By penalizing lack of compliance, the city hopes to standardize rainwater harvesting systems for commercial properties
The Mysuru City Corp. (MCC) has made rainwater harvesting systems mandatory for all commercial properties and government offices 50 by 80 ft or larger in Mysuru, India. All qualifying properties have three months to adopt rainwater harvesting systems. Those who fail to comply within three months will face a monthly water bill increase of 5% of the total bill and 25% six months past the deadline, as reported by the Times of India.
MCC plans to require smaller commercial and residential properties to construct water reuse systems in the future. According to the Star of Mysore, while the city previously had laws in place requiring rainwater harvesting systems on commercial properties, implementation and enforcement has been lacking. MCC hopes that by implementing penalties for lack of compliance, residents and commercial property owners will adopt water reuse methods and ultimately aid in recharging the shrinking groundwater table.
However, the issue of illegally extracting groundwater remains an obstacle to compliance. For properties that receive water from illegal boreholes or tanker trunks, the city fines would have little effect. In nearby Delhi, India, the National Green Tribunal recently fined three five-star hotels for illegal groundwater extraction via boreholes.
Throughout India, the rapid population growth coupled with heavy groundwater extraction has led to a sinking groundwater table. Officials are working to educate residents on water reuse methods and searching for ways to recharge the shrinking table. In Hyderabad, India, officials have even created rainwater harvesting theme parks to educate residents on the water reuse method.