A MAJOR programme of water harvesting is on at the Rashtrapati Bhavan that could serve as an inspiration to the nation regarding the importance of saving rainwater.
The Presidential Estate covering an area of 133 hectares receives water amounting to 812 million litres per year in the form of rainfall. The idea now is to tap this source by capturing all the rainwater that falls on Rashtrapati Bhavan to augment the
water requirement of the estate as well as re charge the ground water.
According to sources at the Centre for Science and Environment that developed the plan for water harvesting at Rashtrapati Bhavan, there has been an alarming decline of ground water levels in the estate.
Following President KR Narayanan attending one of the seminars on water harvesting conducted by environmentalist Anil Agarwal, Director, Centre for Science and Environment the idea of rain water harvesting at the President's Estate was mooted. The scheme
is being implemented by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and Central Public Works Department (CPWD).
Water need of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is very high as besides the President, there are about 7,000 people residing in the Presidential Estate and approximately 3,000 people visit the presidential premises everyday. There are also the Mughal Gardens in the
estate, which require a lot of water.
The total demand is about 2 million litres of water per day (730 million litres per year). Presently this demand is met through the New Delhi Municipal Corporation supply and the President's Estate's own borewells. Untreated raw water from the Yamuna river
is used for the Mughal Gardens. The water level has gone down by 2 to 7 meters in the past decade. One well has also run dry.