September 22, 2011

A 100% water positive home in Bangalore?

 I hope you read the title of this post carefully. Aren't you staring at the Computer in disbelief? I did. In spite of knowing about BCIL's (ZED habitats) previously launched properties, I still had to hear it from the horse's mouth to convince myself.

After having lived in Bangalore for over 10 years now, in various locations, I know what water scarcity is. Everyone seems to be running from pillar to post complaining. Right from the Builders to the users, no one seems to be looking at the right solution. Which is well within our grasp, our reach.

I lived in an apartment off Hosur Main Road for a few years before moving into Sarjapur Road. The two main selling points of this apartment were proximity to the highway in addition to the 24 hour Cauvery water supply. But within a year or so, we realized that Cauvery just couldn't meet our need or greed. So, we dug our first borewell. Until then, we depended on the nameless tankers that plied in and out, day and night. Water quality? We were totally in the dark. And no one dared to find out. Even if we found out the source of water or even exposed the poor quality of water, in our heart of hearts we knew that we had no solution otherwise. Hobson's choice really.

Just a year later, the first bore well dried up. Almost painfully. I watched from my kitchen window as the drilling machine dug the first bore well. I felt the pain as they dug deeper and deeper in their quest for water. The first one took good two days of continuous drilling. As the machine cut through the layers and layers of Earth, as she bore the pain in silence, the only external manifestation was the silent whiff of dust that hovered over the green and the cars.

The Association then collected money for the second bore well. All the while realizing that we may never be able to find water in the second one. We moved out, but to this day, their water problems continue and aggravate. A beautiful property with 100% privacy- with no view of neighboring apartments, but, what's the point?

I have heard stories of my friends who live in real premium apartments, but they also face acute water shortage problems. They all depend on the nameless tankers that bring in water from God knows where! No one dares to find out.

In spite of this problem looming large on us, on our nation and on the world at large, how can we continue to live in this state of denial? Is the solution to this problem so esoteric that it needed a water champion like Hariharan to start BCIL? India boasts of so many technological achievements. We are leaders in more ways than one. But, why? why does it have to take so long for the mainstreaming of these WATER-POSITIVE technologies?

BCIL Zed Earth is not just about water. I got carried away by the amazing positive impact that the Zed Earth homes have on the Planet. Zed Earth is 70% independent from the State Grid for power for every one of its 130+ homes.

Zed Food Miles program has already started at ZedEarth with current vegetable production being about 2 tons for the year. Hats off to Hariharanji and team!

I have been able to touch upon just three facets- water, power and food! Delving deeper into the Zed Earth story, I realize that they are truly and almost unbelievably one of a kind in the world. Coming from a true green builder whose kitty has the first ever global LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental design, US Green Building Council)  Platinum certification for apartments, this must be just another logical step.

BCIL has validation to claim that Zed Earth will be by far the largest such ‘sustainable’ residential enclave in the world that relies so little on the world outside for energy or water or its waste management.

I happen to follow lot of green news and sustainability case studies. Most of them seem to be just meandering along the green surface, whereas the challenges lie deep below- where not many seems to be wanting to tread.


Remya said...

Very good post Minu...Me too dreaming about a perfect India..with enough food, water, power and proper waste(whatever) management system! Congrats to Hariharan sir for the initiative.

Proma Chatterjee Nautiyal said...

Very informative post are so right in saying that most of the green initiatives are just brushing the surface of the main problems that lie deep beneath.One more thing that is developing real fast and I really hope it starts working on a much larger scale is the Solar Lighting Project..A more collective effort is required in order to make the Earth a better place. :)

arumugam said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

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