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Water conservation initiatives in Sumadhura Shikharam

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Mr Abishek Anand, from Sumadhura Shikharam, Bangalore, winner of the Rise High awards for water management talked about problems of water in East Bangalore. He talked about how through a door to door awareness campaigns with kids in the forefront has helped. Communication of water-related facts and issues, nozzles put on taps to reduce the water flow has brought down water consumption by around 50% and they are a zero tanker dependent society now.

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Water conservation initiatives in Sumadhura Shikharam

  1. 1. Category : Water Management Winner : Sumadhura Shikharam, Bangalore Presented for ADDA Rise High Awards 2018
  2. 2. WATER CONSERVATION INITIATIVES We all know that Bangalore has been majorly dependent on Cauvery water for its drinking needs. With a supply of 900 Million litres approx. per day against a demand of 1.3 billion litres per day, it becomes a responsibility of each one of us to use every drop of water judiciously. We all used the word "Conservation" in our daily lives but how many of us have actually executed any thing close to it. The same was the situation we were staring at too; since we are all individual, but the difference was that we were 400 individuals. Sumadhura Shikharam Apartment which was commissioned in December'2016 is a new society with about 400 apartments & and a resident base of > 1000 people with water consumption of approx. 200 Thousand Litres/day and is suppose to rise each day more so during summer season. The major concern was it creates dependency to water tankers for drinking needs with avg. of 30-40 Tankers per day (cost up- to Rs.48000/day) & regular digging of existing bore wells for common area water supply.
  3. 3. PROBLEM AREA: It was during September’2017 last when a group of active volunteers started a campaign to ensure the society is greatly self-dependent for all its water needs & a step to set a right example for other apartments in the Kadugodi-Seegehalli area to follow. We went around finding the existing resources that we had like number of bore wells / Cauvery water connection possibility / rain water harvesting pits / reduction of water usage and also studied some conservation efforts followed in other locations and understood that not everything is under our control. But one thing we had was the control over the consumption & wasteful usage of water. We also went around few start ups and understood that mix of awareness and technology will be the right answer. After a decent field study & getting to know the measures which the experts suggest were basically; Check for leaks ~ A lot of water is lost per day due to leaks in things like common area pipes, faucets & toilets. Upgrade to water-efficient fixtures ~ Instead of just fixing fixtures for leaks, installing water-efficient fixtures like low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets is one of the best ways to conserve water. Do not leave the water on unnecessarily ~ daily tasks such as shaving and hand & face wash need water, but closing the faucets in between activity saves many litre. Recycle ~ This may not seem like a way to conserve water, but we need to understand that single litre of water used for more than 1 purpose is equal water saved. Use water-consuming machines to their maximum capacities ~ Use the washing machine or dishwasher when loads are full.
  4. 4. IMPLEMENTATION & LOCAL BODY SUPPORT: We discussed with aerator vendor to join hands for a demo setup and also asked the builder (Sumadhura) & local body (Seegehalli Panchayat) to help us plan the campaign to create awareness which they duly agreed to implement with below measures; ~ We started a 30 days campaign (door to door / notice boards / Social media / demo by the ECO vendor / single point registration camp) to educate the residents on benefits of Aerators to be installed in Washroom / Kitchen tap & also discussed the cost implication with the local vendor. Cost was approx. 120/piece which was negotiated to around 80/piece. The foam based Aerators reduces the water outflow from 10 - 12 Ltrs per Minute (LPM) to 3 LPM. This has helped us save approx. 20 Litres/day per family which converts into 7640 Litres/day. This has helped us 2 ways, One by reducing the tap water flow in kitchen & washrooms by 60% and Second by reducing the burden to STP plants as comparably lesser water is treated in the plant. ~ As a follow up, we also started posting the avg. water consumption details per family on weekly basis on Whatsapp group to ensure greater participation & motivation to the others. ~ The volunteer team also worked with Builder (Sumadhura) to ensure Rain water pits were increased from 4 No's to 6 No's and with minor changes like Pit size increased to 3 Ft diameter & 12 Ft depth & minor routing changes to ensure ground level water is enriched to a greater extend and the bore well get sufficient water to pump.
  5. 5. IMPLEMENTATION & LOCAL BODY SUPPORT:~ There were 19 outlet taps in ground & basement floors mostly used for common errands with no meter mechanism to control the outflow & mostly used by vendors, 15 were connected to STP lines & labeled accordingly. These are now mostly used to wash materials, Housekeeping cleaning, Garbage Bins cleaning, gardening, etc. ~ It was very important to spread the message outside the society to other communities so we also had a plantation drive both inside & outside the campus with saplings of approx. 45 fruit bearing trees & others like Neem / Gulmohar / etc to ensure the soil is firm and balances water table. The panchayat President & his team along with Builder and residents of society actively participated. The Kadugodi Forest Dept also helped us by providing sampling at reduced prices & amount for each tree sapling was donated by residents. The kids were at forefront in the planting of tress to ensure they learn the environmental impact and ensure the learning is spread to all.
  6. 6. IMPACT: We need to understand that these are long terms measure and do not yield results overight. There could be few short term objectives met but the measures have to be continued with focus to attain the long term goals; ~ But is short span of 4-6 months, we have been able to reduce the overall ground water consumption from 200K litre/day to approx.130K litre/day, ~ We have sustained without a single tanker required till date by the society (society ageing is 2 years) & 80% occupied society, ~ STP water usage has been increased by adding more taps for gardening / washing of Bins / Basement Cleaning /etc & the ground water is being recycled too, ~ The soil is also holding more water due to plantation of more tress which gets percolated down the layers and keeps the water table in tact. ~ Awareness campaigns with kids in the forefront, which is a small step to ensure the future generation is aware of the shortcomings.

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