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This post is created by The Better India and sponsored by Wingify Earth.

A R Shivakumar believes that a lot of water is wasted due to its mismanagement, and that planned rainwater harvesting (RWH) can effectively sustain the city’s water supply.

Due to the elevation and hard granite-gneiss terrain of Bengaluru, where Shivakumar lives, it has always been difficult for the city to source water for household use. Cauvery, the closest perennial river, flows over 100km away, and the city’s population growth over the years has caused a sharp decrease in groundwater levels.

To tackle this issue, Shivakumar — a senior scientist at the Karnataka State Council of Science and Technology (KSCST) at The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) — invented tools that simplify RWH and has worked with local authorities to popularise it in Bengaluru.

He built a series of RWH tanks that could store up to 45,000 litres of water to tide over the 100-odd days between good rains and fitted each tank with an innovative filter device that he patented called Pop-Up Filter. This uses a simple silver sheet to remove all impurities from the collected rainwater before channeling it around the house.

Shivakumar has also dug percolation pits in the garden around his house that help in the direct recharge of the groundwater table. He has designed and installed an effective greywater recycling system at his home and tweaked his household devices to make them more eco-friendly.

Over the years, Shivakumar has designed and implemented hundreds of RWH projects in Bengaluru, including at Vidhana Soudha, the Karnataka High Court, and corporate offices. He has trained BWSSB plumbers, building contractors, and architects in the integration of RWH in construction. He has also played a key role in getting the Karnataka government to pass an amendment to the (BWSSB) Act that made RWH compulsory for houses and offices with an area greater than 2,400 sq. ft. in the core of Bengaluru.

Shivakumar says his RWH systems are also being used in Africa and some European countries.

#WingifyEarth encourages such proactive actions to safeguard the environment and keep it clean.

#WingifyEarth in partnership with 'The Better India'

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