Open wells, harvesting water


This isn’t quite related to Goa, but it’s simply too important to ignore. Check out these articles on rainwater harvesting from the Bangalore-based newspaper Deccan Herald which I once worked for.
This Tuesday’s article (March 1, 2005) focussed on using open wells for harvesting rain water. It said: “One well can recharge ground water from 1000 sq mts of area, which means one million litres of water.”
It also made other relevant points. For instance, over the last 3000 years, open wells have been one of the single largest providers of water to villages and towns. Over the last 40 years, their role has got diminished thanks to the “bore well culture” and the unsustainable exploitation of ground water.
Further facts: * As long as water was drawn by hand, the demand and withdrawal of water from the dynamic water table was sustainable * Pumping of water through electric and diesel pump-sets withdraws such large quantities that water in these wells vanish. * Once dry, the wells become garbage dumps, further polluting ground water.
Here’s the way forward: * Open wells have a major role to play in the artificial recharge of ground water * Rooftop rainwater and surface water flowing in storm water-drains can be filtered, the silt removed and allowed to recharge open wells * Existing wells are ideal structures for recharge.
Deccan Herald says digging a new well costs Rs 8-12,000 depending on diameter and depth. Guess that should be more in a costly place like Goa. Their advice: “Look for a concrete ring maker in your neighbourhood, and he should put you in touch with a well digger. Make sure contaminated water is not allowed to be recharged.
For more tips, check out Rainwater Club or even talk to S Vishwanath at 23 64 16 90 or 23 53 24 35 in Bangalore.

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