Sunday, 20 July 2014

Suncity Apartment in Bangalore on Cloud9 for water needs!

'Suncity Apartment' in Bangalore on Cloud9 for water needs!

High rise buildings have been popping up as consequent outcome of rapid economic development and urbanization. Bangalore is a distinctive city known for its canopy of lush trees that not only serve as homes to the fauna around but make the new high rises, less of an eye sore.  Nonetheless there aren’t any adjoining rivers to provide for the city’s growing population. There are several thousand families that migrate into the city each year; consequently there isn’t a water source to gratify the growing dearth. Land sharks have encroached existing lakes to set up residential buildings with high density living. High rise buildings offer homes to the new populace but fail to provide the families with an adequate supply of year round water. Increased water consumption is a great concern to the city. It is predicted that nearly half of the city’s population will have to be inevitably evacuated by 2023 if not for immediate measures to make the city more eco-sustainable! With no customary sources such as rivers and glaciers to meet the growing needs of the city, new means of water supply has to be established.
 At 11 stories high, the Suncity apartment is just another residential building with shortage of water for its 5000 residents. The Suncity apartment has been constructed on parts of the Belandur and Iblur Lake with no appropriate water supply. Excessive rains cause flooding in the apartment due to poor management of water. Sandeep Singh, a resident, weary of purchasing water from 120 tankers every day, proposed to take up Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) to counter the lack of water supply in the building.
  “We were in great need of an alternative as a BWSSB connection to get Cauvery water would cost us 2 crore rupees. We had resorted to spending about 50,000 rupees every day for the water we import from tankers”, he said.
On researching the internet, he found abundant data on the KSCST website, which gave Sandeep a deeper view into the working of harvesting. Inspired by it, Sandeep approached the RWH helpdesk at KSCST in assistance. “The RWH team conducted an awareness campaign for my fellow residents on the importance of conservation and judicious use of it. The simplicity to harvesting rainwater had impressed us all. There was an overwhelming response to the idea. The RWH team provided us with a plan and every one of us contributed to build 3 large sumps and an over head tank of 35,000 litre capacity. Ever since the number of tankers has been reduced to 80 from 120! ”, he said. Although Rainwater only augments to the water supply, it has made a big difference to these residents.
  “We have implemented RWH to the 15 out of 20 blocks in our apartment. The sumps for each are interconnected and have been filtered using First Flush Lock (FFL), ensuring the quality of the water. The water from tankers along with the harvested water suffices the need of 1200 families. With RWH, 35% of our water problems have been resolved. Although RWH can suffice only a part of our needs, it can be used for domestic purposes without any treatment.

 We have used FFLs and pebble bed filters to keep it clean. AR Shivakumar and the RWH team were instrumental and the residents of Suncity are extremely grateful to the technical yet practical assistance that we have received” he explained. For a heavy rain of 2hrs, 40000 liters of water gets collected in a day. During the rainy season they save about 30-40 water tankers per day.
Water problems are faced by many and RWH is the ideal solution. Intense demand for housing inside the city and the acute shortage of available land leads to building taller structures that provide cheaper homes than independent housing. This leads to increased water consumption in a concentrated area and is a great concern in view of its impact on the ground water table of the region. Green buildings, eco-architecture and partially sustainable buildings are an answer to achieve a favourable and healthy living environment and optimum use of harvested rainwater is a way of alleviating the existing water scarcity problems.

Story by: Bhargavi, Sachin & Abinitha S Kumar

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Mr Shivakumar has several publications and significant number of patents, which are under commercial exploitation to benefit the society. His research experience spans over several fields and areas in applied sciences. He has a "National Award" to his credit, awarded by the Union Government of India in the year 2001 for one of his innovations. He was awarded the "Citizen Extraordinary" by Rotary International in the year 2007. The First Innovation award "Ammulya 2012" for two of his patents was awarded by Government of Karnataka in addition to other state awards and recognitions.