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These are extracts of conversations of WOW members in the Core Executive Group. Add your comments, views

Rainwater... a time-tested system that's lost on us

There is much to learn from cities of ancient times. All rain water used to be collected in centralised tanks from across every such city. Check out our century old buildings, palaces, cities, including the Mysore Palace built about a 100 years ago. You will find such systems. Why is our ground water table going down every year, in spite of rains being much the same practically every year. We are drawing water from the ground and not letting rainwater to recharge the water that is drawn out.

-  V K Saxena

Today in my layout, about 2200 homes, less than a hundred homes have RWH systems. Most of them have done without conviction of what such systems can save. Most of the rainwater goes to the storm drains and is lost for any harvesting. No wonder it adds to the risks of inundation and flooding in this layout as in many others in the city. How do you beat this complete disregard?

- Neel Mathews


RWH  has always been there. The techniques and know-how that our ancestors practised was precise, well worked out, and scientific. Also they believed in necessity based consumption unlike us.

-  B S Mamatha


Behaviour barriers and what we could do...

Since we are dealing with communities, research of the kind that IIMB did recently on behaviour of water-users could offer insights for designing interventions.

-  Shivani

Our behaviour patterns are indeed worth examining for ourselves. In my case a lit bathroom is a must before I enter, even in daytime. It is not that I am afraid of darkness. It is an irrational side. Similarly while brushing teeth the tap has to be kept open. Why? I did not have an answer until recently when I overcome this block. I have trained myself now to immediately close the tap even as I continue to brush. I have been recycling water from a long time. After joining WOW, I am thinking up many more ways to save water. I have convinced my son, too, not to use the shower. Yes, data will help a lot, as the study says.

-  B S Mamatha


In May 2021, I wrote in our Church magazine this, to add some thoughts on separate plumbing lines for regular water and recycled water line for flushing.     - Neel Mathew

R E U S E    O F    G R E Y    W A T E R    W I T H O U T    T R E A T I N G    I T

Adapt a system of reusing grey water generated from baths, washing machine and kitchen for flushing toilets. I have done it for the last 15 years.For this, the first thing needed is two separate lines for regular water and recycled water (used for flushing). Though it can be done with minimal cost impact, civil engineers do not stand for it. What is needed is using a smaller dia pipe for regular water, use an additional smaller dia pipe for flushing. Instead we use a larger dia pipe for the main line, 2 inch cpvc pipe. Once all pipes are concealed in the wall plastering, changing over to recycled water for flushing becomes a herculean task. Please take care in new designs. It is a must for the future. Most homes in the city are so densely built that people have hardly any place around their house for any modifications... And breaking open existing toilet floors, walls etc to relay pipes no resident will accept. Yes, the bathroom plumbing as a 'compact model' has only one input line, at times two - the extra one for solar water heater input. I have done it at the time of construction. If people are really concerned about saving water then they should implement it at earliest. Otherwise this reuse of water will only be a topic for discussion on social media.

-  Saxena


Even for the rainwater harvesting system there was a lot of resistance but when the government made it mandatory, people started doing it, many reluctantly. I tried for two water lines, but my builder friend convinced my family and went ahead with single line plumbing. Now everything is concealed! Unbeatable cost and troubles to redo. Nature friendly matters are viewed much below even a luxury, as "good for nothing" ... We praise nature and nation as *Ma*, but when it comes to doing something of greater benefit, we don't even care as much as we do for a beggar!      

-  Mamatha


Bangalore did not receive enough rainfall during this season till now . Looks like the city is going to face a severe water crisis in summer of 2022. Those who have taken water conservation measures may get some relief . Water conservation mission of WOW is a social cause and has become a necessity not only to Bangalore but all water starved cities.         

-  Suresh Pai


People spend lakhs of rupees to do cosmetic improvement in their houses but are not ready to spend money which will benefit them as well as society in rationalising the use of a very scarce and essential resource "WATER".         

-  Saxena


The WOW Action Forum hosts Commendation Awards every quarter and bestows the                                                                  on all Big Water-Savers who save and so ‘donate’ water to the city by consuming less fresh water in the interest of making water-positive cities.



We have installed Aerators in 2018 ,this has saved around 5000 ltrs of fresh water per day - 18 lakh ltrs per annum on aerators - saving of 12%. We have STP water 30 k ltrs daily which is used for flushing toilets, garden and cleaning common area for around 20k per day. This has reduced demand on fresh water - borewell water as we do not have Cauvery connection. Recently  we have completed roof top RWH phase I in one of the blocks (out of 3) with a catchment area of 1000 sq meters. This is saving us 8- 9 lakh ltrs of water per annum. We also have rooftop solar of 49.7 KWp and our saving on common electricity is around Rs. 55 to 60 k per month and around 6 lakh per annum considering Rainy days.                                                                                                                       

-  Suresh  Pai











WOW & AltTech Foundation have formed a strategic alliance with Global Water Works, Wisconsin, and Water And Waste Management, Chicago, for promoting strategies for Outreach and adoption of water technologies.

The human engineering is actually happening through the peace engineers that are in our group too, who are saying its about connecting and collaborating. We heard water could lead to wars but infact its leading to peace where people talk and share the best practices and successes and celebrate each other.

- Mary Eggert


I am a big fan of Gandhiji. He is my role model from the day I was born. And he said, 'Practice what you Preach'. So I tell people, especially the universities and elders, that if you practice what you are telling the youngsters, they will do it. Otherwise they will lose faith and trust.

- Mr. Raj Rajaram


In 1960s when we swam in the river and took water directly from anywhere and drank it. Are we in that situation now? NO!  Already our generation failed to hand it over the way we got it from our forefathers. So somehow we have to take up the responsibility. People have to think how to better the assignment and hand it on to the next generation.

- Mr. Syama Pappu


Have a conviction in your heart that you care about other people. Then you realize that I have to do what's good for me, but I have to make sure it's good for someone else. But it's so hard, because most of us are selfish, and we turn the turn the water on when we want to turn it on, and we turn it off when we decide. When competition become collaboration mighty things happen.

- Mr. Emery Smith


Alt. Tech Foundation is a not-for-profit, for-industry Foundation for

(i) producing sustainability managers and leaders,
(ii) providing green management skill sets,

(iii) hosting city-wide campaigns for citizen collective action to save water & energy,

(iv) purposing research for city infrastructure.

WOW Action Forum is a globally pioneering effort for bringing collective private action to save very large quantities of water at apartments, at Industry, at tech parks, or hotels and hospitals or malls and other such buildings. The 2021 mission is set to save 1000 Cr lites with community-led action. This alone will bring a saving of 236 Cr in electricity bills for the city, and a reduction in carbon emission of nearly 300,000 tonnes equivalent.

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