Rain Water Harvesting to resolve drinking water crises in Kuttanand

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A CSR Project Funded by LIC HFL

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Overview

Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink”, the classic lines by Samuel Taylor Coleridge depicts the plight of the drinking water crisis in Kuttanad.  The area remains a paradigm of marginalized drinking water availability impasse. Despite Kuttanad being intercepted by lagoons, rivers and canals, and a flood plain of 5 major rivers in the state, people struggle to access fresh drinking water.  

 • Rain water is the only viable source for drinking water as open dug wells are not viable due to peculiar terrain and soil types.
Kuttanad soils are highly acidic with natural sulphates and often reflects in the water quality. In addition, loaded with fluoride and iron content, the groundwater is not generally suitable for drinking purposes.

 

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is the collection and storage of rain, rather than allowing it to run off. Rainwater harvesting is one of the simplest and oldest methods of self-supply of water for households, having been used in South Asia and other countries for many thousands of years. One time installation of these RWH structure can serve for a household or a community for many years.

Kuttanad being a region surrounded by water and subjected to flood sometimes twice a year is still facing scarcity for drinking water. Summer is the cruelest for the people of Kuttanad as drinking water would be the most sought-after thing in Kuttanad. The waterlogged areas of Kuttanad like Chambakulam, Edathua, Kainakary and Thayankari are reeling under acute shortage of potable water.

How ever kuttanad is blessed with high average rainfall and abundant water resources. In a monsoon season kuttanad receives enough rain water for the whole year. Collecting these rainwater would alone solve most of the issues of drinking water for many. The factors that pull back people from opting rain water harvesting structure are the cost of construction and the land for construction. Here comes the relevance of this project. 

The Project 

The project aims for constructing 280 RWH structures in 12 panchayats of Kuttanad. Each structure will have the capacity of 10,000 L and would be useful at least 3 families. So apparently around  4,200 people will get benefited from this project. The beneficiaries of each panchayat will be selected by the panchayath them selves. The beneficiary contribution of this project is 20% and the rest 80% will be covered from the project. A team of qualified professionals will be selected by quotation proceedings for site feasibility testing. The team will do a door to door survey of each beneficiary evaluating the possibility and hindrance of constricting the structure.

Construction will be carried out by any renowned agency who will be decided through tender proceedings. The structure also covers one year of maintenance and warranty for any manufacturing defects. The beneficiary contributions will only be collected from those who are certified as feasible by the feasibility team.