Weigh Water Well

  April 16, 2018

Photo caption (above): Collection drain for paved area in Kendiya Vidyalaya, Jalahalli, Bangalore Urban, Karnataka


Ever wondered of a time when we will run out of water even for our basic needs? It is rather sad and scary that we are almost there. Many parts of the world are facing severe water crisis but all is not lost yet. World Water Day is celebrated on March 22 and this year’s theme was “Nature for Water”, which reminded us to explore nature-based solutions to tackle the water challenges we face today. Our schools are leaving no stones unturned to educate the children on the significance of conserving water. In this issue, we present you a summary of the water scenario of the 1,200 Green Schools Programme (GSP) network schools, which participated in the GSP Audit 2017:

  • Knowing where our water comes from is important. Of the 1,200 schools, 76 per cent use ground water as one of the sources of water, while 50 per cent rely solely on ground water! We draw water from the ground but do we care about the receding ground water table? The GSP data tells us that of the 900 schools that draw ground water, only 35 per cent harvest rain water and about 17 per cent recharge the ground with rain water.
  • The 85 per cent schools which get daily water supply should consider themselves privileged and the responsibility of saving water should be shared by all. Let us have a look at the conservation practices of the GSP schools:

Count the drops

Maximum rainwater harvesting potential of the school = Maximum rooftop potential ___ (cubic metre) + Maximum paved potential ___ (cubic metre) + Maximum unpaved potential ___ (cubic metre)

Potential can be calculated as: Area X mm of average rainfall X runoff coefficient*

  • *Rooftop: 0.85
  • *Paved area: 0.7
  • *Unpaved area: 0.3

 Check our website for details: http://www.greenschoolsprogramme.org/knowledge-bank/water/formulaeto-remember/

Water initiatives

About 65 per cent schools have water as a component of their eco-club activities and also have a water and sanitation policy. To stop overflow of water from tanks, 75 per cent of the GSP schools have installed float valves and have spill proof taps. Other practices, such as use of dual flush systems and drip irrigation, contribute greatly towards water conservation.

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting, storage or recharge, is being done by more than 400 schools.

One may harvest rain water from different catchments: paved or unpaved rooftops. Maximum schools opt for rooftop rain water harvesting. Schools like KV Jalahalli, Bangalore are doing their best to catch every drop of rain. Not just building the rainwater harvesting structure, but cleaning the structure is also required for efficient functioning. Pre-monsoon and post-monsoon cleaning is recommended. Sanitation and hygiene Sanitation and hygiene in schools have direct correlation with water. Not only should the schools have sufficient toilets both for males and females but the toilets should be safe, well lit, clean and have water supply. More than 90 per cent of our GSP schools fulfil these requirements! Wastewater: Did you know, globally, over 80 per cent of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused? Now imagine if we start treating our waste water and reusing it too! 23 per cent of our schools are doing that already. For example, Takshshela Junior College, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh has a waste water treatment unit in school. Though the number is small, we hope to improve every year. So, are you with us in this mission of achieving water efficiency this year?

According to the Census of India 2011, three in five people do not have access to sanitation.

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