Vishwanath Srikantaiah

  • Human excreta is loaded with nutrients, which when disposed off discriminately, increases pollution and leads to a loss of resources. On an average a human being produces some 500 litres of urine and 50 kilograms of faeces a year, sufficient to fertilise plants that would produce more than 200 kilog...
    sabitakaushalposted 6 years 8 months agoread more
  • Author: S. VishwanathVideo courtesy: ZenrainmanWhen a city adds nearly 3 million people in a span of a decade ensuring water supply to its citizens seems a huge challenge. One critical thing to realize is that the mind-set of ‘providing’ water has to change and become one of ensuring that citize...
    content-teamposted 8 years 4 months agoread more
  • Ever since Schumacher wrote his now very, very famous book small is there has in my mind been a question of the appropriateness of the solutions we urban educated types posit for rural ‘problems’.Click here to read the entire article
    content-teamposted 8 years 4 months agoread more
  •  Fisherman on Hessarghatta Lake on the Arkavathy RiverIt is here in a small pond that the Arkavathy river is famously said to originate. It moves down the hill in the form of a spring and enters the first of the man-made reservoirs, called ‘tanks’, the Chikkarayyappanhalli Kere. From thence...
    content-teamposted 8 years 5 months agoread more
  • Good option: The city needs multiple sourcing of water and open wells have the potential to provide up to a third of the requirementJust how a city can be arbitrary with its policy on water management and therefore leading to sub-optimal conditions is made clear by a recent example one came across. ...
    content-teamposted 8 years 5 months agoread more
  • As the elevated tracks come up over the city a mass transport network called the metro is being built all over the city. In phases it is likely to cover over a 100 kilometre and become one of the prime modes of transport to the city. Apart from the transport benefits it will bring to the city there ...
    content-teamposted 8 years 5 months agoread more
  • It’s May already and the advent of one of India’s most awaited natural event the monsoon is nigh. This year according to early reports it may be in the Andaman’s by the 12th of May itself and may arrive in Kerala earlier than June 1st its usual arrival date.While the city is getting ready clea...
    content-teamposted 8 years 6 months agoread more
  •  Even if an apartment uses as less as 5000 litres of water a day it must have a wastewater recycling system which does such a thorough job that the treated wastewater is reused to replace fresh water and not for simply disposing off into the environment in a safe way. It is simply not good enou...
    content-teamposted 8 years 7 months agoread more
  • Hard facts: Groundwater once polluted is impossible to clean up easily. So, great care should be taken to protect it.The recent report released by the Department of Mines and Geology, Government of Karnataka, on the state of groundwater quality and pollution in Bangalore city does not come as any su...
    content-teamposted 8 years 7 months agoread more
  • I am connected to the city mains for my water supply, as are you I guess, if you are somewhere in urban India. The bill comes to me once a month. I do not even bother looking at it and pay it because it is that small, until now that is. While traveling in a bus to Mysore (btw I live in Bangalore) an...
    rajshekarposted 10 years 6 months agoread more
  • India's dependence on the underground aquifer especially deep bore wells are well known. With over 22 million wells India has perhaps one of the largest such structures in the world. Since most of peninsular India is hard rock with basalt/granite/gneiss underlying they present a particular challenge...
    iwpposted 10 years 7 months agoread more
  • I was in Bhavnagar - Saurashtra, Gujarat and came across rooftop rainwater harvesting works implemented by (one more than 10 years ago) by Utthan with financial assistance from WASMO, along the same lines as what SACHETANA is attempting . These have strongly withstood the test of time and ALL o...
    iwpposted 10 years 7 months agoread more
  • A member of the PLC Watsan group Dhani behn, has built an Ecosan toilet for herself - one of the first in Gujarat-about a year back. This is one of the best toilets on Ecosan I have seen and the simple and elegant story of the same is hugely impressive. It is located in Bhavnagar Saurashtra - Gujara...
    iwpposted 10 years 7 months agoread more
  • "Megh Pyne Abhiyan" is a network of NGOS that has been working in flood affected areas in Bihar with Arghyam support for the past few years. MPA has been grappling with the idea of providing clean water and sanitation in Bihar. They have been able to do some great work with rainwater harvesting and ...
    iwpposted 10 years 7 months agoread more
  • Vishwanath calls on all to set aside the "yuck" factor and take a rational view of the use of urine as a fertilizer. From a open discussion he goes on to list out the advantages of using plant nutrient rich urine as fertilizer and provides the maths behind his validation!! Write in with your take in...
    iwpposted 10 years 11 months agoread more
  • Both Mohenjo daro and Harappa reported wells in every household and also community wells. They are perhaps the oldest in the subcontinent. Here is one open well from the Konark temple in Orissa. These must have been the sole providers of good clean water during that time and one of them continues to...
    iwpposted 10 years 11 months agoread more
  • S. Vishwanath, Biome (www.biome-solutions.com) ruminates on learnings and new questions raised by those learnings during a recent visit to villages in the Puri district of Orissa, to formulate a joint Arghyam/Water Aid project on drinking water in the villages. Handpumps in coastal Orissa as in this...
    iwpposted 10 years 11 months agoread more
  •  After 32 failed attempts to reach consensus on water legislation and a deadly social conflict over water rights, IDRC-supported researchers in Bolivia have helped their country develop a water law that everyone could agree on. The consensus evolved over a period of time with a clear understand...
    iwpposted 11 years 1 week agoread more
Farmers fertilise the soil with rich organic carbon and nutrients in urine and faeces, reduce chemical additives and gather a bumper harvest.

