Among the many intelligently designed systems that utilize every raindrop that falls on the watershed area is the Ramtek model. This model is named after the rain water harvesting structures in the town of Ramtek in Maharashtra. It consists of an intricate network of groundwater and surface water bodies intrinsically connected through surface and underground canals. Runoff was harvested in this method through tanks, supported by high yielding wells and structures like baories, kundis and waterholes. These are generally constructed and owned by landowners. The tanks extend from the foothills to the plains forming a chain and conserves about 60-70 percent of the total runoff. First the tanks located in the upper areas close to hills get filled to capacity and then water flowed down to fill the successive tanks through interconnecting channels. A small waterhole stored whatever water remained unstored and formed the end of the sequential arrangement. Quick runoffs and little percolation were achieved by the presence of Ramtek ridge in the middle, having a steep slope on both sides. The residents of the Southern plains constructed different types of water conservation structures like tanks where they could trap maximum water.
Zings are another kind of water harvesting structures. They consist of small tanks where melted glacier water is collected. The network of guiding channels that bring water from the glacier to the tank, form the essential part of the system. During the day, the glaciers melt and the channels fill up with a trickle that turns into flowing water in the afternoon. By evening the water gets collected which is used the next day.
The Government of Kerala is also trying to utilize the plenty of rain that Kerala receives every year. Kochi builders are trying to install rain water harvesting system in all their projects.
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Ramtek Model and Zings – Methods of Harvesting Rain
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