In 1997 the Residential Zone Watersystem was initiated and created by the Housing Development Fund (a unit of Auroville Fund with Francis, Rolf and Brigitte as executives) to provide drinking water to the Residential Zone, as no infrastructure was available in this area.
The vision being, that this Residential Zone Watersystem would be the first of many watersystems circling the city. All the watersystems would be linked to one another and would draw from all the existing wells.
Helmut from Grace was the architect for the watertank, while Piero designed the underground tank. The execution was done by Sumark during May 1997 to January 1998.
Since April 1998 the RZ Watersystem is in place and functioning, supplying water to the communities Surrender, Arati and Invocation . The communities of Madhuca, Grace, Healing Centre and former Endurance for which this watersystem was primarily planned too, decided along the way not to participate.
The Prayatna community got connected to it in January of 1999 as well as Prarthana West (January 2000), the Line of Force (June 2000), Sailam (June 2001) and the site of Creativity (August 2001).
The Residential Watersystem includes at present:
1 over head tank (140 m/3)
1 underground tank (200m/3)
well at Prayatna
well at Sharnga
well at Reve (shared with the Courage community)
all necessary fittings like pumps, chlorinator, automatic pump switches, batteries, generator etc.
The present overhead watertank (24m high with a bottom slab at 16m) can provide water pressure for structures with up to 3 floors.
The capacity of the Residential Zone Watersystem depends on 2 main factors:
1. The well capacities . Presently the main source is the Prayatna well, which delivers approx. 6.000 liters per hour. The Sharnga well is only used as a backup as it has far less capacity. The connection to the Reve well is used 3 days a week only as it has to be shared with the Courage community.
2. The consumption of the users . As experience shows the water consumption per head varies from approximately 200 to 500 liter and above, mainly depending on the users and their habits. Considerable consumers are gardens and plants, as well as unsupervised housemaids.
The water is chlorinated to ensure safe drinking water quality for the households and any community asking to be connected to the RZ Watersystem has already in the first phase of its construction to build a sewage recycling plant to provide wastewater for landscaping and the maintenance of the gardens.
At present 82 households (Surrender 26, Invocation 14, Arati 14, Prayatna 17, Prarthana 7, Line of Force 3, Sailam 1, Creativity site) with approx. 150 persons are connected to the Watertank.
Finances & Functioning
The total investments for the presently functioning RZ Watersystem run to 28,01,736/- Rs., including interest payments to the Financial Service and ABC for their loans given to Housing Development Fund. While the received hookup charges up to now total 18,47,685/- Rs. A total of 9,54,051.- Rs. in form of loans remain to be paid back.
While the Auroville Waterservice was initially responsible for the day-to-day management of the RZ Watersystem, the initiators had to take up this task in spring 2001 as well as the billing of the water consumption by communities to ensure the continuation of the water supply in the Residential Zone and proper functioning of the system.