This presentation is on conservation of urban water bodies. In the urban areas due to human interference and pollution the water bodies are highly polluted. Designs and methods are presented here, with biochar as one of the materials for treatment and rejuvenation of urban water bodies. Also presented the phytoremediation methods for conservation of water bodies. Overall some of the concepts improves the relationship between water and people by improving the overall ecosystem. Some of the methods presented here in this presentation are:
Rejuvenating water bodies: Reducing the emissions from foreshore area by application of biochar. Development of foreshore area by dredging. Biochar dykes for treating polluted water and creation of clean water zone in a water body.
Floatigation: Growing plants on water bodies using biochar and floats. These plants need not be watered as they take polluted water rich in nitrates, phosphates and other nutrients. The biochar and the plants together clean the water by this method. Floating gardens could be created using empty bottles (reuse) as floats. Recreation zones could be created on these floats – floating restaurants, walkways, boating, solar lights, fishing zones, habitat for birds, etc. In this method there is also scope for growing submergent, floating, emergent and terrestrial plants could be grown. The algal boom and eutrophication of the water bodies is prevented in this method. The reuse concept of bottles reduced the burden on the environment and improves the environment through plants.
The dredging material such as silt could be used for creating islands in the water bodies, which would be a useful for birds as habitat.
Sewagigation: The sewage from the cities entering into the water bodies pollute the water. Through sewagiation, the polluted sewage water is harvested through filtration using biochar, sand and gravel at the bottom of the sewerage system. This water is used for irrigating the avenue plants and gardening needs in the urban areas.
For recharging the groundwater in the perurban areas and rainwater harvesting around the urban areas, it is proposed to have annular / circular / segregated water harvesting structures. The elevated express roads / outer ring roads / regional ring roads / highways / etc. could be used as bunds for harvesting the water. Traditionally bunds are used as roads even now. Why not roads as bunds. The road runoff harvesting is also one of the important methods. Using sensors for monitoring and management of water bodies is another important aspect to be implemented.
This presentation is prepared to meet the challenge of growing plants on all water bodies and also harvest clean water. In this method a float saucer shaped, covered with a transparent plastic sheet is designed which will take only required quantity of water for evaporation through use of sunlight and heat. The water vapour would condense on the transparent sheet and harvested into the biochar container. There is also a safety pipe inserted in the biochar for outflow of excess water. The same pipe is used for drawing fresh water if required for drinking. The rainwater is also collected from the top and reaches the biochar. Such floats created could be used on all types of water bodies where it is difficult to grow terrestrial plants such as slat water areas – bays, seas, oceans; brackish water and marshy water areas; on the polluted water bodies; during the floods on flood waters, etc. This is one of the environmental solutions for mitigation and adaptation- in extreme conditions provides – food and water.
This is a method to treat water bodies of pollutants using biochar and plants by method called floatigation. For floats, the empty water bottles (reuse) are used. The plastic baskets with mesh are used as containers. These the biochar used as material for growing the plants is in direct contact with the water. The water bodies rich in phosphates, nitrates and other nutrients would be taken by the plants grown on the floats with biochar. The biochar is partially submerged in the water and through capillary action the moisture reaches the above water biochar media for growing terrestrial plants. By submerging at various levels the submergent, floating and emergent plants can also be grown conveniently. The water level fluctuations and the depth of the water would not affect growing all types of plants. They are also useful for birds and act as hanging artificial coral reef for aquatic life. At present these methods are being implemented by the presenter.
More information on Biochar applications: http://www.biocharindia.com/