Water Management : VK-Nardep Method
Community based efforts of water management
A scarce yet vital resource like water cannot be left to the machinery of the state alone. WATER IS EVERYONE'S BUSINESS. Community effort is needed to revive age old traditional water conservation methods and harmonize them with the modern water conservation techniques. VK-NARDEP activities in this field involves:Deepening of Ooranis (Ponds)
Renovation of traditional water harvesting structures
Artificial Rain Water Recharging
Roof Water Harvesting
Uniqueness of VK-NARDEP method is the involvement of entire village community in the renovation and creation of the water harvesting/management structure resulting in the feeling of ownership and removal of alienation from the water resource.Our work of renovation of temple tanks after 25 years in Kanyakumari district had a cascading effect. Now many people and voluntary organization are coming forward to carry out such work.
The NGO had conceived the idea of rainwater harvesting almost 16 years ago and it has become a big hit today.
In the case of Ramnathpuram district, for instance, it used to be a case of water water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Surrounded by the sea, the only water available was salinated water. However this district does not have a water crisis at the moment. The artificial recharging of tube wells has really worked well in this area.
Artificial recharging of tube wells, which is relatively a new concept, is more effective compared to rainwater harvesting. For over two days the rainwater is collected and stored in ooranis. All the rainwater gets accumulated in the water-table, which is around 200 feet below and can be used any time. This apart, the Kendra is training over 1,200 panchayats in Tamil Nadu to undertake similar projects. If implemented properly the water crisis can be solved to a large extent. The key to the sucess of such projects is the cooperation of the government and the members of the village. During all the water conservation projects of VK-NARDEP, no problem arose from members of the villages. Instead, they had lent a helping hand in the implementation of the projects.
Water Management VK-Nardep Method
In the view of VK-NARDEP, the conservation of water has to be a people's movement. Only if they are involved in such projects will they realise the importance of water. At the kendra, we insist that people work alongside them in the project, so they will maintain it better.
Renovation of Traditional Water Harvesting Structure
Murugan Kuntram is a small hillock with a temple for Deity Murugan, Skanda – a very popular Tamil Deity, at its top. Its proximity to the popular pilgrimage center Kanyakumari. A good water body by the side of the hillock temple in that rocky area has been a long time wish of the devotees as well as local community. Hence, with the support of Sri. R.S.Keswani and also the participation of local communities, VK-nardep started the work of construction of a rain water harvesting structure. The proposed tank site was in a rockey terrain. It was deepened with explosives (after getting due permission from authorities) and layers of accumulated silt was removed with JPC. Then the loving physical labour was provided by local communities, students, Kendra volunteers and the pond started getting shape. Temple ponds have a traditional structure. This pond too was created with the same traditional features including an elaborate form of steps for people to come and take bath as well as do ritual obulations.
From the unyielding outer surface of a rockey terrain, slowly and definitely a temple pond takes shape. JPC is removing the silt and Kendra volunteers are participating in providing labour for the deepening of the pond by removing tons of stones.
The rain water around the hillock was channelised to the tank and for that channels were made and also structures, in the form of 4’ PVC pipes (left) have been embedded in the walls of temple tank. Deepened, ready with proper infrastructure constructed and aligned topographically to receive rain water, now the structure started expecting the monsoons to fill it with water and transform the landscape with the precious resource for life.
Grey Water Treatment
Domestic waste water coming out of kitchen and bathrooms is called grey water. This water contains chemical used in household cleaning, detergents from dishwasher and washing machines as well as bathing soap. This grey water can be n\managed as a valuable resource. The phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen containing compounds in grey water are normally viewed as a source of pollution to lakes, rivers and ground water. These can act as excellent nutrient sources for vegetation when this particular from of waste water is made available for irrigation. Horticulturists and agriculturists as well as home gardeners can benefit from these resources.
The design and landscaping advantages of local grey water treatment and management systems makes it valuable to landscape planners, builders, developers and contractors. Phytoremediation is an eco – friendly technique which uses plants to treat grey water. These systems when properly designed utlise the nutrient content in the effluent, and can constitute a real solution to the treatment / management of grey water. “Real solution” here means that these treatment / management systems simply do not generate waste products which, by definition, require disposal. Training programmes on “Grey Water Treatment (with DST core support) are being conducted regularly by VK-nardep for college students as well as other professionals and public who are interested.