Auroville, India
water facility
1. rainwater catchment
2. social pools
3. watsu* facility
4. reed beds

*Water + Shiatsu = “Watsu”

As a community of only 2000 of 50,000 proposed members, Auroville needs to encourage sustainable growth. One of the factors limiting growth is the availability of water. The centuries-old practice of storing rain water in tanks called kulam has been neglected, with tanks ill-maintained. Kulam involved not simply the planning of bunds, channels, tanks, and sleuces but also workers called Neerkati, who managed the water collection, storage, and disbursement. The relationship between the Neerkati, the farmers, and the community was mutually beneficial. Neerkati were completely in charge of irrigation and farmers paid them in crop shares. The community benefitted by limited flood risk from the monsoon as waters could be productively channelled. This relationship would fit well within Auroville and help combat the challenge of draining the aquifers while providing community-sustaining jobs.

Our nearly 8000 sf site can be used as a miniature version of this system of water service. The building(s) will be dedicated to the capture and use of water from neighboring roofs. Program will directly relate to the usage of captured rainwater, including a “watsu” (water therapy) pool, children’s pool, socializing pools, a small laundry facility, showers, and bathrooms. The overall atmosphere will be one of a functional neighborhood spa, a water house. The remainder and majority of the site is a reed bed, cleaning waste water from the site and surrounding buildings for irrigation.


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