The analysis shows that roof water harvesting is beneficial for those who are living in bungalows and flat systems, provided the available per capita roof area is quite significant, that is more than 6 sq. m. Hence, roof water harvesting systems are best suited to higher and middle-income groups. As such, it is not a substitute for urban public water utilities. RWHS is only one among many strategies for countering the growing urban water crisis.


Chapter 4 Policy Issues and Framework for RWH in India

4.1 Policy framework for rainwater harvesting in urban areas of India

Managing freshwater scarcity constitutes to be one of the biggest responsibilities of governance everywhere in the world, and thus, local management of this resource is an indispensable component. Many countries have national water laws. In India, however there are no national laws as such, though there is a national water policy. The National Water policy 2002 is a cogent and comprehensive document and forms a basis that could be converted into a law. In India, under the constitutional set up, water is a state subject. In urban areas its governance rests with urban local bodies in their areas of jurisdiction as per the 74th constitutional amendment The need for a policy framework for water harvesting systems arises mainly because the prevailing policy statements do not touch extensively upon the issue. There is a clear need to evolve a decentralized legal regime with regard to water, which empowers people and makes them real managers of resources. For promoting urban water harvesting, a policy should include a mix of incentives and penalties. Measures that need to be undertaken include: Rainwater harvesting / recharge of ground water system should be an essential town planning requirement and a pre-requisite for permission for the development of new colonies. Provision of rainwater and harvesting structures in all building plans should be mandatory for issuing of building permission. Appropriate rebates on property /fiscal incentives should be granted for effective implementation of rainwater harvesting systems. A number of state governments have made rainwater harvesting compulsory for new buildings according to their plot sizes in various Indian cities. Some of the measures adopted in different states/ cities are highlighted in table 5.


Sl. No.



Andhra Pradesh


Daman & Diu


NCR. Delhi





6. 7.

Haryana Kerala


Himachal Pradesh

Status of Action Initiated for Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) / Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting (RTRWH) Andhra Pradesh Water, Land and Tree Act, 2002 stipulates mandatory provision to construct rainwater harvesting structures at new and existing constructions for all residential, commercial and other premises and open space having area of not less than 200 in the stipulated period, failing which the authority may get such Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) structures constructed and recover the cost incurred along with the penalty as may be prescribed. Daman Municipal Building Model Bye-laws and Zoning Regulation, 2002 have provision for construction of sump well for recharge of ground water. Instructions has been issued to local PWD for construction of RTRWH structures. Local bodies such as Municipality & District Panchayats has already initiated action in this regard. Modified Building Bye-laws, 1983 to incorporate mandatory provision of roof top RWH in new building on plots of 100 or above. through storage of rain water runoff to recharge underground aquifer in NCR, Delhi exist. To encourage rain water harvesting by Resident Welfare Associations/Group Housing Societies, the Govt. of NCR Delhi has launched a scheme for financial assistance in the Bhagidari concept, where 50% of the total cost of the project subject to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- is being given to the RWAs as a grant if they adopt rain water harvesting. PWD, Goa has been asked to take up RWH structure for Government buildings. The PWD, Goa is studying various designs of roof top RWH for taking up other existing/new coming up large Government buildings. Metropolitan Areas have notified rules under which no new building plan is approved without corresponding rainwater harvesting structure. The D/o Roads & Buildings have been directed to ensure that all major Govt. constructions including educational institutions had adequate rainwater harvesting facilities. The Urban Development and Urban Housing Department has issued necessary orders Gujarat Town Planning Act, 1976 to incorporate the rules for RWH. Haryana Municipal Building Bye-laws 1982 has been amended to incorporate the provision of compulsory Roof Top RWH. Roof top RWH has become mandatory as per Kerala Municipality Building (Amendment) Rules, 2004 for all new buildings. Installation of RWH system has been made mandatory for all buildings to be constructed in urban areas of the State and no building plan without RWH system can be approved including schools, all Government buildings and rest houses. Construction of RWH system has also been made mandatory for all Schools, Govt. buildings and Rest Houses, upcoming industries, bus stands etc. The State has adopted a RWH policy to mandate this in all new construction. Bangalore City Corporation has already incorporated mandatory RWH in Building Bye-laws. Other ULBs are being





Madhaya Pradesh



12. 13.

