Monday, 28 March 2016

"RWH Advisor" at your fingertips - web or mobile phone

Project of UNESCO and KSCST - “Do it Yourself RWH tool”


Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) is providing S & T solutions for the benefit of the society and in the last four decades, KSCST has worked on water issues leading to conservation of water and rainwater harvesting.

Understanding the importance of domestic water use and its growing demand, KSCST researched on Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) and developed technological solutions to adopt RWH with scientific interventions.
Large scale awareness campaigns, training programmes for building and plumbing contractors and helpdesk for providing cost effective as well as site specific solutions for harvesting rainwater were made available  for the citizens of Karnataka.

RWH structures were designed, developed and implemented for land mark buildings like Vidana Soudha, High Court of Karnataka and over 350 public and private institutions.

KSCST is instrumental in bringing policy changes at the Government of Karnataka to incorporate RWH in the building bylaws of BBMP and an amended act of BWSSB for mandatory installation of RWH in buildings of Bangalore city.

UNESCO strives to build networks among nations and mobilizes partnerships and resources for education: so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development. It strives to build intercultural understanding: through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal values. It pursues scientific cooperation: such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies. finally, it protects freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity and strives to create knowledge societies.

One of its activities, ICT and sciences, is designed to leverage the power of information and communication technologies to bring science closer to the reach of common men and women and generate solutions to solve problems of scientific nature.

Taking note of the success stories of RWH through KSCST interventions in Karnataka and other state, UNESCO joined hands with KSCST to develop a software application to provide RWH solutions through web and mobile phone across the country.

RWH - UNESCO and KSCST project :

A letter of exchange was established between UNESCO and KSCST in  Feb 2015.
KSCST and UNESCO thus collaborated with a few other institutions and experts to develop a  “DOIT YOURSELF RWH tool”. This application has the potentiality to address most of the needs of a prospective candidate planning to install a RWH system. The front end of the tool provides query sheet to enter the basic and available information,  and the back end of the software processes data collected from many relevant sources. The output generated  provides sufficient information and scientific understanding required for the installation of a sustainable, site-specific and cost effective RWH system. The application is available on web and also on Android platform for mobile phones.

The RWH concepts revolve around local parameters, the rainfall pattern, local practices for water collection and storage, types of buildings and their structure, ground water parameters, geological details, soil characteristics, building materials, quality of existing ground and surface water and many more.

Rainfall data for a region of around 20 to 40 sq km area are obtained from the meteorological institution of the country / province.
The rainfall data required is daily data for any one full year (365 days). The selection of the year depends on the available data for number of years. If the data is available for say 50 years, the yearly average rainfall is considered. The daily rainfall data of that year which is close to the annual average rainfall of that place is considered.
For example Bangalore in India has 50 years rainfall data and the average annual rainfall is say 978 mm, then from among the 50 individual years, the year (say 2006 has 964 mm) which has rainfall close to 978 mm rainfall will be considered. The daily rainfall data of 2006 will be considered for the software.

Roof of a building plays a crucial role in harvesting rainwater. The type of roof and the roof water channelization methods adopted locally will guide the software to chose the yield of water collection and the quality of water. The cost of the rainwater harvesting depends on the local practices to store water and the types of local structures, material used in construction etc.

The software developed will highlight the groundwater characteristics and the soil characteristics for suggesting the ground water recharge options.

Rainfall data - 50 years normal daily rainfall data collection for 173 blocks of  Karnataka state obtained from Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) and for 256 Districts from 15 States of India was obtained from Indian Metrological department (IMD), Pune. The computation logics along with advanced graphic integration and calculation has been integrated with the backend data of the software. 
The app is available at the web link : 

Parameters required for input data:
  1.  Place name where RWH is planned (Place, District, Taluk)
  2. Type of building - Existing / New, Flat / inclined roof
  3. Roof area considered for RWH
  4. Space available for RWH
  5. Water used in the building for a day
  6. RWH solution required for storing rainwater / recharging in to the ground
Results available from the software instantly:
  1.  Average annual rainfall in mm and inches for your place
  2. Number of rainy days in your place
  3. Potential of rainwater that can be harvested per year from your roof in liter
  4. Most optimum size of the tank / sump in liter to store rainwater for future use
  5. Various options of length, breadth and depth for the suggested tank / sump size
  6. Actual rainwater that can be harvested in the suggested tank in liter per year
  7. Number of days in a year that the harvested rain water that can be used for your daily requirement
  8. Prediction of number of days that the suggested tank may overflow in a year
  9. Dynamic graph to show historic data of 365 days daily rainfall in mm in your place
  10. Dynamic graph to show quantity of rainwater that is likely to be available on a given day of an year
  11. Suggestions as per Indian building code for size of the down water pipe and number of pipes required for your roof size
  12. Material and cost estimate for installation of RWH system in your building
  13. Suggestion for type of tank suitable for the given size of tank / sump
  14. By choosing ground water recharge instead of storing rainwater in a tank while feeding the input data, similar results  as above pertaining to local site specific ground water recharge can be obtained
  15. List of Government and other institutions with details supporting RWH activities in your town / city
  16. List of experienced / skilled individuals / agencies with details providing services to install RWH in your town / city
  17. List of equipment / material suppliers with details related to RWH installation in your town / city
  18. Provision to modify the input data to get various options of RWH system suitable for your building
  19. Provision to optimise RWH tank size / RWH project cost as per your requirement / available resources

Organisations :

Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Project team :
Mr. A. R. Shivakumar,
Principal Investigator and Architect of the project, KSCST, Indian Institute of Science
Prof. H. A. Sanjay
Mr. Sanket Salvi
Dept. Information Science & Engg, Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore
Prof. Yogesh Simmhan,
Supercomputer Education and Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Mr. C.S. Ramasesha

Former Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India

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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.