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Rainwater Harvesting Workshop

Event Start Date:
15th May 2016
Event End Date:
15th May 2016
Event Venue:

Workshops for Sustainability and Equality in the City

Date, Time & Venue: Sunday, May 15, 2016, between 10.30 to 4.30 pm,  at La Makaan

Resource Persons: Subhash Reddy (Smaran) & Anant Krishna

The Problem

Like many big cities, Hyderabad has become unsustainable in many ways, the foremost problem being that of water. In theory, the size of a human settlement depends on the amount of water available. These could be rivers, lakes or dug wells. So cities came up near rivers and/or an area where natural lakes were abundant. These were often supplemented with dug wells – both at individual homes and at community levels. Water was carried by individuals or with the help of horse/bullock carts.

With industrial revolution a lot of changes came, particularly in the last hundred years, with the availability of electricity and cheap petrol. Pumping of water in storage tanks at a height and piped water became the norm. With the availability of water the city began to expand. The real estate industry destroyed many tanks and built residential complexes. Hyderabad has practically destroyed all lakes that provided drinking water. Today it is totally dependent on deep tube wells and pumped water from Manjira, Krishna and Godavari rivers. This year the water from Manjira has dried up. The experts are saying that we need three years of good rain to recharge the ground water. The city is on the verge of collapse.

Finally, it is a very unfair situation. Richer colonies are able to order tankers whereas the poor people have to depend on very limited water. This year even this situation has worsened. They are ordering 12,000 tankers a day whereas the supply is only 5000.

The Solution

The obvious short term solution is to carry out rain water harvesting to recharge ground water. This will also help in the long term.

The basic principle of water harvesting, is to harvest every drop of water that falls on your roof through drain pipes. There can be three objectives:

  1. a) Recharging ground water: direct roof top water to a soak pit: design of soak pit.
  2. b) Daily use: direct roof top water to a sump/ tank through appropriate filter; excess water to go to soak pit: design for sand filter, other filters.
  3. c) Drinking water: direct roof top water to a tank through appropriate filters.

Another activity that will help in the long term is to plant trees. Trees will also provide fodder and fuel in future.

What should we do now?

I. Policy level
–In the crisis situation today there should be a water use audit. All unnecessary water use should be stopped or drastically reduced – golf courses, cricket pitches, lawns of clubs and rich people’s gardens.

–Water should be available equitably. There should be a water rationing – 140 litres per person per day. Drinking water should be separated and only 5 litres per person per day will be sufficient.

–Water harvesting should be carried out in all government and defense/cantonment areas. They should spend it from their budget and generate employment.

Community level
–Propagate the benefit of water harvesting through any local association -youth club, housing society, old peoples club etc.

–Carry on water harvesting structure in your own house and those of your friends who feel committed. This will be a good demonstration

–Organise local meetings with water harvesting experts and help individual private houses to carry out water harvesting structures. These should be paid by house hold themselves. This will ensure good quality and reduce corruption. As far possible make the activity in groups so that group members draw support from each other.

–Carry out local tree plantation programme.

The Workshop

The workshop will discuss these issues in greater details with the help of resource persons who are local experts from Hyderabad on these issues. They will present the issues with concrete and accurate data about Hyderabad water problems, its history of mismanagement and other related issues. There will also be activists group who propagate, practice and build rain water harvesting structures. They will present their solutions and the difficulties they have faced and the successes they have achieved.

The outcome of the workshop will be to empower the participants in their actions. It will also produce a booklet and a manifesto on the issue.


The participants will be activists preferably below 40 years of age and who are actively working at the community level for improving the city in terms of sustainability and equality. They can be working both at the level of community initiatives and at local policy levels. Participants are expected to have commitment to carry out RWH in their own house and try to persuade 5 such location to carry out RWH in their locality.

Resource Persons

  1. Subhash Reddy – SMARAN NGO-Save Rain Water

Mobile: 09440055253 Email: “Save Rain Water” saverainwater@gmail.com

  1. Anant Krishna


Mayank Ale, Email: mayank.ale@gmail.com, Mob: 9347611763
T. Vijayendra, Email: t.vijayendra@gmail.com, Mob: +91 94907 05634

Learn more about Ecologise Hyderabad


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