Meghalaya Nagaland









encouraged to do so. Action to amend building bye-laws in major cities having population of more than 20 lakh to make RWH mandatory has been initiated. Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department has issued orders for implementation of roof top RWH in all Government buildings and also in rural schools. State has also extended help to the individual people also to the tune of 20% rebate on tax payment for 5 years duration. The State Govt. vide Gazette notification dated 26.8.2006, has made roof top RWH mandatory for all types of buildings having plot size of more than 140 Govt. has also announced 6% rebate in property tax to individuals for the year in which the individual will go for installation of roof top RWH structures. Maharashtra Government is promoting RTRWH under the Shivkalin Pani Sthawan Yojana. It provides that all houses should have provision for rainwater harvesting without which house construction plan should not be approved. Bombay Municipal Corporation and Pimpri - Chinchwad Municipal Corporation have made RWH mandatory by enacting building bye-laws. The State Government is considering to constitute State RWH Authority. The State Government has already made provision for roof top rainwater compulsory for all new Government buildings. Approvals are issued to new constructions subject to the provision of RWH in building designs. PWD, Pondicherry has started constructing roof top RWH structures in the Government buildings since 2002. The UT Administration has made rules for installation of RWH system in all the new constructions. Roof Top RWH has been made mandatory in State owned buildings of plot size more than 300 with effect from 03.01.2006. For violation of building bye-laws, punitive measures, viz. disconnection of water supply, has also been made. The Govt. has made provision of compulsory installation of rainwater harvest system in all newly and existing construction building and Govt. offices vide order dated 31.05.2000 and 12.12.2005. The State Government is also considering to modify Municipal Corporation Act making provisions of RWH. Vide Ordinance No. 4 of 2003 dated July, 2003 laws relating to Municipal Corporations and Municipalities in the State have been amended making it mandatory for all the existing and new buildings to provide RWH facilities. The State has launched implementation of RWH scheme on massive scale in Government buildings, private houses/ Institutions and commercial buildings in urban & rural areas. The State Government has achieved cent percent coverage in roof top RWH. Mandatory rules has been framed for compulsory installation of RWH system in all the new housing schemes/plots/buildings of all uses, group housing schemes with provisions of separate network of pipes for combined RWH/Recharging system. Roof top RWH have been made mandatory for plots of 100-200 sq. mt. In Govt.


18. 19. 20.

West Bengal Arunachal Pradesh Punjab









Buildings (both new as well as old), installation of RWH structures has been made mandatory. Vide Rule 171 of the West Bengal Municipal (Building) Rules, 2007, installation of RWH system has been made mandatory. Building Bye-laws are being framed keeping provision for RWH as mandatory in Government Buildings. Building Bye-laws amended to make RWH System mandatory in all buildings of above 200 sq. yds.. The Punjab Urban development Authority (PUDA) is in the process of amending the PUDA (Building) Rules 1996 for making this system mandatory. Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana and Jalandhar have framed Byelaws to make RWH mandatory in new buildings. The State Government has initiated action for construction of RTRWH structures in Government/Public buildings in a phased manner. A promotional scheme has also been started for awareness of protection of ground water and artificial recharge by grant of Rs. 25000/- for construction of artificial recharge structures. Ranchi Regional Development Authority (Jharkhand) has made Building Bye-laws for RWH. The Govt. of Uttarakhand (Awas evam Shahari Vikas) has made rules for compulsory installation of RWH system and directed to adopt rules in building Bye-laws vide order dated 15.11.2003. Accordingly, all the Development Authorities had made partial amendments in the prevalent House Building and Development Bye-laws/Regulations. As per Rule-110 of the Tripura Building Rules, 2004, water harvesting through starting of rain water run off is mandatory in all new buildings having plinth area more than 300 sq. mt. for all types of uses and in group housing of any size. The Bihar Ground Water (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2006 has been enacted which provides mandatory provision of RTRWH structures in the building plan in an area of 1000 sq. mt. or more.

Table 5 : Policies / Legislation for RWH in India

( Source : )

4.2 RWH Policy Implementation at Delhi

Delhi Govt. initiated a financial assistance scheme in December 2002 for implementing Rainwater Harvesting in South and South West Delhi. Accordingly, this scheme, grant in-aid was to be given by Delhi Jal Board to registered Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs)/Cooperative Group Housing Societies (CGHS) of South and South West District of Delhi only. Later on in August, 2004, this scheme was extended to entire Delhi except for few places in North West, West and North East Distt. Also this scheme of financial assistance has been made applicable to recognized private / Govt. Schools, Hospitals, Charitable


Institutions and NGO Buildings etc. for adopting Rainwater Harvesting (RWH). Under the scheme of Rainwater Harvesting, financial assistance is provided to the RWAs/CGHS/Institutions etc. to the extent of 50% of total cost of the Rainwater Harvesting structures or Rs.50,000/- which ever is less. Individuals are not eligible to avail financial assistance for adopting RWH structures. Procedure to Avail Financial Assistance under the Scheme: At the initial stage, the place where the RWH structure has to be constructed and the area to be covered under the scheme are identified and also ear marked in the plan of the locality. After this, the design of RWH structure is got approved from the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB). To execute the work of RWH structure, most competitive estimates are obtained from agencies who are involved in this field. Detailed estimates of the work to be executed are submitted by the concerned RWAs/CGHS etc. directly to the Executive Engineer (RWH), DJB or through the Area Zonal Engineer along with the relevant documents. After completion of the work of RWH structure as per design approved by the CGWB, the concerned RWAs/CGHS etc. apply to the Delhi Jal Board to get financial assistance. The financial assistance is provided only after the completion of the RWH structure as per approved design and to the satisfaction of the Committee. Further, before getting the financial assistance, the RWAs/CGHS etc. have to enter into an agreement with the state government that the proper maintenance of the RWH structure would be ensured by them at all time. Physical and Financial Performance: Under the scheme of Rainwater Harvesting, the physical achievement since the inception of the scheme is as under: Year No. applications received 13 44 93 52 202 of No. of applications accepted / approved 12 29 70 17 128 No. of Rainwater Harvesting structures completed where subsidy has been provided 5 20 51 14 90

