Sustainable Cities™

Jamshedpur: Reducing water shortage through rainwater harvesting

In Jamshedpur, India, industrial production, water conservation and environmental concern go hand in hand. In a city with scarce ground water resources and an uneven rainfall across the year, special attention is given to the establishment of rainwater harvesting systems. Jamshedpur is recognised as a model green city, not just in India, but globally.

Jubilee Park lake i Jamshedpur, 26. oktober 2007, Af Keki Malegamwala, Flickr, Creative Commons

Jamshedpur is a testament to the visions of the first private iron and steel company of India, Tata Steel. It is a carefully planned industrial city with green streets, public parks and large areas for sports. It is also the only city in India without a municipality. The responsibility for its conservation and maintenance is entirely assumed by Tata Steel, a unique situation in the world.

The water for industrial and domestic use in Jamshedpur is drawn from rivers and from an artificial reservoir, Dimna Lake, situated 13 km from Jamshedpur. Dimna Lake constructed by Tata Steel in the 1970s was to meet the emergency water supply demand of the city and companies located in Jamshedpur, particularly during poor monsoon years. Three major drains carrying rainwater and surface run-off water from nearby villages feed this artificial impounding.

JUSCO (Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Co. Ltd.) is the name of the Tata administration that maintains civic amenities and facilities in Jamshedpur. Management of water and waste water is the primary focus area for JUSCO with rain water harvesting as one of the major drives to cope with the scarcity of water. With the ground water table depleting and the availability of water becoming increasingly scarce, JUSCO has implemented various rainwater harvesting systems in Jamshedpur locations - such as local schools, residential colonies and housing complexes.

 Broad roads with Trees all along the road_MK C

Rainwater harvesting is a simple and cost-effective water preservation system: Roof run-off is collected through down comers and ground run-off through under ground collection chambers. From the recovery chambers, water is pumped to head tanks on top of buildings that are completely isolated from potable water tanks. The collected rainwater is used for toilet flush, maintenance of garden lawns and car washing, thus saving a large amount of potable water.

Furthermore, JUSCO has created a mass awareness programme on water. Public exhibits and media campaigns, water theme marches on World Water Day, quiz and science shows on water in schools as well as seminars and workshops on water conservation and rainwater harvesting are some of the projects run under the water awareness programme.

Jamshedpur won international acclaim when it was selected for the 2004 Global Compact City award by the United Nations. In April 2008, JUSCO received two prestigious water excellence awards, one of them highlighting the Tata organisation as "one of the most effective water service providers on the Indian subcontinent." 

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014