Water is the basic element of the textile and apparel industry’s production. But most of the Bangladeshi apparel industries are using groundwater in the different production process. Manufacturing units are using unlimited pure groundwater and if it continues, no doubt there will be the biggest natural disaster and ecological imbalance that may end up the human existence on earth.
A single pair of jeans takes more than 1,000 gallons and a single Tee Shirt needed 713 gallons of water to be produced in the all production process. So, the alternative of using groundwater is the biggest concern to keep the environment safe and sustainable in the manufacturing process.
As Bangladesh is privileged by a huge quantity of rainwater annually all through the country, rainwater harvesting can be the most potential alternative water supply option for Bangladesh. Robintex Group–located at Narayangonj, Dhaka– exactly just doing that thing!
“We are not doing this for profit, but we are doing this to show our commitment to the people and environment. The true fact is that total project cost is much and we know the investment may not get back even by next 20 years from this project but still we are doing this because we are committed to the environment.”
Robintex Group, a Germany- Bangladesh Joint venture, has internationally been renowned for its continual accomplishment in exporting quality knit apparels to the international markets from its establishment in 1996.
It has taken initiative to put its footprint in the sustainability and water-saving process. Harvesting rainwater is one of the projects where Robintex Group invested not for making money rather contribute to sustainability.
Lt. Col. (Retd) Shakil Ahmed Chowdhury, COO of Robintex Group said, “We are not doing this for profit, but we are doing this to show our commitment to the people and environment. The true fact is that total project cost is much and we know the investment may not get back even by next 20 years from this project but still we are doing this because we are committed to the environment.”
Rainwater harvesting project
Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and storage of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off. The concept is one of the simplest and oldest methods of self-supply of water for households or industrial use.
Usually, the country those are having huge rainfall can run the project most effectively. Bangladesh though is not in a row of enough rainfall in the season, but the harvesting project can contribute to saving the environment.
To run the project Robintex Group divided it into three segments –
- Average normal rainfall calculation in Bangladesh (mm).
- Rainwater harvesting plan.
- Rainwater harvesting model.
Average normal rainfall calculation in Bangladesh
The project designed and constructed based on the forecast and an average rainfall of Bangladesh particularly in the Dhaka division area where the factory is situated.
Above calculation shows May to September, these five months are the prospects for the rainfall. Fortunately, these months are pick season for the knitwear production, so the project can be successful and effective if the rainfall happens as per the calculation.
Rainwater harvesting plan
The project is designed to collect rainwater by using the rooftop space available in the factory. Total available roof area for the rainwater collection is 15,096 Square Meter including the rooftop of building and shade in the Robintex Group. There are three Rain Water Harvesting Tanks (RWH Tank) which cost is more than 8 million BDT in the project.
The three Rain Water Harvesting Tanks (RWH Tank) are made of concrete in three chambers to collect the water. The location of the tank has been selected carefully to ensure utilizing available space. The RWH Tanks are designed in a unique way as a new structure can easily makeover this concrete structure.
Rainwater harvesting model
The harvesting model is to storing rainwater and process by process complete them to ready for mass production. Generally, rainwater is safe and cost-effective to purify and to use in production than to uplift underground water which is purified by multiple processes. The rainwater harvesting allows collecting a large amount of rooftop water which is free from any contaminations.
Groundwater needs to be gone through a water treatment plant (WTP) which needs a setup and chemicals. Also, certain capacity submersible water pump and electricity are needed to extract the groundwaters.
Here, rain waters are directly usable in the production which saves money and time.
Monzurul Hoque Monzu, Sr. Asst. Vice President of Utility Department of Robintex Group said to Textile Today, “With rainwater harvesting method we can avoid wasting of water that is flowing to drains and this rainwater is mostly uncontaminated to use in production, only a few processes can make it usable.”
Rainwater harvested from roofs can contain human, animal and bird feces, mosses and lichens, windblown dust, particulates from urban pollution, pesticides, and inorganic, so 1st ten minutes of the rainfall, water is allowed to drainage and not kept stored in the tank.
After drainages of contaminated rainfall water, the harvesting starts and uses for the same day. Collected rainwater is not used for the production next day of collection because, in that case, it could be contaminated and unsafe for bulk use.