Expert helps villages to tackle water scarcity with RWH projects

Neha Basudkar
Monday, 18 March 2019

Several villages in the country are facing water woes and due to lack of expertise they are not able to save rainwater. However, Pune-based Col (Retd) Shashikant Dalvi made a village water sufficient by implementing Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) system.

Pune: Several villages in the country are facing water woes and due to lack of expertise they are not able to save rainwater. However, Pune-based Col (Retd) Shashikant Dalvi made a village water sufficient by implementing Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) system. Now, nine villages of the same district have decided to go for RWH systems.
 
Col Dalvi has only one motto in his life: to make villages water sufficient with public participation.

Col Dalvi, a resident of Lunkad Greenland 2 Co-operative Housing Society, Viman Nagar, spent 16 years spreading awareness and initiating RWH systems across the city. He started this initiative in his own society in 2002, as they needed three water tankers per day but soon emerged as a tanker-free society in the same year. The society set an example for others on using natural resources and cutting down on expenses for water.
 
Col Dalvi said, “For the last few decades, due to rampant tree cutting and rapid urbanisation the groundwater table is depleting rapidly.”
 
“That is why RWH should be taken up by each and every household,” he said.

Col Dalvi, who is also a national co-ordinator for Rainwater Harvesting, Climate Reality Project India was called for help to Isharpur village in Madhya Pradesh in 2016.

He said, “My friend’s family staying in MP told me about the problems faced by the people of Isharpur village and so I decided to help them. I stayed in the village and educated them about RWH techniques. Soon, four villages joined the project and now around 100 villages are water sufficient by using RWH technique.”

Col Dalvi got connected to the villages of Maharashtra with the help of his domestic help. He said, “My domestic help is from Kaamkheda village in Devrai taluka in Beed district of Maharashtra. She narrated to me the problem her village faces due to water deficiency. With help of my technical team, the RWH programme was implemented there last year in April 2018.”

“As National Coordinator for Climate Reality Project—India, I decided to put into practice the State Government GR of February 2002 titled, Shiv Kaalin Paani Saathavan Yojana, making it mandatory for all government and public buildings to recharge depleting groundwater table using rooftop RWH method in Kaamkheda village and transform them from water deficient to water sufficient,” said Col Dalvi.

He added, “Initially we identified 20 buildings and five borewells and implemented rooftop RWH system to recharge depleting groundwater. The system was ready to recharge around 14 lakh litres of rainwater (1.4 million litres) from the roof top of 20 buildings. Despite deficit monsoon last year, these five borewells gave water till January 2019. Now, nine villages of the district have joined hands to implement the RWH system.”

“Kaamkheda village became the first village to implement the RWH system under the Yojana after 17 years of announcement,” Col Dalvi added.

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