A Joint Project of Gramonnati and TERI for Low-cost Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Solutions in Rural J&K.

Jal Sanchaya is a joint project of Gramonnati’ and TERI, New Delhi for low cost roof top water harvesting solutions for remote areas in J&K.

Gramonnati has been working closely with the Indian Army and civil administration in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. The region suffers from acute water shortage. Awareness among the local population for rainwater harvesting is low. Because of this, even though it has reasonable rain spread over the year, much of the rain water simply runs off. An acute shortage of water affects in particular the hilly areas where villages grapple with the lack of water for domestic use. The rainy season also limits the agriculture of the region giving the farmers only a narrow cropping window.

To help local communities there, we decided to partner with TERI, The Energy Resources Institute. TERI is a renowned research organization that specializes in various environment related issues.

Dr. Nidhi Chanana of TERI has been for the last 10 years heading a project in Uttarakhand, a region similar in its terrain profile to J&K. By introducing low cost rain water harvesting solution for domestic use TERI was able to solve water shortage problem in that area. The Institution has already helped local communities roll-out over 200 such rainwater harvesting solutions. By making water available beyond the rainy season, the local villages were able to transform region's economy.

After consulting TERI and with the support of local army units, we have identified five locations in Rajouri and Poonch to provide guidance and help. Helping local communities with our Jal Sanchaya programme is a two step process. It begins with setting up a local rooftop rain water harvesting solution. The next step is educating and training local people to take it up and do it in their own homes, communities and villages.

In the last week of October 2018, we completed the first roof top rain water harvesting solution in Model Academy Sagra, a small rural school in Poonch district.

While constructing the tank we also trained 6-8 people in the implementation methods of this solution.

The total time for installation once the material was in place was only three days.

The presence of a large-size stone lime tank available there helped in speedy implementation. The capacity of the tank is 100,000 liters. We used this tank because this is a school premise and digging a tank (even smaller in size) was considered a risk for children. This tank is located at a distance and is safe and secure for implementation.

A typical rooftop can save 12,500 liter of water and for that one needs a tank of about 5 m x 2.5 m x 1 m built close to the home.Total cost of a typical domestic use solution is between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 15,000.

The tank was completed on 29 Oct 2018; and the place had two days of rains on 02-03 Nov 2018. The tank, all of 100,000 liters, has become full of water.

After our first success in Sagra, where only in the first week post construction the tank filled fully with water, our teams are beginning to work in the remaining four locations.