2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 Total

Source : Office of Executive Engineer (RWH), Delhi Jal Board


It was revealed from the discussion with the Executive Engineer (RWH) that the main reason for rejection of applications were unregistered society / unapproved design / non-entitled area for construction of RWH structure / plot of land for the proposed structure belonging to individual etc. Out of 128 requests accepted / approved for adopting Rainwater Harvesting, the subsidy (financial assistance) has been given to 90 RWAs/CGHS whose structures were completed as per approved design of Central Ground Water Board. The subsidy has not been released to remaining 38 cases due to incomplete construction of the RWH or construction of the structures were not as per the approved design of CGWB or DJBs team suggested some modification in the structure as per approved design by CGWB. During different years of implementation of the scheme, the financial achievement under the same is as under:Year 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 Total Fund released by Delhi Govt. to DJB (in Lacs) 19.0 42.00 22.50 11.25 94.75 Expenditure incurred by DJB (in Lacs) 9.68 (Financial Assistance + Promotion) 4.50 (Financial Assistance) 27.15 (Financial Assistance) 11.14 (Financial Assistance + Promotion) 52.47

Source : Office of Executive Engineer (RWH), Delhi Jal Board The main component of the expenditure under the scheme is financial assistance (subsidy) provided to RWAs/CGHSs etc. where RWH structures were constructed as per approved design of CGWB. For the promotion of the scheme, it was informed by the Executive Engineer (RWH) that during the year 2002-03 when the scheme was launched, expenditure was also incurred for publicity/ promotion of the scheme by distributing literatures / pamphlets etc. During 2005-06, the expenditure was also made for the preparation of the Recharge Models and display of the same in workshops on Rainwater Harvesting for the promotion of the scheme. For the 90 RWH structures completed during 2002-03 to 2005-06, Rs. 43.17 lac has been released as subsidy / financial assistance to the concerned RWAs / CGHS / Institute etc. and the remaining amount of Rs.9.30 lac have been spent for promotional activities.


4.3 Field Survey & Findings

( Reconstructed from the reports submitted by Planning Department and through direct interviews with field surveyors and residents ) For the purpose of the study, 10 RWH structures out of 90 completed structures (for which subsidy / financial assistance have been released to the concerned RWAs/CGHS) were selected which were visited by the field staff of the Planning Deptt. Out of 10 RWH structures visited by the field staff, 5 are in South West, 2 in South, 2 in West and 1 in North East region of Delhi covering the area where the scheme is in operation in Delhi. Out of these 10 RWH structures, 8 structures are in the premises of RWAs/ CGHS and 2 are in the Institutions. Findings of the Survey: Based on the field visit made by the Field Staff of the Planning Department and the information gathered from them and from the office bearer (i.e. interviewee) of the RWAs/CGHS/Institutions etc. concerned with the above 10 sampled RWH structures, the summary of the findings are as under : Out of the 10 places / localities visited, 6 are having two recharge pits each, 2 are having three recharge pits each and remaining 2 are having single recharge pit each for rainwater harvesting. At 6 locations, interviewees informed that the availability of water is adequate whereas 4 reported that the availability of water is inadequate. At all the 10 locations, tube wells also exist in the premises of the society. In case of 6 RWH structures, approval for adoption of the RWH work was provided by the DJB within 15 days to 2 months of the requests received from the interested agencies, whereas, in case of 4 RWH structures the societies adopted RWH with their self initiatives and hence, no formal prior approval was taken by them from the DJB for adopting the work on rainwater harvesting. The Delhi Jal Board team visited the localities where RWH structures have been constructed to check whether the construction of the same was as per the approved design by CGWB, before releasing the financial assistance. In case of 4 RWH structures, financial assistance was provided to the concerned RWAs/CGHS within 3 months after informing the Delhi Jal Board regarding completion of the RWH structure along with relevant documents, whereas, in case of 3 RWH 53

