Can you imagine a day without water?
Horrible right? From washing, bathing to drinking, water is one of the essentials that everyone needs.
If any person doesn’t pay the water bill at all, then the water problem he faces is unimaginable. But this guy has not paid the water bill for 22 years and hasn't faced water problems in over two decades.
Yes, you read it right.
It all happened because of his innovative sustainable lifestyle.
AR Shivakumar, the senior scientist at Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is using treated rainwater not just for bathing and washing, but also for drinking. He built a water harvesting system that yields more than 400 liters of water daily which means the expected scanty rainfall this year. The water harvesting system is simple where water from the sloping roof is collected in underground tanks, where the purification process happens.
In 1995, when Shivakumar started building his house, he did a lot of research to look for alternatives that would fulfill his family’s needs without harming the environment. His first step was to analyse the water bills of residents of the locality to map the water consumption of an average family.
He found that his findings matched the water consumption norms published by WHO – a family of four uses approximately 500 litres of water per day.
"Bangalore receives around 900-1000mm of rainfall except for these very drought years," said Mr Shivakumar, whose work involves the field of renewable energy and rainwater harvesting.
The amount, he says, is enough to collect 2.3 lakh litres of water a year. But 2.3 lakh litres is far more than an average family of four uses.
Explaining the rainfall pattern of the city, he said, there is 90-100 dry days between two successive rains in Bangalore. "Based on that calculation, we have a storage capacity for 45000 litres… effectively we need only around 40,000 liters – 400 liters a day for 100 days. But we have 45,000 litres for emergency."
"In a year, we need only 1 to 1.5 lakh litres, so much more than we require is coming here," he added.
Shivakumar’s Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) systems are also being used in Africa as well in some European countries. The Norwegian government has also selected it for its joint project with the Indian government. He has been honoured with several awards like central government’s National Innovation Award, Karnataka government’s Ammulya award and Rotary International’s Citizen Extraordinary award.
It is the RWH system at Vidhana Soudha which is developed by AR Shivakumar.
Mr. Sivakumar says it is a family effort. His wife Suma and his son, Anoop and daughter in law, Vamika, play their part as water conservation becomes a way of life for them.
Kudos to you and your family sir.