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Rainwater Harvesting

EVR 5332 – Integrated Solutions for


Water in Environment and
Development
November 5, 2007

John Stiefel – Research Assistant


Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) Program
Florida International University
Rainwater harvesting (RWH):
= ‘the collection and storage of rainwater in
surface or sub-surface reservoirs, thereby
reducing water losses to runoff and evaporation’

(1) the direct capture and storage of rainwater for future human
use

(2) manipulation of the landscape to slow and harness runoff


from rainfall
Rainwater harvesting in arid areas

Map courtesy of United States Geographical Survey


http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/deserts/what/world.html
RWH in highly seasonal climates
INDIA:
the world’s
leader in
RWH
Rooftop
rainwater
harvesting
Anicut
Anicut
Nadi / Johad

Source: adapted from Sukhija et al., 2005


Tanka
Land bunding / soil bunding
RWH in an IWRM context
• RWH is a technology that can be applied in both
urban and rural areas

• Several RWH approaches have been used and


many may be climate or eco-region specific

• RWH can be implemented and managed at


various levels
– City level
– Village level
– Household level
• Many international organizations and
governments are promoting RWH as a
strategy for improving access to water
supply
– Example: seasonal variability in water supply

• RWH is being applied to demonstrate


corporate social consciousness and as a
solution to conflicts
– Example: groundwater mining
The case of
Coca-Cola
• Environmental and
social problems in India;
intense use of
groundwater

• Criticism on the basis of


claims that the
company is depleting
groundwater resources
to make Coke
– 9L of water = 1L of Coke

• Many people are angry


and want Coke out of
India
Coca-Cola’s response
• In June 2002, began implementing RWH as a
‘water conservation’ program
– Specific objective was to increase groundwater
recharge

• By 2006, had RWH programs at 26 bottling


plants in India and in 9 communities

• Claim to have harvested 1.65 million m3


rainwater in 2005
– Amount corresponds
to 56% of groundwater
withdrawn by Coke in
that year

• Plans to expand RWH


initiatives throughout India
Source: BusinessWeek 2/10/2003
Considerations:
Rooftop rainwater
harvesting
• Pros and cons?
• Pros:
– Can provide a clean water
source, especially in urban
areas
– Can decrease urban
flooding
– Groundwater recharge
increased through artificial
recharge
• Cons:
– Should not be a substitute
for a solution to problems
of surface water quality
Considerations:
land and soil
bunding
• Pros and cons?
• Pros:
– Decreases runoff and
makes water available for
agriculture
• Cons:
– Causes major
modifications to the way
water moves through the
landscape
– Could deplete surface
water resources in
downstream areas
Considerations: RWH for
groundwater recharge
• Pros and cons?
• Pros:
– Can recharge shallow
aquifers
• Cons:
– Traditional RWH doesn’t
recharge water in
deeper, confined
aquifers
– Downstream impact
– Few scientific studies
have actually examined
the effectiveness of
RWH for groundwater
recharge
SUMMARY
• RWH is an old technique used to capture and store
water for human use

• Used to improve access to water supply especially in


arid regions or highly seasonal climates

• Cost-effective and applicable at many scales;


decentralized in nature

• Needs to be considered alongside other approaches for


water supply and storage, and in an IWRM context

• A need more information on the groundwater recharge


dynamic of RWH.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF RAINWATER HARVESTING FOR
THE ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE OF GROUNDWATER IN THE
WAKAL RIVER BASIN, INDIA

Masters Thesis Research

John M. Stiefel – Research Assistant


Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) Program
Florida International University
Study Area
• The Wakal River Basin
originates at an altitude
of 762 m in the Aravalli
Hills of southern
Rajasthan
– Catchment area of 1,625
km2

• Source of the greater


Sabarmati River Basin
– Trans-boundary river
flowing 371 km through
Rajasthan and Gujarat
before discharging into the
Arabian Sea
Water Scarcity in Rajasthan
• Rajasthan is India’s driest and most
drought prone state
– 10% of India’s geographic area, along with 5%
of it’s population, yet it contains only 1% of the
nation’s total surface water resources

• Groundwater is the primary source of


reliable water supply in Rajasthan
– 90% of the drinking water and 60% of water
used for irrigation

• Increasing demand for water has led to over-


exploitation of the groundwater resources
– Only 32 of the 236 blocks (sub-districts) in
Rajasthan are categorized as safe, with respect to
their groundwater resources
• General decline in the water table
• Increase in groundwater quality problems
Knowledge Gap
• Rajasthan and Gujarat have been at the center of a major
grassroots mass movement to revive rainwater harvesting for the
last two decades.

• Recent government investments to promote rainwater harvesting.