structures, the time taken for providing financial assistance was in between 4 to 8 months. For the remaining 3 cases, the time taken to provide financial assistance was more than 8 months. The office bearers of 5 out of 10 RWAs/CGHS expressed their satisfaction regarding assistance provided by DJB and CGWB for the construction of RWH structures. In case of 3 RWH structures, the office bearers informed that the quality of assistance was not up to the mark and they desired that site visit by DJB and CGWB representatives should be made compulsory to give all technical assistance before starting construction so that the entire work may be executed accordingly and any modification/alteration after the completion of the construction work may be avoided. Maintenance: As per the clause of agreement entered between the Society (relating to the RWH structure) and the DJB, the maintenance of RWH system is to be made in every six month before the on-set of monsoon and after the monsoon is over, to ensure that there is no clogging of filter media and also slots of bore pipe. All the 10 interviewees informed that every year DJB sends a letter to remind them to do the maintenance of RWH structure. As regards maintenance, the most of the interviewees informed that they do the maintenance every year. After opening the cover of the recharge pits of the 10 sampled structures, it was observed that in some cases, heap of soil was present in the recharge pits and due to this the boulders, gravels etc. were not visible there which may result in clogging of filter media and slots of bore pipe. This implies that the proper awareness at societies level is required to maintain the RWH system in every six month before the on-set of the monsoon and after monsoon is over. Cost of maintenance: Four out of ten interviewees informed that they generally get maintenance of the RWH structure done with the help of manpower available with the Societies maintenance staff and hence no separate cost of maintenance was indicated by them. However, 3 interviewees have intimated that the cost of one time maintenance comes in between Rs.600/- to Rs.2500/- per annum whereas other three informed that the maintenance cost comes in the range of Rs.3000/- to Rs.7500/- per annum. After the commissioning of the RWH system, the DJB team had visited six locations and the CGWB team had inspected three locations, out of the 10 sampled RWH structures.


4.4 Impact Assessment

All the 10 respondents interviewed expressed that ground water level has not depleted further in their locality after adoption of RWH system, because, they did not have to further deepen their tube wells in their localities. According to them, the public of the locality is getting benefited due to recharging of the ground water which is being tapped by them for watering plants, cleaning purposes etc. It was also informed by most of them that RWH scheme has created awareness among the public for avoiding wastage of water and also for adoption of conservation of water. should be promoted. All the 10 interviewees have opined that the scheme


Chapter 5 Recent Cases Involving RWH

5.1 Case 1 : Kranti v/s Union of India
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA Decided On: 16.05.2007 Kranti v. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. JUDGMENT : Altamas Kabir, J. Brief Case Note Case dealing with the problems being faced by the tsunami affected populace of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Amongst other things, the court ordered the local administration to take immediate steps to arrange for rain water harvesting and construct cemented tanks to capture rain water. In addition, it ordered that immediate steps be taken to clean out existing wells which had been polluted during the Tsunami and to recharge them in order to provide for the drinking water needs of the inhabitants. Background The Special Leave Petition filed against the judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the Circuit Bench of the Calcutta High Court at Port Blair on 16th January, 2006, in Writ Petition No. 205 of 2005 recounts the various problems that were being faced by the Islanders in the wake of the Tsunami which hit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 26th December, 2004, and the disaster left in its aftermath and the steps that could be taken to mitigate their sufferings. The magnitude of the problem created by the Tsunami, is difficult to imagine and its effects continue to subsist and haunt the islanders even today. Summary of case presented by Appellants Appearing in support of the appeal, Mr. Colin Gonsalves urged that on account of the Tsunami which hit the islands, extensive damage had been caused to the shelters and livelihood of the islanders and in particular those inhabiting the Nicobar group of islands. According to him, some of the major problems included scarcity of potable drinking water, lack of medical facilities for treatment of diseases which had broken out after the


Tsunami, lack of food and shelter and destruction of the means of livelihood of the inhabitants of the islands whose main occupation was fishing and agriculture. Mr.Gonsalves urged that there was no dearth of funds for carrying out the work of rehabilitation, but the same were not being utilized in a proper manner. He pointed out that the next acute problem
was housing and that the design of the shelters which were to be provided by way of rehabilitation was entirely unsuitable for the islands where the salinity in the atmosphere was extremely high. He urged that there was sufficient timber available for construction of traditional shelters suitable for the islands by the islanders themselves on account of the large number of trees which had been uprooted during the Tsunami. Furthermore, the cost of labour which would otherwise be paid to contractors, would be available to the islanders themselves. He also urged that the maintenance of the structures proposed to be constructed would be extremely high and would be beyond the capacity of those for whom they were meant, making the entire scheme an exercise in futility. Mr. Gonsalves then referred to the destruction of agricultural lands by intrusion of saline water which had made it impossible for cultivation. To cure the salinity and make those lands which could be reclaimed suitable once again for cultivation would take between six to ten years. According to Mr. Gonsalves, about 10,000 hectares of agricultural land which was used for paddy cultivation lies submerged under sea water even till today. Out of this amount of land, it appears that about 4500 hectares are not reclaimable for paddy cultivation. He also brought attention to other problems like fishermen having difficulty with fibre glass boats, absence of lady doctor, availability of cooking gas etc.

