Akash Ganga Trust
Rain is the predominant source of all the fresh water on this planet. The part of rainfall that is trapped in surface and groundwater sources is all that is available for human consumption. Collecting Rainwater when and where it falls for use during non-monsoon months is what has come to be known as Rainwater Harvesting (RWH).
There is a lack of awareness among a large majority of people living in cities like Chennai about all this. They have also failed to realize that RWH is neither an alternative nor a new technology but the only way to sustain our water resources. Both the aspects of RWH namely, collection for immediate use as well as groundwater recharge are relevant in urban areas at both the macro and micro levels
On the contrary, sanitation is becoming a big issue in rural areas, where a large number do not have access to proper sanitation and still resort to open defecation. It is more so in peri-urban areas particularly for women, due to shrinking of open spaces.
Another major issue that is causing concern is the construction of an increasing number of water consuming toilets in these areas. The sewage thus generated is discharged either into surface water bodies likes rivers, ponds and lakes contaminating the water in them or into soak pits polluting groundwater. This is far more serious in coastal habitats, where the groundwater level is quite high and comes up further during post-monsoon months. Ecological Sanitation is the only sustainable solution.