This blog is dedicated to our Journalists for Rainwater Harvesting. They will report on examples of rainwater harvesting in their own countries and communities, helping us raise the profile of rainwater harvesting - both locally and globally.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Harvesting Rain for Terrace Farming

With the growing consensus among the city dwellers about the organic farming on the rooftop recently an exhibition for the promotion of terrace farming was held as a possible alternative way to maintain greenery, manage the solid waste and good security by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
Inaugurating the event Deputy Minister Prakash Man Singh advocated in favor of providing environment for the further promotion of terrace farming. The exhibition showcased different technologies for recycling, waste treatment, irrigation, organic farming along with the low cost water harvesting technology for sustaining farming practices.
With the concept of utilizing rainwater for terrace farming and other household purposes a model of Rainwater Harvesting system along with the treatment system and reuse of wastewater was demonstrated by Niva Rain in collaboration with Guthi, a member of Nepal Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (NeRHA). Visitors who were positive regarding the framing practice became even more enthusiastic when they were introduced with the rainwater harvesting system as it seems promising in delivering rainwater to fulfill their greenery mission.
Rainwater harvesting demonstration presented complete solution for the collection, storage, purification and reclamation of water for the mass of people who were still in confusion regarding the installation of system. The reclamation of water through constructed wetland along with the purification of water through Bio-sand filter provided answer to the queries of visitors who believed harvesting is for temporary only. Further limelight to the exhibition stall was added by Narendra Man Dongol who himself has installed the system and has been living on rainwater. His daily water demand and yearly saving on water was even more exemplary for the visitors.
With the water demand of 1200 liters per day, supplied through reclaimed water, 700 liters and rest 500 liters from the rainwater he has been able to save Rs.5000 per month. Amazed with the figures Niraj Dongol one of the visitors said that “dream of Kathmandu city as sustaining eco city seems to be possible, when every drops of rain are used in blooming every seeds through harvesting practice.”
The stall not only grabbed the attention through cost effective technologies but also introduced portable sack tank commercially known as ‘BOB’. The sack tank is easy to transport and weighs only 3.5kgs when empty. It can fit into an airline hand carry bag when folded and despite its size; it has a capacity to hold 1400 liters of water. The outer bag of sack tank is UV resistant woven polypropylene and the liner is 100% virgin polyethylene- a material that is approved for contact with food. The cost of this tank is NPR 5 per liter. While comparing this with the Reinforcement Concrete (RCC) tank that costs NPR 30 per liter and PVC black tank that costs NPR 11 per liter.
For the tenants who could not harvest their share of rainwater due to lack of space now can claim their share of water, informed Prakash Amatya, a member of NeRHA. For those who depend on still water of dug well, can now enjoy the fresh shower through harvesting of rainwater. Since this bag is portable, it could be used in monsoon months only and wrapped up for the rest of the season.
Excited with this new innovation Purna Limbu said, “Rainwater harvesting has always been alternative for the water crisis but this water bag has been alternative to the space crisis also, now everyone can have easy access to rain water”
Really, rainwater has been boon to the existence of living organisms, needless to say what its importance is in our daily life however, at the recent time when the world is facing serious water woes rainwater harvesting plays a vital role in reducing extraction of ground water to increment in ground water table. Considering this utility of rainwater we need to harvest  every single drop of water not only harvest rather also reclaim it so we could fully trust on rainwater, which  is not so herculean task just the right blend of available technology. If Narendra can depend on rainwater through this technology then why can’t we?

By Neha Basnet

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