Summary of Respondents defence Appearing on behalf of the Lt. Governor of the Islands and the Local Administration, Mr. T.S. Doabia submitted that steps had been taken by the Administration on war footing to provide relief to those who had been devastated by the Tsunami. He urged that having regard to the geographical placing of the Islands the process of rehabilitation have taken considerable time, but the Administration did not lack a sense of urgency in rehabilitating the Tsunami-affected families. Mr. Doabia submitted that there were certain things which were beyond the control of the authorities, such as the placing of more doctors and a Lady Doctor at Campbell Bay, but earnest efforts were being made to address the problem. Regarding the nature of houses being provided for rehabilitation, Mr. Doabia submitted that the design had been approved by experts, both local and central, belonging to the Public Works Department


and also the representatives of the islanders. On the question of supply of drinking water, Mr. Doabia pointed out that in the islands there were only a few rivers which could not be relied upon for supply of fresh water. On the other hand, the people of the islands depended mainly on wells and ground water harvesting. According to him the local administration had undertaken a programme to clean out and recharge the wells which had been affected by the Tsunami. However, the local administration was willing to abide by any instructions that may be given in this regard to make potable drinking water available to the Tsunami-affected families. The other issues were also addressed on similar lines by the respondents. Brief Summary of the Judgement : The Local Administration under the guidance of the Lt. Governor shall take immediate steps to arrange for rain water harvesting and construction of cemented tanks for capturing rain water during the monsoons for later use by the inhabitants of the different islands. In addition, immediate steps should also be taken to clean out the existing wells which had been polluted by the Tsunami and to recharge the same, so that the monsoonal rains can be fully utilized. If necessary, fresh wells may also be dug to augment the existing supply of water. The dry rations being supplied to the Tsunami affected families be continued till the month of October 2007 or until the appeal is finally disposed of, whichever is earlier. Rethinking should be undertaken with regard to the design of the shelters to be provided to the victims of the Tsunami upon considering the climatic conditions. In respect of persons whose agricultural lands remain submerged with sea water and are yet to receive compensation, the Local Administration may consider providing a job for one member of the family in keeping with the assurances given earlier. Remarks : The highlight of this case is that Rainwater Harvesting has been considered as a sustainable and viable solution for improving the potable drinking water supply on the island. Also the Hble Court (Appeals) has directed the local administration to clean and maintain the existing wells for RWH. With the limited fresh water bodies RWH is the only alternative on the islands to secure drinking water supply.


5.2 Case 2 : Intellectuals Forum, Tirupathi v/s. State of A.P.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA Decided On: 23.02.2006 Intellectuals Forum, Tirupathi v/s State of A.P. and Ors. Hon'ble Judges: Ruma Pal and AR. Lakshmanan, JJ. JUDGMENT AR. Lakshmanan, J.

Brief Case Note Case concerning the preservation and restoration of status quo ante of two tanks which were being sought to be converted to meet the requirements of shelter. In view of the fact that the condition of these tanks was irreparable no order could be given by the court preserve them but order was given for stoppage of further construction in the area. Background The present matter raises two kinds of questions. Firstly, at a jurisprudential level, it falls on this court to lay down the law regarding the use of public lands or natural resources, which have a direct link to the environment of a particular area, by the Government. Secondly, this court should decide, on the facts of the present case, the order to be passed with respect to two tanks in the Tirupathi area - Peruru, and Avilala. . The above appeals were filed by a registered society called, the Intellectuals Forum, against the respondents herein. The contesting parties are the State of Andhra Pradesh represented by its Chief Secretary, Tirupathi Urban Development Authority represented by its Vice-Chairman and the A.P. Housing Board represented by its Vice-Chairman and Housing Commissioner. The present case relates to the preservation of and restoration of status quo ante of two tanks, historical in nature being in existence since the time of Srikrishnadevaraya, 1500 A.D. The tanks are called `Avilala Tank' and `Peruru Tank' which are situated in suburbs of Tirupathi Town which is a world renowned popular pilgrim centre having every day in-flow of tourists between one to two lakhs.


Summary of case presented by Appellants According to the appellant, the cry of socially spirited citizens calling for judicial remedy was not considered in the right perspective by the Division Bench of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh despite there being over-whelming evidence of the tanks being in existence and were being put to use not only for irrigation purpose but also as lakes which were furthering percolation to improve the ground water table, thus serving the needs of the people in and around these tanks. It was submitted that the High Court has given precedence to the economic growth by completely ignoring the importance and primacy attached to the protection of environment and protection of valuable and most cherished fresh water resources. The Government without considering the well planned development of Tirupathi town alienated the Tank bed lands in favour of some governmental agencies for valuable consideration. It was further submitted that since Tirupathi is in the draught prone region called Rayala Seema, there is always shortage of water and the District machinery is constantly put on alert for devising schemes for the purpose of improving the existing water resources. An Engineering Team which is assigned such a task had visited in and around the foot- hills of Tirupathi and Tirumala for the purpose of identifying sources of fresh water and suggestions to be given for their improvement. Team of Engineers suggested that improvement of feeder channels (Vagus) for Peruru tank and Avilala tank would improve the percolation of all the surrounding areas and that there is enough potential for the tanks to get enough water if the feeder channels are improved. It was also submitted by representation that the Commissioner of Land Revenue to retain Peruru tank and Avilala tank, since retention of water in the said tanks would improve the water table which is already very low in the surrounding wells and also to the east of the tanks before of gradients. In the meantime, the Government passed G.O. Ms. No. 181 - Revenue dated 15.3.1991 alienating an extent of 150 acres of land which belongs to the tank bed area of Peruru tank to Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (In short, TTD). The members of the appellant's forum as also the various other socially spirited citizens have written letters to various authorities of the Government requesting the said authorities including the Chief Minister not to alienate the tank bed areas of both the tanks for housing or for any other activity except for the purpose for which it is meant. However, the Government issued G.O. Ms. No. 84 - Revenue dated 28.1.1994 authorizing the District Collector, Chittoor to alienate 90 acres of land belonging to Avilala


