Pune Real Estate
Kishor Pate CMD - Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd
Pune’s landlocked topography has made water a ultimately precious resource. Water crisis is becoming a serious issue both at the national and global levels, and in cities like Pune the situation has reached a flash point. The city is seeing a constant influx of migrant population seeking employment in the city’s several industries.
Simultaneously, shallow lands are fast getting covered with landfills, and this has been reducing the number of water bodies available to the city’s residents. Deforestation has been another prime reason for the compounded water scarcity. While forests are being rapidly leveled for new avenues of construction, rainfall patterns too are shifting and getting unpredictable.
In the coming years, the bulk of the global population will be shifting to urban locations. This calls for a rapid development in real estate, and will also bring with it a high demand for natural resources like water. Limited land necessitates the development of multi-storied residential buildings, and water is required for both the construction and maintenance of these building apart from providing for the daily necessities.
We know that the earth’s surface is 70% water. However, only a small portion of it is drinkable and mostly comes from fresh water sources like lakes, rivers and our underground water table. Rapid urban growth and rise in population will usher in a severely parched future in a scenario where water is needed for everything, ranging from farming to drinking to construction.
The only real solution available for regions like Pune is rainwater harvesting. Rainwater harvesting is getting more popular as a means to fight resource scarcity and is being increasingly practiced in both rural and urban areas. The process involves collecting, filtering and storing rainwater to meet many residential and industrial needs. The equipment too is simple and includes collection funnels, filter units and storage tanks.
Rainwater is the cleanest source of freely available potable water. Practiced in urban residential projects, rainwater harvesting will be able to meet almost 50% of the city’s water needs. Households as well as commercial buildings can save a lot on their water bills. Harvesting rainwater is not just about maximum utilization of a freely available resource but also about minimizing the impact of urban development on our natural surroundings. In fact, failure to harvest rainwater results not only in the obvious loss of a precious resource but also in heavy soil erosion.
The several advantages associated with rainwater harvesting include:
Reduced demand for ground water
The water supply in urban homes comes from reservoirs that are fed by lakes and rivers. Treatment plants and pumping station also pump out the ground water, gradually reducing the available amount.
For a city like Pune that is seeing tremendous residential and industrial growth, water for non-drinking purposes can readily come from rainwater.
Backup water supply
Rainwater harvesting can be insurance for times when the regular water supply has been compromised. With climate change taking a major toll on the availability of naturally available water, rainwater can be of use during times of drought. Pune and Mumbai, in particular, must resort to rainwater harvesting on a war footing.
Low-lying areas like Pune and Mumbai can fight the chances of flooding by harvesting large volumes of rainwater. Rainwater harvesting, therefore, meets the needs of the environment and ensures that the city is less affected by chemicals that run off from our farms into our rivers.
Ease of implementation
A rainwater harvesting setup is easy to install and maintenance is not a big challenge. The purest form of water, rainwater also does not need very complicated purifying devices to meet our primary needs.
While the tools for rainwater harvesting can be used by anyone, there are some important facts to remember:
- Identification of catchment areas that include terraces, car parking, roads and other concrete surfaces
- Installation of gutters with filtration system that blocks debris on the outside
- Channels that ensure a smooth flow to the storage system
- Safety precautions against any kind of contamination, including the breeding of mosquitoes
Increasing support from the government
The incumbent Indian govt has been rightly focusing on the water scarcity problem, and as a result has been facilitating several plans for rainwater harvesting. New apartment projects are now by law required to have rainwater harvesting systems in place and in several regions.
India’s Center for Science and Environment (CSE) is also creating programs to raise awareness. It has been supporting several NGOs, consultancies and companies to educate people.