WATER SECURITY AT VOSD
OBJECTIVE: to ensure a continuous supply of water at vosd
We have been able to build a solid water harvesting system that can take up to 17 lakhs of water! We have expanded to 1.5 lakhs of underground water storage. Our drainage systems are now working full time and we are able to harvest enough water for 6 months, during the latter half of the year.
Even though there is no ground water at VOSD, we have been able to ensure our dogs never have to struggle for water.
Here’s a glimpse into the VOSD water situation:
origin of the vosd water crisis:
When we took possession of this land where the VOSD Sanctuary & Hospital stands, it was a Eucalyptus plantation. This was uprooted and it gave us absolutely dry barren land that took over 2 years for anything to grow.
VOSD IS IN THE DRIEST PART OF INDIA
- Karnataka as a whole is the second driest state in India after Rajasthan!
- This is skewed by the fact that the Western Ghats in Karnataka are one of the wettest regions in India- it stands to reason that the rest of the state- north from Bangalore and east of the Western Ghats is drier than Rajasthan.
- We are in this region 75 km north (for reasons of proximity to the vet infrastructure of Bangalore).
- Water scarcity is compounded by the fact that we are in a very hilly region made of granite rock.
THE CRISIS WAS BUILDING
- Last year the monsoon failed and we ran dry and had to buy water for a few months. We received concentrated rainfall in September and October after the monsoon season. Clearly it was not enough to recharge our surface and underground water. This year we ran dry a month earlier than last year.
- Water usage has increased as the number of dogs has increased and with the ongoing construction of the VOSD- City of Dogs.
- Submersible pumps need 440v 3 Phase power supply to run. 3 phase power is supplied for 1 hour a day in the night, but in the dry season at about 200-250v. It is inadequate to pump water most nights.
- In late February 2020, the VOSD Sanctuary & Hospital ran out of water leaving hundreds of dogs, cows, and horses in a very perilous situation.
- While we were getting by, buying water daily with water tankers, India went into lockdown and this greatly precipitated our situation. Our supply lines were severed. Water comes from 22 km away; food and medicine comes from 75-90 km away in Bangalore.
ENSURING WATER SECURITY FOR VOSD
- Underground storage #1: The 150,000 litre tank nearing completion was to be used to store the underground water we pump out. Now it will be used to store filtered rainwater exclusively.
- Underground storage #2: We already have a deep recharge pond that will now be converted to a covered underground concrete water storage of 500,000 liter. This will also be filled with filtered rainwater.
- Rainwater collection & filtration system: An extensive rainwater collection and filtration system will be installed across the existing large roofs > 10,000 sq feet including of the hospital, 4 residences, single large kennel areas All this will use a system of gutters and filters and pumps to bring water to these tanks.
- Recharge wells for the bore wells: The smaller roofs of kennels and enclosures will also use gutters to drain into 5-6 recharge wells for the bore well that will be 15-25’ feet deep.
- Redesign of the main rainwater runoff pond: The main runoff collection pond holds 75,000 cubic feet of water when full. However, for 3 years now this has not been filling up. Besides, as the consultants who have visited told us this have pointed out- this pond is on the Eastern extremity of the farm. Water above and below ground where we are flows West to East – so it does little for our bore wells. Most of the water evaporates so the last 1 foot can’t be used because of the silt. We plan to use only half of the pond, fill the other half, but make it 10’ deeper and line the walls and sides and cover it. This will not be solid concrete but will ensure that water is not lost to seepage and evaporation. This water will then be filtered and pumped back to Underground Storage No #2 and #1. Together with the Underground Storage #2 this will give us 15 lac liters of storage.
- Upgrade of the STP: Upgrading the STP from the basic system will allow us to clean water to a point that it can be used by a commercial RO system (to be installed).
- Install Commercial grade RO plant: A commercial RO plant of 500 LPH capacity will produce 5000 liters of drinking water each day from our Underground Storage #1 and #2.