"Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes - one for peace and one for science."
John F. Kennedy
Water is a basic requirement for all life, yet water resources are facing more and more demands from, and competition among, users. President Kennedy has expressed the crisis of water in the above said lines so beautifully. According to World Water Council “While the world's population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold. Within the next fifty years, the world population will increase by another 40 to 50 %. This population growth - coupled with industrialization and urbanization - will result in an increasing demand for water and will have serious consequences on the environment.” India, one of the many countries has also been facing serious water crisis. “The Union budget of 2005-06 had given the impression that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had a plan to promote water conservation and management.” (Tanwar, Ritu)
Situation in urban India:
The urban India faces a very ironical situation today. One side it faces acute water crisis and on the other hand during monsoons it is over flooded. This is due to negligence with the quality and quantity of groundwater. The cities receive ample amount of rainfall but it is short spell of high intensity. Because of the short duration most of the rain falling on surface seeps through quickly leaving very little recharge for groundwater. Capturing the run off is one of the solutions been incorporated in some cities.
Technological determinism is a reductionist doctrine that a society's technology determines its cultural values, social structure, or history. In India in the rural areas the practice of rain water harvesting has always been there. The families collect the rain water which is then used for household purposes. But in the urban areas the cities the technology is quite new. This is because people living in the cities have a busier lifestyle. Even the space available is very limited. The space factor is also a main concern their. As the population is increasing so is the space getting scarce. As a result now the houses are replaced with sky touching apartments.
Coming from the “City of Taj” the following research essay of mine is going to examine the current urban life style in one of the cities in India, Agra, and “How rain water harvesting can be implemented in the urban lifestyle and be a step towards conserving water?”
Rain Water Harvesting:
Rain water harvesting is enjoying a renaissance in today’s times. Evidence of rain water harvesting can be traced from biblical times. Extensive rain water harvesting apparatus existed 4000 years ago in the Palestine and Greece. In ancient Rome, residences were built with individual cisterns and paved courtyards to capture rain water to augment water from city's aqueducts. As early as the third millennium BC, farming communities in Baluchistan and Kutch impounded rain water and used it for irrigation dams. (http://www.tn.gov.in/dtp/rainwater.htm)
Rain water harvesting is a process in which the rain water is collected and stored in an underground reservoir. There are two main techniques of rain water harvestings.
Storage of rainwater on surface for future use.
Recharge to ground water.
Rain water harvesting is imperative. It can be a very important step in conserving water. The personal consumption of the individual families can be minimized if they start using this technique. If every family utilizes the technology the world’s water problem can be minimized reasonably. The benefits of rain water harvesting and Artificial Recharge in Urban Areas can be summarized as follows:
Improvement in infiltration and reduction in run-off.
Improvement in groundwater levels and yields.
Improvement in groundwater quality