Human excreta is loaded with nutrients, which when disposed off discriminately, increases pollution and leads to a loss of resources. On an average a human being produces some 500 litres of urine and 50 kilograms of faeces a year, sufficient to fertilise plants that would produce more than 200 kilograms of cereals! Scale it up and almost 40 per cent of nutrients in chemical fertilisers could be replaced by the world’s excreta.

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Multiple sourcing of water is now a necessity. This video describes Jakkur Lake which has been converted into a beautiful and bio-diverse wetland.

Author: S. Vishwanath
Video courtesy: Zenrainman

When a city adds nearly 3 million people in a span of a decade ensuring water supply to its citizens seems a huge challenge. One critical thing to realize is that the mind-set of ‘providing’ water has to change and become one of ensuring that citizens can access water of requisite quality.

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Dandiganahalli, very close to Bangalore, has a problem of high TDS in its water, meaning the water is too salty and brackish. Worse still it has Fluoride in it. The video explores appropriate means of dealing with this issue.

Ever since Schumacher wrote his now very, very famous book small is there has in my mind been a question of the appropriateness of the solutions we urban educated types posit for rural ‘problems’.

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For the people interested in water supply to Bangalore a must visit is the Channakesava Hills abutting the Nandi hills and part of the range.

 

Fisherman on Hessarghatta Lake on the Arkavathy RiverFisherman on Hessarghatta Lake on the Arkavathy River

It is here in a small pond that the Arkavathy river is famously said to originate. It moves down the hill in the form of a spring and enters the first of the man-made reservoirs, called ‘tanks’, the Chikkarayyappanhalli Kere. From thence begins the journey of this tributary to the Cauvery. Passing through a series of tanks built to hold its water for irrigation it comes to the large ‘Nagarakere’ at Dodballapur. The entire drinking water for the town of population 100,000 used to come from this large tank. Moving further on the river comes to the almost 7 sq.km. Large Hessarghatta tank. In 1894 this tank was enlarged and became the first external source of water supply to the city of Bangalore.

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BWSSB must take a hard look at its cross-subsidisation and tariff policy and provide incentives for good practices.


Good option: The city needs multiple sourcing of water and open wells have the potential to provide up to a third of the requirementGood option: The city needs multiple sourcing of water and open wells have the potential to provide up to a third of the requirement

Just how a city can be arbitrary with its policy on water management and therefore leading to sub-optimal conditions is made clear by a recent example one came across. Balasubramanian had an old open well dug to a depth of 30 ft. when he first built his house in the early 80s. The well had yielded water for quite some years but then subsequently had gone dry.

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The metro rail track offers a tremendous potential for rainwater harvesting.

As the elevated tracks come up over the city a mass transport network called the metro is being built all over the city. In phases it is likely to cover over a 100 kilometre and become one of the prime modes of transport to the city. Apart from the transport benefits it will bring to the city there is one other potential benefit that could accrue to the city due to its construction.

The metro rail track offers a tremendous potential for rainwater harvesting. A total length of about 45 kilometres and a width of about 12 metres mean that the endowment of rainwater on the relatively very clean track with Bangalore’s rains of 970 mm annually is about 523 million litres. Considering a coefficient of runoff of 0.90 the harvestable rainwater is around 471 million litres annually. This could provide about 13,000 people with their annual requirement of water at 100 litres per day. A substantial sum.

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It is time to get prepared for the 100 hours of rain which is what will need to be stored to last the whole of the year till the next arrival.

It’s May already and the advent of one of India’s most awaited natural event the monsoon is nigh. This year according to early reports it may be in the Andaman’s by the 12th of May itself and may arrive in Kerala earlier than June 1st its usual arrival date.

While the city is getting ready cleaning up its storm-water drains and sewerage networks other measures are equally crucial. The de-silting of the various tanks in the city is a must as well as the cleaning up of the channels leading up to them. The overflow weirs and the ‘Rajakaluves’ the channels linking one tank to the other, need to be dredged and de-silted too.

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As apartments spring up in all parts of the city , it is imperative that certain steps be put in place for the safe and sustainable management of water and sanitation.

 Even if an apartment uses as less as 5000 litres of water a day it must have a wastewater recycling system which does such a thorough job that the treated wastewater is reused to replace fresh water and not for simply disposing off into the environment in a safe way. It is simply not good enough for treated wastewater to be used for watering lawns, an unnecessary demand. If the water utility can make it mandatory to put in place such a system it would be wise. It would be even wiser for the builder to implement such a system without the law.

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The pollution of groundwater in Bangalore is death by institutional and legal apathy.


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God gave us water, it should be free. He forgot the pipelines (and the pumps and the filters and the chlorine and the meter and the sinking fund), there should be a charge

Sanitary Charges

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