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Jamia’s rich harvest: Storing rainwater increases groundwater table by 1 metre

June 16, 2019 05:24 AM

COURTESY TOI JUNE 16

Jamia’s rich harvest: Storing rainwater increases groundwater table by 1 metre
Mohammad. Ibrar@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

Over the years, Jamia Millia Islamia has managed to increase its groundwater table by over a metre through rainwater harvesting. This wasn’t affected by the construction of a metro station in the vicinity. And that’s because the university continued to replenish its groundwater with 17 injection wells and open wells spread over the campus. Now, with the basics in place, Jamia has taken the next step of rainwater harvesting — expand it in a way so that the salinity of groundwater in certain parts of the campus is diluted to make it fit for regular use. The results are already showing.


Rainwater harvesting is done either to recharge groundwater or to stock up for use when normal supply runs low. The same can be done thorugh rooftop rain harvesting and open harvesting through wells and borewells.

“For many years the university’s water table was under stress and our water consumption was also increasing. Then Jamia became one of the first central institutions to approach water harvesting methodologically,” said Gauhar Mahmood, head of the civil engineering department who manages water harvesting.

This intervention contributed to the groundwater table going up by a metre.

Mahmood said it was the timely employment of rainwater harvesting that Jamia now has “regularly consistent groundwater and was not affected by the construction of the Magenta line and metro station”.

Jamia has both saline and fresh groundwater. “The plan is to replenish the groundwater and dilute the salinity in certain areas so that the water could be useful,” said Jamia media coordinator Ahmed Azeem.

The university conducted several tests to verify the overall impact of rainwater harvesting on groundwater quality.

Certain chemical constituents and dissolved solids have also been diluted, making aquifers useful for drinking, gardening and other purposes.

“Our plan is to limit the collection and extraction of water for non-essential activities and to continuously replenish water so that it could be used for consumption. With the dilution of salinity, we want to make all groundwater into freshwater,” Mahmood said

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