In times of water level depletion in dams and groundwater tables, experts have asked for a revision of the industrial policy on rainwater harvesting. While industries are allowed rainwater harvesting, they use Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) water for their needs. Experts have called for a change in this policy as these industries are seeking tanker water services from MIDC instead of using the harvested water.
According to statistics, the MIDC has about 233 industrial complexes spread over 1,30,000 acres all over the state. Rainwater harvesting expert Colonel SG Dalvi from the climate reality project says that it is ironical that industries are permitted to have rainwater harvesting systems but are not allowed to use the harvested rain water.
“This is a short-sighted policy. While generating revenue, it is adding to the water shortage in the rest of the state. By selling water to the industries, MIDC earns around Rs 500 crore annually,” Dalvi says. MIDC provides water to its complexes using water tankers where required. The corporation provides approximately 2,240 million litres of water per day.
Pune’s Hinjewadi IT Park Phase 1 and 2 has a total land holding of approximately 440 acres. The annual rainwater potential, using Pune’s average figures of 770 mm, is about 1,100 million litres. This potential, if used judiciously, would make large amounts of water available for agriculture and domestic use.
At the same time, implementing rainwater harvesting schemes on such large areas would help improve groundwater levels.This would also make huge amounts of water available to the agriculture and domestic sector. It would also help reduce the carbon footprint, says another expert on the issue.
Due to water shortage across the country and no environment friendly water policy, industries are facing water cuts and this is going to affect industrial output, which would in turn affect jobs generation and economy growth.
Dalvi and other experts working in the field say that it is very strange that we have failed to tap rainwater potential for our benefits. Since last year, the state government has made funds available for farm ponds in the agriculture sector, which consumes around 70 per cent of fresh water available. Farm pond is a type of rainwater harvesting method. MIDC officials, on their part, have said that they have to check the rules on the issue.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines