Let's Talk Water
Chennai, the fourth-largest city in India with nearly 7 million people, has been suffering from recurrent water shortages. In 2019, Chennai faced the worst water crisis in its history - 203 days with no rainfall. The local government has been investigating very seriously alternative water sources, such as rainwater harvesting, lake rejuvenation, etc. Chennaites do not understand the real problem neither are they equipped to solve it. We believe decentralized rainwater harvesting (RWH) could be an effective solution. As an example, a case study in Chennai demonstrated that the return on investment of retrofitting a residential apartment complex with an RWH system is about two years. With RWH, they can be supplied for 60 days/ year for 350 residents and save up to 2154USD/year. Although the general understanding of the benefits of RWH is known, the adoption of RWH is still very low. The lack of scientifically proven data regarding the benefits (incl. water- and cost-savings) of decentralized RWH systems specific to people’s locality is one of the major obstacles in the adoption of RWH systems. Another obstacle to the adoption of RWH is the difficulty to find verified information on RWH design and approved suppliers. Similarly, there are 37 countries that face "extremely high" levels of water stress (WRI), which include South Africa, India etc., setting an urgency to take up actions especially by the citizens to become water resilient. Therefore there is a dire need for such cities to get access to accurate information in an understandable manner in order to implement local solutions. Photo in the header : © Cynthia van Elk | Water as Leverage
Worldwide water crisis calls for tools beyond current awareness-oriented methodologies. It advocates for science-based, local high-resolution data and user-friendly services to help city actors seize the potential of rainwater and to be part of a larger movement to transition towards water resilient cities. Let’s Talk Water is a rainwater harvesting Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that supports end-users to understand, decide, design and build an effective decentralized rainwater harvesting systems by providing credible, local scientific data and a network of experts. It also helps reduce dependence on the centralised water supply and transforms the users to be more informed and responsible. The tool also has the potential to be scaled up to other cities experiencing similar water challenges. The prototype of Let’s Talk Water can be found on the following link: www.letstalkwater.ml.