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Mumbai faces 30% of water cut everyday during monsoons even though it receives about 1800 mm of rainfall annually. On the other hand, residents of Thane, neighboring city of Mumbai, enjoy full supply of water throughout the year. States like Karnataka seem to be coping up well too, clearly because they conserve water well. Legislative assembly of Karnataka has passed a law that states strict measures will be taken against owners of buildings where Rainwater Harvesting is not practiced.

Rainwater Harvesting, that's the key, the crucial strategy which residents of Thane adopted few years back and now are reaping the benefits of their wise move.

What is Rain Water Harvesting?
In layman's language, Rainwater Harvesting means storing the rain water and using it in the dry months. It was practiced in India ages ago when ancient people collected and stored rainwater during the monsoons to sustain themselves in dryer days. Now, the practice is being revived through various community systems.

How is it done?
There are three main components that form the basis of Rainwater Harvesting viz. catchment area, collection devices and conveyance systems.

Catchment Area: This is the area which receives the rainwater which is to be stored. It can be the rooftop or the ground from where all the water is channeled into storage.

Storage Device: The storage containers can be dug into the ground or can be above the ground. Special care should be taken to avoid contamination of water during storage.

Conveyance System: Conveyance systems are required to transfer the rainwater collected in the catchment areas to the storage tanks.

How is it useful?
Apart from providing water in the times when it is most needed, Rainwater Harvesting is very beneficial as it has negligible running costs and does not have any negative environmental affects. Through this method, we can conserve water and use it for all our needs during the dry months, like washing, bathing, watering the plants and so on. Moreover, rain water collected through rooftop is even considered fit for drinking as per WHO standards.

Who can do it?
Rainwater harvesting is already being carried out at different community levels and various NGOs are playing their part in popularizing the concept too. Even individual families can carry out harvesting done through rooftop catchment.

So, if you are yearning for continuous supply of water, don't just relay on government bodies, propose to start rainwater harvesting in your building today.


You must have used these in your daily life without ever realizing that these are actually the simplest forms of machines!

The Pulley

A pulley is a wheel with a groove along its edge, for holding a rope or cable. Pulleys are usually used in sets designed to reduce the amount of force needed to lift a load. However, the same amount of work is necessary for the load to reach the same height as it would without the pulleys. The longer distance over which the force is applied ensures that the same work is done. The effort needed to pull a load up is roughly the weight of the load divided by the number of wheels. The more wheels there are, the less efficient a system is, because of more friction between the rope and the wheels, but it also requires lesser force to be applied.

The Lever

A lever is a simple machine. A lever is a board or bar that rests on a turning point. This turning point is called the fulcrum. An object that a lever moves is called the load. The closer the object is to the fulcrum, the easier it is to move. The most common example of a lever is a seesaw that is commonly seen in playgrounds. In this, children use the principle of a lever to lift the weights of each other. Another common example is when we use a hammer to remove a nail.

The Inclined Plane

Believe it or not, an inclined plane is a simple machine. It is a flat surface that is higher on one end. You can use this machine to move an object to a lower or higher place. Inclined planes make the work of moving things easier. You would need less energy and force to move objects on an inclined plane. It is commonly used in constructions and buildings to move heavy bricks or machinery to the higher floors.

Barometers (devices for measuring atmospheric pressure) and thermometers work on the basis of the changing level of the liquid mercury that is placed in a glass tube. In a barometer, for instance, as air pressure rises, it pushes the mercury higher up the tube. As the pressure falls, the mercury drops. Mercury is used because it is the heaviest liquid known. If water---which on the other hand is a light liquid--were to be used instead of mercury, a barometer would have to be at least 10 meters (or 32 feet) high. Now that wouldn’t exactly fit in your home, right?

Nobody looks forward to visiting a dentist. Not even a dentist. Way back in 1844, an American dentist Horace Wells decided it was time he had one of his teeth extracted for a change. But he wasn’t willing to go through the pain his patients had to endure. So Wells put himself to sleep with nitrous oxide (or laughing gas) before the operation! And that’s the origin of the first form of anaesthetic. Two years later, one of Well’s pupils William Morton invented the first anaesthetic machine. It consisted of a jar that contained ether soaked sponges. Anaesthetic gas vaporized from these sponges into a breathing tube, which led to a breathing sack. This sack had to be placed over the patient’s mouth. Sounds complicated, right? But sure worth killing the pain.

Diamond is the hardest substance in the world and so is used in many cutting and abrasive tools. Glaziers use pens with diamond tips to score a line on a sheet of glass to give a clean break. Besides being hard, diamond does not corrode. That is why scalpels with diamond blades are often used for delicate surgical operations such as eye surgery.

Have a friend or someone at home who has a tendency to sleep walk? Here's why they do it. Sleepwalkers have problems with the brain stem mechanism, which is concerned with movement. When sleepwalking is caused by an imbalance of secretions or by a poor nervous state (for example: depression or anxiety) the problem may be temporary. When it is due to injury of the nerve centers, the problem is permanent. Whatever the cause, we must never be impatient or act too hastily with sleepwalkers. We must realize that they are sleeping and dreaming. For the sleepwalker to be suddenly woken up is a great shock. They are surprised in mid-action and find themselves in a situation that is difficult to understand. The right approach is to gently get the sleepwalker back to bed with as little fuss as possible.

How many muscles do you think a human body has? 639, that's how many. What's more, these 639 muscles contain 6,000 million muscle fibres and each fiber consists of 1000 separate minute threads called fibrils! Now get a calculator and figure out the number of tiny threads we are talking about.

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