tank bed area to A.P. Housing Board. This Government order further directed that the TUDA should provide a Master plan for the entire area of 170 acres so as to ensure integrated development of Avilala tank area. Summary of Respondents defence Mr. Anoop G. Chaudhary, learned senior counsel appearing for the State of Andhra Pradesh drew attention to National Remote Sensing Agency, Department of Space, report titled "Land use Land cover monitoring in TUDA area with special reference to Avilala tank and environs Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh" has conducted detailed study with the help of satellite imageries on Avilala tank over a period of time. In its report, it is stated that the tank in earlier days i.e. earlier to 1970 was drained mostly by natural springs located in the head of the region of the catchment. Over a period of time, the spring got dried up due to various geological factors with no source of surface flow. Also the small streams which were draining to the tank were disturbed and occupied, with the result the tank remained dry with part of it covered with scrub since 1976 onwards. It is also stated in the report that as per the satellite image of February, 2001 there are about 232 tanks identified in TUDA area. Most of the tanks are located along the foot hills of Tirumala hills and plains of Swarnamukhi river. Kalyani reservoir is the major one in the area. Considering the location as well as distribution about 20 tanks are identified for conservation and future development to meet the urban water requirement. However, other existing tanks may also be fenced and preserved to meet the future requirement. According to Mr. Chaudhary, there is nothing illegal in issuing in G.Os. It is not violating anybody's fundamental rights. An extent of 180 acres of land was tank bed land of Avilala tank. This tank was an abandoned tank ever since 1984 as the channel source of this tank was closed due to construction of Kalyani dam and because of lack of water this tank was no longer used for storage of water. As it was an abandoned tank and was no longer in existence and the land became plain and considering the matter and report of the District Collector, the Government issued orders in G.O. Ms. No. 691 - Revenue Department dated 10.7.1989 for alienating an extent of 90 acres of land to A.P. Housing Board for the purpose of rental Housing scheme for Government employees on payment of Rs. 1 lakh per acre by the Housing Board and before this land was alienated a notice was published in the village calling for objections by the Revenue authorities and no objections were received in


pursuance of the said notice. The Ayacutdars have also consented for the alienation of the land. Thereafter, after obtaining the opinion of the concerned Executive Engineer of the Irrigation Department and the report of the District Collector, the above Government Order was issued. Concluding his arguments, he submitted that there is ample material on record showing that these tanks were abandoned long back and they were no longer serving as water storage tanks more particularly, as their supply channels have been dried up. Brief Summary of the Judgement The Hble judge observed that the set of facts in the present case relates to the preservation of and restoration of status quo ante of two tanks, historical in nature being in existence since the time of Srikrishnadevaraya, The Great, 1500 A.D., where the cry of socially spirited citizens calling for judicial remedy was not considered in the right perspective by the Division bench of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh despite there being overwhelming evidence of the tanks being in existence and were being put to use not only for irrigation purpose but also as lakes which were furthering percolation to improve the ground water table, thus serving the needs of the people in and around these tanks. The Division Bench of the High Court, in the impugned order, has given precedence to the economic growth by completely ignoring the importance and primacy attached to the protection of environment and protection of valuable and most cherished fresh water resources. Taking into account all these principles of law, and after considering the competing claims of environment and the need for housing, this Court holds the following as per the facts of this case. On the facts of the present case, it seems that the respondents intend to build residential blocks of flat for High and Middle income families, institutions as well as infrastructure for the TTDS. If the proposed constructions are not carried on, it seems unlikely that anyone will be left homeless or without their basic need for shelter. Therefore, one feels that the right to shelter does not seem to be so pressing under the present circumstances so as to outweigh all environmental considerations. Another plea repeatedly taken by the respondents correspond to the money already spent on developing the land. However, the decision of this case cannot be based solely upon the investments committed by any party. Since, otherwise, it would seem that once any


