Concepts and Techniques

Rain Water Harvesting

The rainwater that falls on the rooftops can be harvested for groundwater recharge using appropriate techniques. This method may be applied for the roofs of existing houses/buildings as well as those to be constructed by DDA or other agencies in future.

It is estimated that a total of 2 MCM of water can be utilized for groundwater recharge at a cost of Rs.18.92 crores.

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Lakes and Depressions

Lakes have often been misused for dumping of solid waste and sewage disposal. Water quality can be improved by replicating the principles of wetlands by the introduction of aquatic plants and fish in a systematic manner. Unique phenomenon of algae, bacteria symbiosis reduces the BOD. The fish population acts as an ecological manipulator by grazing on the algal population.

The storage capacity can be increased by desilting and widening. It is proposed to desilt and deepen the lakes with the assistance of draglines machines, which are to be deployed during the lean season. The lakes would need to be linked up with storm water runoff in the vicinity to augment the inflow.

This measure improves the quantity of groundwater recharge as well as the quality of available groundwater.

Floodplain Reservoirs

It is proposed to create recharge basin and reservoirs on the flood plains by scooping out earth from the flood plains at appropriate locations and letting these reservoirs to be filled up by the expanded monsoon season flow of the river.

The Yamuna flood plain comprising of 97 sq.km. of area in Delhi offers a good scope for development of groundwater resources subsequent to the storage of monsoon waters on the flood plain itself. Out of 580 MCM of monsoon season flow allocated to Delhi about 280 MCM goes unutilized due to lack of storages.


Quarry Reservoirs

Abandoned quarries are available in the vicinity of urban areas. With some modification of their catchment area and/or linkage with some nearby channels these can be used to store water, which would otherwise run-off. Depth and width of these quarries can be increased where the volume of runoff waters can be calculated to be in excess of present storage capacity.

Tajpur and Bhatti are two most promising projects. The area at the periphery of the individual quarries may be shaped in the form of gently sloping catchment. This would direct an enhanced runoff into the quarry.

Historical Water Bodies

Many ancient reservoirs have been disused due to change of catchment characteristics or due to destruction of feeding channel. These baolis/reservoirs can be reused as small recharge points. Major gains can be made only from the large reservoirs.


These are abandoned course of rivers or streams and can be served as excellent ground water storage and recharge locations. Division of some of the monsoon flows into these channels greatly replenishes the declining water table for subsequent use.

Check Dams

In the regional topography several small or large check dams are possible and may be created not so much for surface withdrawal but for recharging the falling ground water table. There are number of micro watersheds present in Delhi e.g. in the Ridge which provide excellent topographical formation to conserve monsoon runoff through simple recharge structures.

Artificial recharge experiments through newly constructed check dams have been carried out in JNU and IIT. Small check dams are constructed over the stream bed thereby checking run-off and increasing the contact period of the rainwater with underlying formations.

A total of 17 fresh check dam sites are proposed. Catchment areas will have to be protected from encroachment and should be well wooded with planting of local vegetation. Masonry dams of the type already constructed in JNU may be repeated with modifications.


Village Ponds

The original purpose of village ponds was to give sustainability to adjacent wells and for cattle drinking, bathing, etc.As village are absorbed into urban areas with increasing reliance on tube wells, the ponds are becoming cesspools. These ponds can function as storage reservoirs and recharge areas subsequent to desiltation and improvement of their water quality. Following recommendations are given:

  • No sewage should be diverted to ponds in order to maintain their water quality.
  • No garbage dumping should be permitted.
  • Technique of in-situ improvement of water quality using aquatic plants and fishes can be introduced where necessary in order to avoid mosquito breeding.
  • Grass plantation should be carried out along the perimeter of ponds in the immediate sloping catchment.
  • Existing ponds are to be widened to the extent possible and deepened by 1.0m and nearby storm water drainage is to be used to fill up the additional capacity thus created.
  • Pond may be desilt and deepen with the assistance of draglines machines.


This involves the creation of artificial wetlands using aquatic plant root zone system to treat sewage waters upto tertiary levels for recycling to the irrigation and horticultural sector and possibly some industrial estates.

