I have not seen a single house whose roof top rain water was dropping openly on the road from any outlet and flooding the streets—a common phenomena in our cities in Bharat. It never goes to drains as it goes here.
Recently, I was in America. During my stay there for one and a half month, I visited many States including the Desert of California. However, I stayed most of the time in Houston, where there were heavy rains in those days.
Weather forecast system in the US is 80-90 per cent correct even for the coming week. One can plan his/her journey accordingly. And people can rely on that forecast 100 per cent. If the forecast is cloudy, it will be, and if the forecast is of rain, it will definitely rain—though the intensity may normal shower or heavy rainfall. If the forecast is sunny, one can make the plan to go out safely. There will be no rains. So correct are their forecasts.
Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting
Americans have done wonderfull work for rain water hervesting. The roofs of individual houses are peaked in shape and covered by Kelu (Earthen ware) of different shapes so that the rain water drains downs only two sides of the roof. On lower ends of the roof of each house there is a plastic semi-square gutter in which the rain water stores during the rains and then drains down through the squire plastic pipes down to the underground pipes, which collects the rain water of all the houses. It is ultimately collected separately to a big catchment area from where it is supplied to the city.
I have not seen a single house whose roof top rain water was dropping openly on the road from any outlet and flooding the streets—a common phenomena in our cities in Bharat. It never goes to drains as it goes here. It shows they save every drop of rain water falling on their roofs. People should know that this system is only done in a few cities and towns here in the USA. In most towns today, the rainwater is not collected for city use. It goes to a storm drain or to the street curb and then to a storm drain. Our storm drains are separate from our sewer drains so that the storm water does not over tax the waste water treatment plants.
What should we do?
If we follow the American pattern of roof top rain water harvesting, we can never have any shortage of water that we face today. Every house should have rain water harvesting so that the purest form of rain water do not go to drains and flood the streets.
Every local self-government body be it Nagar Nigam, Nagar Palika, Panchayat, etc should see to it that the people get roof top rain water system installed. They should not stop at only deducting the amount and leave it to the owner whether he gets this roof top rain water system installed or not. They should motivate the public through mass media before monsoon so that coming rains do not go to the drains as it goes every year. Those who do it should be facilitated because by saving the precious rain water and putting into the tubewells/wells/hand pumps they serve the society. They recharge the ground water up to one kilometer radius and improve both the quality and quantity of the underground water.
Dr PC Jain (The writer has been working on rain water harvesting in Udaipur for several years and is recipient of many awards like the IMA Community Services Award for Individual 2014’, Jal Star Award (by Danik Bhaskar), Best Environment worker of the year 2014 (by Rotary Club of Udaipur), Jheel Mitra Samman 2014, etc.)