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Harvest rainwater from the roof tops

K. Lakshmi

Little awareness yet on putting method to use Initial investment may be a little higher, but residents will benefit directly



CONSERVING WATER: Roof water harvesting structure at the Centre for Water Resources of Anna University.

CHENNAI: : With another monsoon approaching, the significance of rainwater harvesting is back in focus.

Roof water harvesting is a simple method for harnessing rainwater. But awareness needs to be created among residents to put this method to proper use, said professors of Centre for Water Resources (CWR), Anna University.

Though the investment might be more than in the other methods, the residents would benefit from direct returns under this system, a professor said.

For lab experiments

The CWR adopted roof water harvesting two years ago and rainwater collected is used for hydraulic lab experiments.

K. Karunakaran, Director, CWR, said the water from the roof of the building is directed to the sumps through pumps.

The CWR has three sumps with a capacity of about 10 lakh litres.

The total roof area is 3,036 sq m, which yield an estimate annual roof water collection of 36.38 lakh litres or 9,967 litres every day.

The daily requirement of the CWR is about 2,000 litres, and the sumps have a storage of 2.5 lakh litres during rainy season. The water collected would last for about five months, said Dr. Karunakaran.

Roof area

The water collection might vary according to the roof area, said G. Ravikumar, assistant professor, CWR.

The centre has worked out the amount of water collection according to roof area and sump capacity.

While a 4,000 litres sump that receives water from 10 sq m roof will have water for two months, the total water collected in an 8,000 litres capacity sump will last for a year.

Postgraduate students of CWR have taken up various aspects of public awareness of rainwater harvesting for study.

A survey by A. Jebamalar at Padmavathy Nagar, located between Vadapalani and Virugambakkam, showed that only 70 per cent of the residents maintained rainwater harvesting structures by desilting and cleaning once a year.

Though residents were aware of the impact of such structures, they must be educated on structures suitable for different soil conditions, the study said.

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