People lining up for water is a common scene in the big cities of India and it is the time of the year for water tanker owners to earn high profits as they will be in a position to demand high prices from the people who are fighting with the problem of water scarcity.
However, there is one man from Bengaluru who has not even taken a water connection from the state water department and not paid a single penny for water bills for more than two decades now but he has never faced any scarcity of water.
Despite heavy/ satisfactory rains, the country continuously faces the problem of water scarcity but as per A R Shivakumar, if water is managed properly and rainwater harvesting is done in a planned manner, no city in the country will suffer water crisis.
Shivakumar, who works as a senior scientist at the Karnataka State Council of Science and Technology (KSCST) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), has been fulfilling his and his family’s water requirements through RWH only for over 20 years now.
He has done a comprehensive research on this subject and invented some tools too in order to simplify the process at his home. He has also collaborated with the local departments for making RWH famous in Bengaluru.
Shivakumar started constructing his house in 1995 and the first thing that he focused on was to satisfy the needs of his family without bringing any harm to the environment. Firstly, he examined the water bills of his neighbors to find out how much water is needed for an average family. What he calculated was exactly matching to the water consumption norms given by WHO, as per which on an average, 500 ltr water is used by a family of four daily. His next move was examining the rainfall data of Bengaluru for the last 100 years and he was surprised to see that the city had always received enough rainfall for the year, even when the monsoon was less than normal.
“I did some calculations and realized that the gap between two good rains is seldom more than 90 to 100 days. So I built a series of RWH tanks that could store almost 45,000 litres of water to ride over these 100-odd days. Also, to ensure that a motor was not needed, I stored the water on the rooftops to avoid it being sent down and pumped up again.”
Shivakumar has also made filter equipment to be fitted in these tanks. These filters are known as Pop-Up Filter and they have been patented in his name. Before the water is used for consumption, this filter removes all the impurities. Shivakumar has also made ‘First Flush Lock and Diverter’ for big buildings and they serve the same purpose as Pop-Up Filter.