The capturing and storing of rainwater goes back thousands of years to when we first started to farm the land and needed to find new ways of irrigating crops. In hotter climates, catching that intermittent rainfall often meant the difference between life and death for communities.
Even civilisations in the Indus Valley were far more advanced than we may think nowadays. In many of the ancient cities that still remain, we can still find huge vats that were cut into the rock to collect water when there was torrential rainfall. These were used to keep the population and local vegetation going in hotter, dryer times and were fed by numerous stone valleys that weaved their way through the city.
Some of these rock vats are still used today in parts of India.
During the time of the Roman Empire, rainwater collection became something of an art and science, with many new cities incorporating state of the art technology for the water harvesting. The Romans were masters at these new developments and great progress was made right up until the 6th Century AD and the rule of Emperor Caesar. One of the most impressive rainwater harvesting constructions can be found in Istanbul in the Sunken Palace which was used to collect rainwater from the streets above. It’s so large that you can sail around it in a boat.
India may be some way behind in our rainwater recycling, the rest of the world has been embracing it more and more in recent years. The UK sustainable homes policy now argues that houses should have an underground tank that can be used to collect rainwater for various washing tasks. Most new builds in China and Brazil now incorporate rooftop rainwater harvesting technology.
In many states in the US, until recently, rainwater harvesting was actively discouraged but new legislation is beginning to come in to make it possible for individual houses to incorporate the technology to save water for their homes.
In Israel, they are beginning to install rainwater harvesting devices in schools as a way of teaching kids the value of water conservation and in South Africa research is well under way to find new ways of employing catchment technology.
Many countries, including India, are making it law to be greener when it comes to conservation of water resources. In India the water harvesting has many traditional names like Talibs which are medium to large sized reservoirs that provide irrigation for plants as well as drinking, Johads that are dams that are used to capture and keep rainwater, Baoris which are wells dug into the ground that are often still used for drinking & Jhalaras which are the specially constructed tanks that are used for the local community and religious purposes.
About 600 million Indians are facing problem due to extreme stress over clean water access, according to the Composite Water Resources Management report by Niti Aayog. But we can extend our hand to save water with Rain water harvesting that will help in water conservation.
Hindustan Zinc Rain Harvesting Projects
As a responsible corporate, Hindustan Zinc understands that rain water harvesting is an important measure for water conservation. Hindustan Zinc has installed rainwater harvesting system in Udaipur, SK Mines, and Kanti & Paroli villages in Chittorgarh.
Rainwater Harvesting at all sites are used to reuse surface run-off to process as a supplement to fresh water. The percentage of run-off area achieved for rain water harvesting is 51.8 %. This is done through a network of pipes which is connected to an existing bore well, that recharges ground water. Recharging ground water increases the water level in the sites. Based on the conclusions of a study on the complete location by the Project Team, a rainwater harvesting plant is set up within the Hindustan Zinc business locations.
When you have over 200,000 people dying every year due to drinking water shortage, every drop that we waste should remind us of millions of people who wait for many hours to collect highly limited drinking water. When water saved is water produced, let us find ways to save water. As a business, our townships should have provision for water harvesting, at least to maintain greenery in the colony.
“Manthan”, an initiative by Hindustan Zinc, is a series of stories to bring awareness about various concerns like air pollution, water pollution, plastic pollution, noise pollution, climate change, road safety and wildlife protection.