Rainwater Harvesting Techniques

Rain Water Harvesting For Kerala Homes

In spite of 44 rivers and the world’s largest well density, the per capita surface and groundwater availability in our state of Kerala is lower than that of the comparatively dry states of India. Be it urban areas or villages, the issue of water scarcity is not an uncommon one. It is becoming a widespread issue  in Kerala that it has raised much concern in the recent times.

Therefore, most people are on the lookout for options that will help them tackle this issue. The best option for this is to tap the bountiful mercy of nature during the monsoon season. Yes, Rainwater harvesting is gaining popularity over the years. Even if a small fraction of the rainwater escaping into the sea is harvested, it can solve the scarcity of fresh water in the summer months to a very large extent.

Rainwater harvesting

Most people in Kerala own small plots. On taking an average, the plots owned by Keralites vary between 10-12 cents or lesser in area. After countless years of hard work, this is where they manage to build their “Dream Home”. Often, the house occupies most of the plot area. Therefore, there is not enough land around the house which will effectively absorb the rainwater.

However, ensuring maximum absorption of rainwater is the best way to replenish ground water. Rainwater harvesting involves effective utilization of the rainwater to solve the problem of water scarcity. In spite of the lack of space, it is still possible to maximize the absorption of rainwater. This is done by adopting efficient rainwater harvesting techniques. These techniques enhance the rainwater absorption by the ground. Thus, there is an automatic improvement in the level of available groundwater.

Moreover, improper absorption of rainwater often leads to the formation of puddles around the house. This is dangerous, considering that they form a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Especially since mosquitoes are responsible for diseases like dengue, malaria etc. Thus, rainwater harvesting also makes your surroundings safer.

The Government of Kerala has made Roof Water Harvesting systems mandatory for new houses in Corporation, Municipal and Special Grade Panchayats.

Rainwater Harvesting Techniques

Even if you own a plot which has an area smaller than 5 cents, there are many rainwater harvesting techniques that can be easily executed. Following are a few techniques that you could easily adopt.

Utilizing the rainwater that falls on the roof

This method involves using the rainwater which falls on the roof. Channeling this rainwater into the well by an efficient mechanism recharges the wells and yields quick results. The rainwater must be filtered by an effective filtering technique before it is allowed to flow into the well. This rainwater harvesting technique is easy as well as cost-effective. It only requires a good filtering mechanism and a few pipes of the required quality.  This is an ideal
solution suitable for  the midland regions and also helps in controlling saline intrusion in the coastal areas.

Landscaping for better water absorption

Leaving out the car porch, you may plant the remaining area around the house with grass, or landscape it as per preference. Alternatively, you could also plant herbs or shrubs. This will naturally enhance the water absorption by the soil and hence replenish the groundwater. Therefore, it reduces the chances of water scarcity as well. This option has an added advantage of enhancing the visual appeal of the plot. However, remember to select a grass type that suits the climatic conditions of your area. Otherwise, the grass may require additional watering in the summers.

Development of Rain Pits

In urban homes, an effective utilization of a system of slabs and grills will allow absorption of rainwater. This system will also avoid puddling up of water. This technique mainly requires one or two slabs and a few pipes. Usually, pipes which are about eight inches wide and one foot tall are used. These pipes are fixed on to the slab. Additionally, you may also use a filter to avoid unwanted particles from flowing into the pipe.

To execute this technique, develop a pit in the ground such that it suits the size of the slab. You may seal the sides and edges of this pit using bricks and cement to avoid the soil from running off. Place the slab above the pit and allow the water to flow in through the pipe. This will allow the rainwater to seep into the ground and which will hence replenish the groundwater.

Car porch with rain pits

It is possible to effectively utilise the area which forms the car porch to replenish groundwater. You may create square-shaped rain pits similar to the one mentioned above. However, you will have to use slabs which are thicker and stronger as this area also has to function as a car porch. This technique may be slightly expensive when compared with other options. However, it is possible to implement this technique in any space irrespective of its size.If you have already set up bore wells, you could develop pits around it to allow the rainwater to seep in effectively and thus replenish this source.

Water scarcity is definitely an issue of increasing concern. Therefore, it is always wise to look out and adopt techniques which will save you the trouble in the near future. Consider all the available options and select the technique which will yield the best results in the specific plot.

Plan for rainwater harvesting even before you start constructing your house. Call us to know more about the options.

Reference

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