Preparing for the monsoons the 'Mazhapolima' way in Kerala: Simple rooftop rainwater harvesting and aquifer recharge

Article and Image Courtesy : The Hindu

Author : S. Vishwanath

For those who have connected the rooftop to sumps, it is time to clean up the roof, pipes and filters and the sump itself and be ready to collect the bounty

For those who have connected the rooftop to sumps, it is time to clean up the roof, pipes and filters and the sump itself and be ready to collect the bounty

As the bus stopped on the way to Thrissur in Kerala it was at the famous Palghat Gap, the only break in the Western Ghats where the elevation drops to 300 metres. It is from this gap that monsoon winds rush in to reach mainland India from the coast.

The pre-monsoon clouds assisted by the wind were rushing through as though to set up appointments for the rest of India with the real monsoon on its way. The Indian Metrological Department predicts that the monsoon will arrive on the coast of Kerala at its appointed day, June 1, give or take a few days. It is time therefore to prepare to receive the monsoon.

The next 60 to 120 days is when the country will receive its annual quota of water in the form of rain. In the district of Thrissur with a large number of dug-wells, a programme called ‘Mazhapolima' has been running for some years.

Households, whose wells go dry in summer or who have iron and salt in their well water, are assisted in picking rooftop rainwater, filtering it and leaving it to the wells.

This simple and economical technique recharges the aquifers, improves the well water level and changes the quality of the water, making it drinkable. Wells here have a tendency to go dry during the summer months of February, March and April.

With the ‘Mazhapolima' approach however, any pre-monsoon shower is not allowed to go waste and is captured to recharge the well. Many families reported the benefits of the scheme.

Click here to read the entire article