Mumbai’s Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) earlier undertook some rain-water harvesting (RWH) projects, recharging nine borewells in rural Dahanu and bringing a large urban well in Mumbai back into use.
CERE’s co-founder, Kitayun Rustom, who was born and bred in Dahanu (picture below left), explained that the area has hundreds of unused dry borewells and for the cost of a new borewell you can recharge four old ones (approx):
“Once the rain water harvesting recharge gets going I’m sure every gram panchayat will ask for recharge instead of drilling new borewells. Water is one of the most important things in their lives and they were completely with us on this. One villager had dismantled the entire front portion of his house to make way for the JCB. They are truly appreciative of this work.”
“In due course nine borewells have been recharged all within a radius of 5kms and all within one groundwater aquifer. We will monitor these borewells during and after the monsoon and accordingly plan different RWH measures (like bunding, terracing, roof top recharge etc.) for next year”.
In 2006 a large urban well in Mumbai (right) was cleaned out and carefully repaired, then a recharging system was laid. An approach for this service was made by representatives of an agiary (temple) in central Mumbai but only now has a similar scheme got off the ground.
CERE’s other co-founder, Dr Rashneh Pardiwala, has now sent news that their efforts to introduce a RWH system for Saher Lane which houses Saher Agiary, Saher Bungalow and two tall residential towers have borne fruit after a year of negotiations.
Work on constructing 2 large percolation/recharge pits in Saher Lane has commenced, as per the plans submitted by CERE and Dr. Ajit Gokhale from the Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment. A total of approximately 15 million litres of water will be harvested per monsoons season.
Persis Vatcha is spearheading the efforts and she plans to have the entire process documented as a short film to help awareness on the issue. She is connected with a number of Parsi Trusts and Charities and is keen to promote this RWH model to other Parsi properties.