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A sustainable water system for the Swami Maheshwaranande Ashram Cantre

May 2010
India

India is a country that is rapidly developing and many people are prospering from this economic growth. However, in many rural areas, access to good quality water remains a serious problem. In Rajasthan for example, industrial, agricultural and human activities have lead to pollution of many of the underground water sources which creates health problems for the population and it will require considerable investment in the infrastructure to provide a sustainable future for the region.

In this region, Borouge together with one of its customers, Dura-Line, were able to support the Vishwadeep Gurukul organisation in the expansion of their campus at the "Swami Maheshwarananda Ashram" Centre for Education and Research. Harvested rainwater will be distributed to the new university facilities in long lasting PE100 pipes which will provide a sustainable infrastructure in the midst of this water stressed region.

Whilst the growth in India's population and industrial economy continues unabated the lack of attention to the water and sanitation infrastructure is a cause for concern. In many rural areas, the excessive withdrawal of ground water and industrial, agricultural and human activity has led to pollution of many of the water sources. This creates health problems for the population and demands some imaginative solutions to provide a sustainable future for the region.

Rajasthan, in the north west of India, is a desert state with an acute shortage of water. For drinking water much of the population depend upon pumped groundwater and many of the sources are severely contaminated with fluoride and nitrates. This leads to widespread health problems in the local population, including fluorosis of the bones and teeth.

Although there is some rainfall in the region, the sandy soil cannot retain the water making agriculture very difficult to sustain. Also what little water that does gather tends to evaporate quickly at the very high temperatures in the summer months. The high salt and mineral level in the water also quickly corrodes any metal pipes causing high leakage rates, making it an ideal area to use polyethylene water distribution pipes.

Harvesting the rainwater

In 2002, the Vishwadeep Gurukul organisation, supported by the United Nations, developed a very imaginative rainwater harvesting system to support the development of the Swami Maheshwaranand Ashram near the town of Pali, 100 km west of Jodhpur in Western Rajasthan. The water from a large rainwater catchment area flowed into a large collection pond approximately 100m X 150m x 9m deep, which was lined with LOPE film. Any overflow from this pond flows into lower level ponds for ground water recharging. Water from the large pond is then pumped up to a 230 metre high storage tank which then feeds the nearby Swami Maheshwaranand Ashram development.

The Jadan Centre

Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda laid the foundation stone for the "Swami Maheshwaranand Ashram Education and Research Centre" in 1990. Already the centre has primary and secondary schools for 1350 students, a college for 100 students, hostels for visitors, a village for 150 families, a 110 bed specialty hospital and a Yoga and meditation centre. The next phase is a 50,000 square metre "Om University", an architectural marvel which is currently under construction under the guidance of Swami Yogesh Puriji, by the devotees of the organisation who provide both the funds and the labour. Borouge and pipe producer Dura-Line supported the development with the supply of PE pipes and fittings to distribute drinking water from the storage tank to the various parts of the university. A "gray water" recycling system provides water for other needs such as toilet flushing and gardening.

Borouge and Dura-Line are very proud to support this very important project under our "Water for the World" programme which will provide a sustainable future for the Centre in an area of great water stress.

Mr. Pushp Raj Singhvi — Managing Director of Borouge India

The Project

Overall 5.5 km of PE100 water pipes were required for the network in sizes from 25 mm to 160 mm. The total material requirement of 15 tons of BorSafe HE3490-LS was provided by Borouge at very preferential prices. Dura-Line also manufactured the pipes from this material at a very nominal conversion cost.

For small diameters, the pipes were supplied in long coils to facilitate easy handling and installation and the larger diameter pipes were provided in 6m straight lengths. The total system was fully welded minimising any risk of leakage. In addition since PE pipes do not corrode, the network will provide maintenance free operation for many years to support this most important centre for learning and research in the region.