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CMWSSB to restore rainwater harvesting in Chennai
With the Northeast monsoon all set to commence in about a month, the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has been busy in creating awareness on the importance of creating and maintaining rainwater harvesting (RWH) structures in the city.
According to a Metrowater official, engineers have been selected to visit apartments and government buildings to check the status of rainwater harvesting structures in their locality. “If the RWH pits are ill-maintained, the official would guide residents to restore the RWH,” the official said.
To create awareness, Metrowater engineers showed reports on Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the groundwater before and after the rolling out of the rainwater harvesting scheme and explained the importance of constructing RWH structures. “If the TDS is higher, the residents are likely to be convinced to set up RWH,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the CMWSSB has released a statement imploring the residents to maintain the RWH structures and accorded the assistance in maintaining them if the residents contacted the board through 044 2845 4080.
Explaining the importance of RWH, CMWSSB said that the average groundwater level in Chennai has risen to 4.30 meters in 2017 from 6.83 meters below ground level in 2004 before the announcement of the rainwater harvesting scheme.
However, Sekar Raghavan, director of Rain Centre opined that only 40 per cent of the buildings in the city have RWH. “Ninety per cent of the RWH structures in the city are constructed to support roof water harvesting only. It is important to harvest rainwater falling around the buildings, too. In most cases, the structure of the harvesting pits are also not correct,” he said.
Alarmingly, the readings of Rain Centre shows that the average water level in the city has dipped to nearly 6.4 metres below ground level during June 2018 compared to the same month the previous year.
In Anna Nagar and Virugambakkam, the water level has dipped to nearly seven metres below ground level.