by Father Mayank Parmar for BISMumbai

The Kapadvanj Don Bosco Society situated on the outskirts in the rain-shadow region of the Kheda and Aravali Districts, with an infrastructure of approximately 30, 120 square feet, serves the poor disadvantaged in and around Kapadvanj Block through varied trainings, camps, seminars, and workshops. It also hosts various youth gatherings, public events, events for school children, and for the women self-help groups. In the arid scorching summer months, acute scarcity of water is further compounded by the problem of retention of water and futile attempts to increase the ground water level. This causes severe difficulties, with the organisation of large scale events and programmes becoming next to impossible. Worse yet, even the little possibility of cultivating the land is unthinkable.

To surmount this grave issue of water scarcity, In the year 2000, a water-recharge pond was dug next to the existing bore-well. However, since this particular portion of the land was at a higher level, the water couldn't be efficiently directed into the pond. Yet, it did provide for some type of storage and ensured that the summer activities would continue. However the activities of plantation, cultivation and farming ran into insuperable difficulties.

Eventually Fathers Ivan deSouza and Mayank Parmar studied the possibility of effectively channeling rainwater from the terrace into the recharge-pond. A temporary solution was worked out, channeling 1/4th of the terrace rainwater into the recharge- pond. A permanent solution still had to be found. After much thought, the community at Kapadvanj worked out the possibility of conserving the entire terrace rainwater in different segments. A proposal was prepared, and later approved, resulting in the construction of a water conservation/rainwater harvesting tank which was inaugurated on 03 December 2019 during the Province Day hosted at Don Bosco Kapadvanj.

The water conservation tank is built to conserve a capacity of 01 lakh litre of water. The earlier water-recharge pond has the capacity to contain 02 lakh litre of water. Thus, the 1/4th portion of the terrace, 7530 square feet of water is directed into the water-recharge pond and 15,060 square feet terrace rainwater is directed into the water conservation tank. The remainder of the terrace portion, 7530 square feet of water is channeled directly into the ground through a catch-basin. This month, Kapadvanj has reportedly received approximately 242 mm rain. This is the first rainfall, since the construction of the water-conservation tank.

The expected outcome has been miraculously doubled, with both, the water-recharge pond and the water conservation tank filled up twice. As the tank brims over, the water has been channeled into the recharge pond. This has happened twice over in July alone, since the onset of the rains. This success of 'Project Water Conservation' is directly influencing the implementation of 'Project Go Green', initiated ever since the arrival of Brother Jerome Mendonca as Farm Manager. Eventually, the Don Bosco Kapadvanj Campus will be able to, apart from the vegetable produce and the fruit orchard, look greener with a summer crop and perhaps even more!