Udupi, April 6, 2016 : Zilla panchayat CEO Priyanka Mary Francis on Apr 5, Tuesday said due to the harsh summer, importance was being given to setting up groundwater recharging structures under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Udupi district.
Speaking at the inaugural of a rainwater harvesting-cum-water table recharging unit at the premises of Mount Rosary Church at Kallianpur, she said that the unit channels rainwater collected from the terrace of the parish priest’s residence to a defunct borewell, which recharges the groundwater table.
CEO Francis said though Udupi district receives 3,500 mm to 4,000 mm of rain every year, water always has to be supplied through tankers due to scarcity during summer. This happens despite the fact that Udupi is a coastal district.
She said one of the ways of solving the problem is to encourage people to set up rainwater harvesting units. By doing so, people can redirect rainwater into defunct borewells to recharge the water table.
In order to promote rainwater harvesting in the district, the zilla panchayat is promoting construction of rainwater harvesting structures both under individual and community works under MGNREGA. There are different models of rainwater harvesting structures which can be used depending on the location, Ms. Francis said.
At an awareness workshop on water conservation that followed, N.J. Devaraj Reddy, hydrologist and water conservation expert from Chitradurga, said India was ranked 120th out of 122 countries when it comes to quality.
Some of the reasons for the decline of the water table are reckless mining, sand extraction, soil erosion and increasing industrialisation.
He said the decline in lakes and tanks due to increasing development activities was affecting the water table. There were 266 tanks in and around Bengaluru in 1966. The number was reduced to 80 in 1993, and now it is just 33, he said.
Philip Neri Aranha, parish priest, Joseph G.M. Rebello, convener of the Social Development Commission, Mount Rosary Church, and others were present.