• A lack of technical evaluations of RWH has prevented these


investments to be properly scrutinized
– Many RWH structures are built without a clear understanding of their hydrologic
impact
Research Objectives
Research Goal: to assess the
effectiveness of rainwater
harvesting for the artificial
recharge of groundwater in the
Wakal River Basin, India

Research Objectives:
1. To contextualize the rainwater harvesting efforts in the
larger hydrologic context
2. To quantify the amount of artificial recharge added to
groundwater supplies
3. To determine the impact of artificial recharge on the
quality of groundwater.
Research Objectives
Research Goal: to assess the
effectiveness of rainwater
harvesting for the artificial
recharge of groundwater in the
Wakal River Basin, India

Research Objectives:
1. To contextualize the rainwater harvesting efforts in the
larger hydrologic context
2. To quantify the amount of artificial recharge added
to groundwater supplies
3. To determine the impact of artificial recharge on
the quality of groundwater.
Study Sites

LOWER Portion UPPER Portion

Anicut: small-medium masonry dam Nadi: medium-large earthen dam


Study Sites

Anicut Anicut
Methods
• Field Methods:
– Groundwater tracers
– Groundwater level measurements
– Groundwater quality measurements
– Reservoir Mapping

• Analytical Methods:
– GIS analysis tools
– Geochemical mixing models
Results & Discussion
Impact of Artificial Recharge on Groundwater Supplies
How much artificial recharge is added to groundwater?

Artificial Recharge Lower Portion Upper Portion


Depth (mm) 94 107
Area of Influence (m2) 50,000 250,000
Volume (m3) 4,682 26,659
Impact of Artificial Recharge on Groundwater Supplies

Artificial Recharge Lower Portion Upper Portion

Depth (mm) 45 44
Area of Influence (m2) 37,600 44,300
Volume (m3) 1,701 1,958
Impact of Artificial Recharge on Groundwater Supplies

2006 Rate
Area of Artificial
Study RWH of Artificial
Influence Recharge
Site Structure Recharge
(m2) (m3)
(mm/yr)
Jharapipla JP.Dam 250,000 107
Jharapipla LY.ANI 50,000 94 4,682
Godawara GD.ANI 44,300 44 1,958
Godawara GD.ANI(2) 37,600 45 1,701

™ Implication: the amount of artificial recharge can vary


significantly between similar anicuts located a mere 10 km
apart
Artificial Recharge in Context of Rural Water Supply

Artificial Approximate
Recharge Total Annual Artificial Recharge
Portion
Study Site within Area Withdrawal within to Groundwater
of Site
of Influence the Study Area Withdrawal Ratio
(TCM) (TCM)
Upper Portion
26.7 60.1 44.3%
(JP.Dam)
Jharapipla
Lower Portion
4.7 43.7 10.7%
(LY.ANI)
Upper Portion
2.0 15.0 13.0%
(GD.ANI)
Godawara
Lower Portion
1.7 15.2 11.2%
(GD.ANI(2))

*TCM = ‘thousand cubic meters’

Artificial recharge vs. withdrawal


– Larger Nadi augments 44% of 2006
groundwater withdrawal
– Smaller Anicuts augment between 11- ™ Implication: artificial
13% of 2006 groundwater withdrawal recharge compensates a
significant portion of
annual groundwater
withdrawal
Impact of Artificial Recharge on Groundwater Quality
How does artificial recharge effect groundwater quality?
Total Calcium Magnesium Total
Electrical Alkalinity
Chloride Sulfate Fluoride Hardness Hardness Hardness Dissolved Turbidity
Conductivity (CaCO3)
(mg/l) (mg/l) (mg/l) (CaCO3) (CaCO3) (CaCO3) Solids (NTU)
(µS/cm) (mg/l)
(mg/l) (mg/l) (mg/l) (mg/l)

Receives
Artificial Mean 82.8 37.0 0.3 800.0 244.3 185.0 128.0 57.0 455.0 1.3
Recharge

(JP.DW3,
S.E. 6.1 11.0 0.1 27.5 7.9 9.0 5.9 4.4 29.9 0.2
LY.DW1)

No
Artificial Mean 102.7 55.3 0.8 866.8 236.2 251.3 158.7 92.7 466.7 5.3
Recharge

(JP.UW1,
GD.UW2, S.E. 21.1 14.0 0.3 86.9 30.9 28.1 16.0 12.9 39.2 0.8
GD.DW2)
Impact of Artificial Recharge on Groundwater Quality
How does artificial recharge effect groundwater quality?
Electrical – The water quality pattern is maintained for
Chloride Sulfate Conductivity the larger data set.
(mg/l) (mg/l) (µS/cm)
– An ANOVA on this data reveal that there
Receive Artificial Recharge Mean 96.6 6.0 827 is a significant difference (p<0.05) in the
JP.DW2, JP.DW3, LY.DW0, EC and Sulfate data between wells
LY.DW1, LY.DW2, LY.DW3, receiving artificial recharge and wells that
GD.DW0, GD.DW3, do not.
GD.DW4 S.E. 10.8 0.5 32
No Artificial Recharge Mean 109.1 11.8 939 ™ Implication: artificial recharge improves
JP.UW1, JP.DW5, JP.DW4, groundwater quality through the dilution of
GD.UW2, GD.DW2, many chemical constituents
GD.DW6 S.E. 10.8 1.0 28
Conclusions
• Groundwater supply:
– Artificial recharge compensates a significant
portion (11-44%) of annual groundwater
withdrawal
– The amount of artificial recharge can vary
significantly between similar anicuts located a
mere 10 km apart
• Groundwater quality:
– Artificial recharge improves groundwater
quality through the dilution of many chemical
constituents
QUESTIONS?