Hello from Biome Environmental Trust!
For more than 20 years, Biome Trust has been dedicated to approaching urban environments with a localised, citizen-centric livelihoods perspective. Our mission is to address essential questions on water and land management, like: How do environmental and climate risks affect us on a personal level? What actions can individuals take to prevent or mitigate these effects? How can we collectively advocate for change? And how can we engage policymakers and decision-makers to drive positive actions?
Our commitment is to connect those passionate about improving cities with the knowledge and information required to effect change. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Rainmatter Foundation for their invaluable support. With their support, the core Biome team has put in focussed efforts into the following activities:
In the past year, Biome Environmental Trust has actively collaborated with citizens to preserve and revitalise groundwater reserves across the city and towns of Tumakuru and Devanahalli We’ve introduced rainwater harvesting in schools with active student involvement and organised knowledge-sharing events on water conservation. These endeavours have transformed how people perceive the significance of water, be it groundwater, rainwater, or wastewater, within our ecosystem.
Reviving Devanahalli’s Water Supply: A Sustainable Solution
Devanahalli, a town north of Bengaluru, experienced escalating water demands and deteriorating groundwater quality. With its population of 38,000, it relied heavily on borewells, many of which had run dry, and the remaining water had high salt content, requiring expensive RO-filtered drinking water.
Biome Trust recognized an opportunity as treated wastewater from the Hebbal Nagavara Valley project flowed into nearby lakes. They revived an old well near Sihineeru Kere, a local lake, and integrated the shallow aquifer. With this innovation, the well’s yield increased to 200 KL/day.
Devanahalli’s Town Municipal Corporation now provides approximately 1200 KL/day to households, raising daily water availability to 32-35 LPCD. A Water Treatment Plant (WTP) ensures compliance with BIS 10500 standards. Shallow aquifer water is cheaper to pump and has lower TDS levels, making it potable.
The next phase envisions reinforcing the ecosystem with interventions such as wetland creation, additional filter borewells, biodiversity enhancement, channel cleaning, and lake bund stabilization.
Crucially, the project aims to serve as a learning laboratory and a case study for other towns and villages seeking to revive and integrate shallow aquifers into their water supply. This transformative initiative breathes new life into Devanahalli’s water supply, setting a powerful example for sustainable water management in communities nationwide.
This project was conceptualised and facilitated by Biome Environmental Trust. However, successful execution happened due to contributions from our key partners in the ecosystem - Rotary Bangalore South Parade, Rotary Bengaluru Lake World, Carl Zeiss, ITC Mission Sunehra Kal, Say Trees, IISc, Boson White Water / Transwater Private limited, Devanahalli taluks, Devanahalli TMC members, watermen, plumbers and volunteers.
Transforming Lives with Rainwater Harvesting in Kora School, Tumkur
The Kora School in Tumkur, Karnataka, is benefiting from a remarkable Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) project, a part of WIPRO Cares’ CSR initiative, executed by Biome Environmental Trust. With a student body of 220 and 8 teaching staff, the school’s daily water demand is 4,500 litres. To fulfil this need, the Biome team introduced RWH, encompassing rooftop collection and a recharge well.
The RWH interventions encompass two buildings with a combined rooftop area of 700 sqm. Downtake pipes connect the buildings, leading to a first rain separator to eliminate initial runoff. The harvested water undergoes filtration before being collected in a 15,000L underground sump, further linked to an overhead tank. An additional recharge well replenishes the groundwater, bolstering sustainability.
This system yields 560,000 liters of rainwater annually, recharging 280,000 liters and storing the remainder. The water is used for various school needs, including handwashing, cleaning, and gardening.
Water literacy programs were introduced, equipping the school with the tools to measure rainfall and test water quality. A WASH committee was formed, fostering water management and conservation.
By harnessing and wisely utilizing rainwater, the Kora School not only addresses its water needs but also conserves resources, reducing dependence on external water sources. This impactful initiative, featured by Goan Connection, is transforming the way the school manages its water resources, instilling knowledge and sustainability in the community.
“ After the construction of Highway, the lakes around the schools have dried. Water conservation is the need of the hour. I wanted to set up a rainwater Harvesting system in the school. It made so much sense because it is cost effective and promotes both water and energy conservation” - Mr. Madhusudan Rao, Headmaster of Kora school, Tumkur and member of Tumkur Science Center
“ When the plant was being set up, we were told about rainwater Harvesting and how it had huge advantages. Rao Sir told us how it was important to conserve water and not squander it so that we could avoid a water crisis in the future. We learnt how water can be reused for our day-to-day activities such as flushing of toilets, cleaning, gardening and cooking” - Sandhya Rani, Class 7 student, Kora school
Revitalization of three public wells in Tumakuru
As part of Wipro Tumakuru’s CSR efforts, two wells were earmarked for restoration, including the Upparahalli Well, the Devarayapattana well and a well in Indiranagar, Tumakuru. The Biome team’s initial inspections identified the need to curtail drainage water ingress and foster community involvement in well utilization and maintenance. The project strives to enhance water quality and community engagement, overcoming challenges posed by local residents.