By S. Vishwanath
A rainwater harvesting theme park has been set up to demonstrate how citizens can implement rainwater systems and conform to the law that has placed a deadline of December 31 on all applicable buildings in Bangalore (India).
Located in the southern part of the city, on 40th Cross, 5th Block, Jayanagar, the Sir M.Visvesvariah rainwater harvesting theme park is a wonderful gift of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board to the city. Spread over an acre the park displays all that is good about water, the specific situation of Bangalore city and what can be done by any citizen to help the city on the issue.
Faced with a water crisis of enormous proportions the city has been responding in many ways. One of them is to bring another 500 million litres of water per day in what could be the last and final stage of the Cauvery water supply scheme. Finding this water needing to be supplemented the city utility has also got passed a law making rainwater harvesting compulsory. The rainwater theme park has been set up to demonstrate how citizens can go about implementing rainwater systems and conform to the law that has placed a deadline of December 31, 2011, on all applicable buildings.
Many ideas and working models
The theme park shows the many ideas by which rainwater can be harvested, from rain barrels to above-the-ground storage tanks to recharge structures for the shallow aquifer and deeper borewells. Porous pavements, landscapes appropriate to the city and even a rain gauge which shows how to measure rainfall are all on display.
The four recharge wells on site, of a depth of just 20 ft. and made of concrete rings, already have water in them. One of the wells actually has potable water which shows the potential of rainwater harvesting in a city with close to five lakh borewells.
Various types of filters are on display all around the building and the best part is that these are working models which show how they can be installed and maintained.
An exhibition hall has many posters and working models showing fun things such as each individual's body mass of water, how to use water efficient taps, and a rooftop rainwater harvesting model which shows the rain becoming usable water in a house.
A state-of-the-art auditorium shows films on the theme of water and its conservation. School children especially are encouraged to visit the park to have fun and learn about the situation of water in Bangalore and what each of us can do to ensure its sustained availability.
Four young engineers of the BWSSB sit in the help desk at the park and are prepared to show visitors around and explain all facilities on site to the curious. They are also able to provide design help at the help desk and put one in touch with trained plumbers from the particular locality to help implement rainwater harvesting solutions.
A consortium of people and institutions has come around to make the first of its kind in India rainwater theme park possible. Bangalore is lucky to have one more such display at the Planetarium and one at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Renewable Energy Development at Jakkur.
A visit to the rainwater theme park is recommended as a must for parents with children, for school, for resident welfare associations and all those citizens concerned with Bangalore's environment and sustainability.