Rain water tank a must for every house

by Brian Tissera

The facility for collection of rain water in all building will be mandatory in the future. All buildings plans will have to include a tank for collection of rain water which is to be used for purposes other than drinking, Urban Development and Water Supply Minister Dinesh Gunawardane, told a media briefing held to announce the progress of the Kalu Ganga Water Supply Project and the improvement of the water supply system in the Matara District.

Water resources are not unlimited and even though we have not faced a scarcity of water, we have to be careful in order to avoid a problem in the future. Our people have cooperated but more could be done, the Minister said.

"We must realize that purification of water entails very heavy expenditure. Thus we need to appreciate that using drinking water, processed at a heavy cost, should not be used for washing of vehicles, watering of gardens, bathing of cattle or for toilet purposes and other uses for which the use of drinking water is an absolute abuse of scarce resources", he said.

The National Water Supply and Drainage Board incurs a cost of Rs. 22 to purify one unit of water which is sold to consumers to Rs. 1.25. The unit is equivalent to 1000 litres and comparing the cost of a bottle of table water marketed by the private sector is worth over Rs. 30,000.

Our people should not close up the wells in their gardens when they are provided with pipe borne water but rather continue to use the well water for all uses other than for consumption. The concept of a twin supply of water, one for consumption and the other of a quality less than that needed for drinking/consumption should be implemented as is done in many countries.

The new schemes, both the Kalu Ganga and Matara Water Supply Systems will provide pipe borne water to consumers in Moratuwa, Panadura, Bandaragama, Horana, Matara Pradeshiya area, Devinuwara Pradeshiya area and Dickwella.

The Kalu Ganga project will include the construction of a water treatment plant with a capacity of 13.2 million gallons per day resulting in a service improvement to 400,000 existing consumers and a potential for 100,000 new connections in the Southern part of Greater Colombo and lesser towns of the Kalutara District.

An expansion of capacity would result from the improvement of the Water Supply System in the Matara District, increasing the present capacity of 6.6 million gallons per day to 9.9 million gallons per day, he said.



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