A large open well runs dry and is preserved as a memory in the landscape.
India’s unregulated construction boom has come at an enormous environmental cost: the planet’s most dangerously polluted cities, heavily quarried landscapes, huge loss of agricultural land, ecologically dead rivers and persistent power cuts. In addition, the alarming extraction and depletion of ground water – caused by an over-dependence on borewells across both urban and rural areas - sees the country sleepwalking into an apocalyptic environmental future.
In response to this crisis, Jateen Lad has designed a model rainwater harvesting system, based on age-old principles, to capture monsoon rains to improve supplies. It is hoped components of the system will encourage urban developers and farmers alike.
Surface run-offs are captured through a network of contour drains, recharge wells and trenches, planted with vetiver grass and glyricedia as natural check dams, into a large reservoir lined in puddle-clay. The water is pumped for re-use across the farm’s drip irrigation system.
Rooftop rainwater is collected and piped through a graded filtration chamber into an 80,000 litre capacity underground masonry sump for recycling in bathrooms and washing areas. An innovative sump cover uses earth blocks and local pottery spanning across hand-made precast T-beams to provide a lighter, cost-effective and elegant alternative to the conventional insitu cast reinforced concrete slab.
Project: Surface Water and Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting
Location: Pondicherry, India
Architecture & Construction Management: Jateen Lad
Geotechnical Engineer: IV Anirudhan, Geotechnical Solutions
Filtration System: BIOME Solutions
Structural Engineer: Doug King
Masonry: Kumar, Manibalan, Sisubalan | Precasting and Steelwork | Bhaktawatchalam, Manikandan | Plumbing and Pipework: Jayawardene.
[ RURAL DEVELOPMENT | SUSTAINABILITY | ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN | INDIA | ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE | WATER SHORTAGES | RAINWATER HARVESTING | IRRIGATION ]