party makes certain investment in a project, it would be a fait accompli and this Court will not have any option but to deem it legal. Therefore, under the present circumstances, the Court should do the most it can to safeguard the two tanks in question. However, due to the persistent developmental activities over a long time, much of the natural resources of the lakes has been lost, and considered irreparable. This, though regrettable, is beyond the power of this court to rectify. One particular feature of this case was the competing nature of claims by both the parties on the present state of the two tanks and the feasibility of their revival. We thought that it would be best, therefore, if we place reliance on the findings of the expert committee appointed by us which has considered the factual situation and the feasibility of revival of the two tanks. Thus in pursuance of a study of that committee, this Court passes the following orders. The appeals are disposed of with the following directions: No further constructions to be made. The supply channel of Bodeddula Vanka needs to be cleared and revitalized. A small check dam at Malapali to be removed to ensure the free flow and supply to the tank. Percolation tank to be constructed and artificial recharge to be done to ensure the revival of the tank, keeping in mind its advantage at being situated at the foot hills. The area allotted by Mandal Revenue Office for construction of the tank to be increased to a minimum of 50 acres. Percolation tank with sufficient number of recharge shafts to be developed to recharge the unsaturated horizons up to 20 m. The design of the shafts etc. to be prepared in consultation with the CGWB. The proposed percolation tank to be suitably located along the bund keeping in view the inlets, irrigation sluices and surplus water. Feasibility and cost estimation for the revival of the old feeder channel for Swarnamukhi River should be carried and a report to be submitted to the Court. Each house already constructed by the TTD must provide for roof top rain water harvesting. Abstraction from ground water to be completely banned. No borewell/ tubewell for any purpose to be allowed in the area.


Piezometers to be set up at selected locations, in consultation with the CGWB to observe the impact of rain water harvesting in the area on ground water regime.

Remarks This particular case features many highlights and the most prominent of them is the judicial intervention in favour of Environmental protection than Economic progress. Though the judgement agrees that the said tanks are not in proper condition to be used as percolation pits to improve the water table in the region but has given clear direction in restoration of the structures rather than constructing housing colonies. This judgement takes precedence from number of earlier environmental cases namely Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India, where their Lordships said, While economic development should not be allowed to take place at the cost of ecology or by causing widespread environmental destruction and violation; at the same time the necessity to preserve ecology and environment should not hamper economic and other developments. Both development and environment should go hand in hand, in other words, there should not be development at the cost of environment and vice versa, but there should be development while taking due care and ensuring the protection of the environment. The court further scrutinized the principle of "Inter-Generational Equity" has also been adopted while determining cases involving environmental issues. This Court in the case of A.P. Pollution Control Board v. Prof. M.V. Nayudu and Ors. held, The principle of intergenerational equity is of recent origin. The 1972 Stockholm Declaration refers to it in principles 1 and 2. In this context, the environment is viewed more as a resource basis for the survival of the present and future generations. Principle 1 - Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for the present and future generations.... Principle 2 - The natural resources of the earth, including the air, water, lands, flora and fauna and especially representative samples of natural ecosystems, must be safeguarded for the benefit of the present and future generations through careful planning or management, as appropriate.


Chapter 6 Conclusions and Recommendations

6.1 Conclusion Historians have described India as a hydraulic civilisation. Even when the British came to India about 250 years ago, there were a number of urban settlements built on riverbanks (Patna, Varanasi and Allahabad); and others built around tanks and lakes (Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bhopal). Tens of thousands of water structures of diverse technologies existed all over the country, with diverse management systems to ensure equitable and sustainable water supply to all. Structures built to trap and manage rainwater were specific to the terrain and meteorological conditions. Technologies were usually simple, and harnessed local materials and labour. Over time, rainwater harvesting structures were woven into the regions cultural and religious milieu as has been shown in Intellectual Forum v/s State of AP case study in chapter 5 and the historical importance of the two tanks in Tirupathi may have been instrumental in securing the courts judgement in the communitys favour. The history of water harvesting in India goes way back to Vedic times. Archeological excavations of the Indus Valley civilisation at Dholavira, dating back to 3000 B.C, in the Great Rann of Kutch, showed a sophisticated system for harvesting rainwater. This is the earliest example found anywhere in the world. This arid region had little rainfall, no perennial sources of water and the groundwater was brackish. The excavations showed stone bunds built across two streams to divert monsoon runoff through a network of drains into several large reservoirs built in the city. Several storm water drains also collected rainwater. Though India is well endowed in terms of rainfall, (annual average rainfall of 1160mm), this rainfall comes in just over 100 hours in the year which has been illustrated for Delhi in Chapter 3. Ancient India had learnt to plan for the remaining 8660 hours without any rain. In the hill and mountain regions, people diverted spring water into channels or dykes (kuls,guls, kuhals) to bring water for irrigation. In the arid central highlands and the western parts of the country, people dammed water from small catchments to moisten the soil and increase groundwater (khadins, johads, chaukas, pats). In the south they built a series of tanks to divert water from rivers (eris, keres). In the floodplains a system of canals and