The system utilizes the roots of certain type of plants to provide sub-strates for the growth of bacteria, which utilizes the nutrients present in the effluents, and for the transfer of oxygen. The plants commonly employed are duckweed, water hyacinth, pennwort, etc. The plants have to be harvested regularly and about 20 to 25% plants should be removed at each harvest. These plants have a root system of rhizomes, containing thick hollow air passages, from which fine hair roots hang down. This root zone can support a very large population of aerobic microorganisms. Bacteria, dominate the microbial population, which is expected to degrade most of the simpler organic materials i.e. those contributing to BOD.The fungi and actinomycetes, although fewer in number, have a wider range of hydrolytic activities and are expected to degrade many of the large molecules that contribute to the COD.

The waste water encounters alternate aerobic and anaerobic microbial population which convert carbonaceous and to a lesser extent nitrogenous and phosphatic, contaminants in the water to less polluting materials. Further microorganisms can form biofilms around lower stems, which can then trap particles suspended in the wastewater by absorption.

It is expected to achieve an effluent quality of 5-10mg/l of suspended solids. A total of 495 MGD of recycled water can be made available for irrigation, horticulture and industrial needs and for domestic non-drinking supply.



Now, it is felt that in Delhi, Water Conservation has to be turned into a movement involving citizens at all levels i.e. Bhagidari in Water Conservation. It is therefore proposed to launch The Citizens Water Alliance for Voluntary Efficiency in Saving Program. An important initiative towards bringing demand and supply gap in the water situation, The Citizens Water Alliance for Voluntary Efficiency in Saving Program will be a voluntary programme dedicated to achieving water use efficiency.


  • Imparting timely information regarding leakages, bursting of pipelines to delhi Jal Board and eliciting quick response to ensure effective and efficient functioning of the water distribution system at all levels.

  • Educating all citizens of delhi regarding water conservation methods and techniques to bring about greater water efficiency and thus bring about an effective increase in supply of filtered water.

  • Inculcating an awareness of the rapid depletion of ground water level and the need to harvest rainwater through simple Rain Water Harvesting Structures.


        Water Wardens and Asstt. Water Wardens :

  • It is proposed to nominate about 500 Water Wardens and 150 Asstt. Water Wardens (one each from school students, young and old age group). These 2000 wardens shall be imparted training to make them conversant with DJB water supply systems and methods of conservation of water including saving that can be affected in day to day household uses. The selection of the Water Wardens will be made from the RWA's whereas the Asstt. Water Wardens will be nominated from the ECO CLUBS.

  • In order to achieve short term / long terms objectives, trining will be imparted by means of workshops / seminars / site visits etc. on a regular and sustained basis. A monthly meeting will be held under the chairmanship of CEO, where mutual exchange of information will take place.

  • Suggestions / ideas on dissemination of information regarding water conservation / Rain Water harvesting would be welcomed and suitably acknowledged.

Responsibilities Of Water Wardens / Asstt. Water Wardens

  • Watch for leakages, bursting of water lines / faulty water devices etc.

  • Passing on of information regarding leakages etc. to DJB control rooms / concerned officials at the earliest.

  • To ensure rectification of the reported matters.

  • Bring about awareness of water conservation measures in all spheres of activity.

  • Disseminate information regarding depletion of ground level and its consequences.

  • Assist DJB in providing technical assistance to citizens desirous of implementing simpler and effective Rain Water Harvesting Techniques / methods.

Membership Incentives For Water Wardens / Asstt. Water Wardens :

  • The services of efficient dedicated Water Wardens will be duly acknowledged by DJB by way of award of Water Savior Certificates, publicity through media etc. A scheme of attractive gifts may also be considered in case of highly deserving individuals.

  • For the young Asstt. Water Wardens quiz / essay competitions will be held on a regular basis.

Some tips for water conservation

  • Use only as much water as you require.
  • Close the tap well after use.
  • While brushing your teeth do not leave the tap running, open it only when you require it.
  • See that there are no leaking taps. Get a plumber to come in and seal all leaks.
  • Use a washing machine that does not consume too much water.
  • Do not leave the taps running while washing dishes and clothes.
  • Install small showerheads to reduce the flow of water.
  • Water in which the vegetables and fruits have been washed can be used to water the flowers and ornamental potted plants.
  • At the end of the day if you have water left in your water bottle do not throw it away, pour it over some plants.

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