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Chennai residents harvest 25,000 litres of rain water in an hour to tackle water scarcity

While the entire nation is battling with the problem of water scarcity, it would be no wrong to say that Southern India state Tamil Nadu is one of the worst hit this year. The situation, according to experts, has worsened in the wake of soaring temperature, dearth of rainfall, drying up of reservoirs, wells, lakes and delayed monsoon.

In order to deal with the situation, the Koda family, who live in Sabari Terrace, an apartment complex located along Chennai’s IT corridor, have comeup with the initiative of rain water harvesting.

The 56 family’s staying in the complex now use only rain water for three months a year asthere is no piped water supply in this area. When the parched city received its first showers on Saturday, families collected thirty thousand litres in a little over an hour by harvesting every drop of rain from their 25,000 square foot terrace.

According to few media reports, rainwater harvesting system in the housing complex was set up by Rain Centre, a Chennai-based NGO. The building’s terraces are connected to let rainwater into two tanks of 3,000 litre capacity each, where water is allowed to stay to allow mud and solid particles to settle down.

“When we recharge ground water we have to wait for six months for it to get into our wells to use that water. But on OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road), where there is no piped water, we need water now. So if it rains today we collect the water and in two hours we get to use. Thirty thousand litres means we save around Rs. 5,000,” Harsha Koda, who is the prime mover of the project and also Secretary of the residents association, said.

His wife, Prabha Koda, highlights the potential of this method of rainwater harvesting.

“From every square foot of terrace surface area we can take one litre of water if it rains for an hour. It’s as simple. We have a 25,000 square foot terrace and we get at least 25,000 litres in an hour. If there’s a three-hour downpour we collect one lakh litres, completely filling up our tanks with rain water sufficient for the 56 flats for three days,” she explains.

Residents across the cities are now inspired by the Sabari Terrace complexs’ success in rainwater harvesting and trying their best to emulate the same model to beat the water crisis that has gripped the city.

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