reservoirs diverted surplus flood waters to be used later. In Madhya Pradesh, for instance, the invading Mughal rulers built a qanat in Burhanpur, to tap the groundwater aquifer. The potential of water harvesting is enormous as has been demonstrated in the two case studies of Jamia Hamdard University and Tihar jail in Chapter 2 and the model calculation for South and South West Delhi in Chapter 3. Dr. P.R. Pisharoty, eminent physical scientist in India, estimated that water captured in just 3% of the total land area of India would yield nearly 900 km3 of water even at collection efficiencies of 50-60%. Given the fact that the National Water Commission has estimated the total water demand of India in 2025 to be 1093 km3, you can understand the importance of capturing and using rainwater. It means that theoretically rainwater harvesting alone can fulfil almost the entire water demand of India even by 2025. The art and science of catching water where it falls is an ancient wisdom, but one which is dying. This traditional wisdom of catching and using rainwater was widespread across Asia and Africa, the most water-stressed regions today. This wisdom, if revived and reinforced with modern science and technological inputs, can help in meeting modern water needs. Governments across the world are following models of water development that focus on harnessing surface and groundwater that require huge investments in financial and technological resources. Today, research shows that much of these investments are, in fact, very inefficient or even counter productive. According to a UNEP report, in the top five irrigating countries of the world (India, China, USA, Pakistan and USSR) , almost 24% of the total land under irrigation was damaged due to salinization and over irrigation in the 1980s. Water withdrawals from rivers and underground reserves have grown by 2.5 to 3 percent annually since 1940. It is expected to grow by 10-12% every 10 years till 2025. For instance, Libya, uses 7 times more water annually for irrigation than it receives in rainfall by pumping "fossil" water from deep beneath the Sahara desert. India is using groundwater at twice the recharge rate, causing some water tables to fall by between 1 and 3 meters a year. In this scenario, harvesting rainwater makes eminent sense. For instance, in India, although there is a total precipitation of 4000 km3 annually, it loses almost 1700 km3 as evaporation, soil moisture etc, which can be captured and utilised. More importantly, the value of water harvesting lies in the fact that it need not be the responsibility of the governments, and it can be executed by communities using simple technologies and resources, available locally.


Traditional wisdom realised that every last man or woman not only has water needs, but can also contribute to the management of this resource. Water harvesting is a cooperative enterprise -- it serves to bring communities together. This thesis can be concluded with the statement that RWH is definitely one of the key strategies for addressing the water crisis situation in India, particularly the arid locations in India. Also, Indian states have adopted proactive policies and intensive based strategies for promoting RWH implementation. As seen from the examination of two recent cases, it can be concluded that Judiciary in India is very much keen on promotion and implementation of RWH and safeguard of Environmental Protection Laws are very prominent in the agenda.

6.2 Recommendations
It is no denying that sustaining and recharging the groundwater along with judicious use of the limited fresh water resources is the need of the hour. If sufficient measures are not taken up immediately, we will face a crisis which will be detrimental to the ver y survival of mankind. Efficient management of water resources and education about judicious utilisation of water resources along with measures of harnessing, recharging and maintaining the quality of water and water bodies has to be taken up on war footing. Keeping in view the requirement of water conservation in India, it is necessary to promote the scheme of Rain Water Harvesting in a big way through various electronic/mass media measures. RWH should not only encompass rooftop rainwater harvesting but also storm water harvesting systems. Storm water harvesting is yet to be acknowledged as a better alternative over rooftop water harvesting. One of the major hurdles in storm water harvesting is the poor state of storm water drain systems in India. A planned approach is hence needed in order to fully utilise the potential of rainwater to adequately meet our water requirements. Hence, an equal and positive thrust is needed in developing and encouraging both the types of water harvesting systems. We have to catch water in every possible way and every possible place it falls. Presently, the adoption of rain water harvesting by various societies/institutions etc are very limited. The objective of ground water recharging will be served in a better way if all the institutions (school, colleges, universities, academic institutions, hospitals etc),


office complexes, societies (Govt./Private) etc. which are covering large areas and having the scope of better rain water harvesting, adopt rain water harvesting. Also, it is more cost effective to install RWH for societies / communities than individual houses. Though it has been made mandatory to adopt rain water harvesting structures for the new buildings having area above 100 Sq. Mtrs, but it is practically not being implemented. In order to make this provision effective, the concerned building sanction plan authorities in India should be made responsible for implementing the scheme by making compulsory a RWH structure in such premises while sanctioning the building plan and also monitoring the implementation of the same by the concerned agency. Effectiveness of the scheme should be monitored by the competent authorities from time to time to achieve its desired goal. Simultaneously, the it should provide technical guidance for its proper maintenance wherever necessary. Before getting subsidy under the scheme of Rain Water Harvesting, the concerned RWAs/CGHS/institution has to enter into an agreement with the government to ensure proper maintenance of the RWH structure after its commissioning. It is evident that proper maintenance is not being made resulting the defeat the very purpose of the scheme. It is suggested that if proper maintenance of the RWH structure is not being made by the concerned RWAs/CGHS etc., a penalty may be imposed by competent authority or the concerned water supply agency. RWH should also include water conservation practices alongside water harvesting in its promotion and implementation. Also, there should be emphasis on making the RWH implementation sites self reliant so that government can cu down on the expenses of building and maintaining central water supplies. This will also ensure optimum usage of water considered the heavy losses incurred in water transportation owing to leaks and pilferages. Waste water treatment also should be emphasized in water harvesting programs to conserve our precious fresh water resources. Current waste water treatment methods and facilities are neither economically nor ecologically viable.


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