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Shallow wells for rainwater harvesting

Almost battle-hardened after facing acute water scarcity this summer, Bellandur residents are now on a collective mission to recharge the depleted groundwater table.

Residents of apartments and individual homes are digging shallow wells in their premises for groundwater rejuvenation. Meagre water supply from the BWSSB and hefty prices of private tankers weren’t helping either. Resident welfare associations met experts earlier this month, after which they decided to dig at least 2,500 recharge pits in the ward before the monsoon. As many as 15 communities have set up around hundred shallow wells so far.

The source of the well is an aquifer, an underground layer of permeable soil that contains water and allows its passage. As the rains have begun, the residents are hoping their mission will succeed. “Lot of construction is happening without provisions for rainwater harvesting. Hardly any borewell in Bellandur has water now, due to over-exploitation of groundwater. Hence, we are going ahead with this initiative,” said Vishnu Prasad, president, Kasavanahalli Development Forum.

The extent of the water crisis in the ward was so acute that people were digging borewells even on footpaths. There have been cases where apartments did not receive water for more than 18 hours consistently. Despite many residents showing interest in the process, what’s forbidding them from building a pit is lack of suitable space.

“My apartment doesn’t have enough space to dig a pit. We are struggling to find space for one, so that sufficient water is retained in the coming months,” said Anand Pandey, a resident along the Sarjapur Road. “The problem arises while building the basic structure. Some with no pillars cannot dig pits as it could be dangerous. The pits require at least 3 feet space, a feet away from the foundation, which is not possible around many buildings,” said a rainwater expert.

“Some dig pits close to existing borewells. The idea is to recharge the borewell directly. But there is a risk involved in this, as it might cause damage to the borewell,” he added.

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