Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is a simple method by which rainfall is collected for future usage. The collected rainwater may be stored, utilised in different ways or directly used for recharge purposes. With depleting groundwater levels and fluctuating climate conditions, RWH can go a long way to help mitigate these effects. Capturing the rainwater can help recharge local aquifers, reduce urban flooding and most importantly ensure water availability in water-scarce zones. Though the term seems to have picked up greater visibility in the last few years, it was, and is even today, a traditional practice followed in rural India. Some ancient rainwater harvesting methods followed in India include madakas, ahar pynes, surangas, taankas and many more.

This water conservation method can be easily practiced in individual homes, apartments, parks, offices and temples too, across the world. Farmers have recharged their dry borewells, created water banks in drought areas, greened their farms, increased sustainability of their water resources and even created a river. Technical know how for the rooftop RWH with direct storage can be availed for better implementation. RWH An effective method in water scarce times, it is also an easily doable practice. Practical advice is available in books written by Indukanth Ragade & Shree Padre, talks by Anupam Mishra and other easy to follow fun ways

Read our FAQ on Rainwater Harvesting and have many basic questions answered.

  • With two consecutively weak monsoons, this summer is particularly difficult for India. Around 330 million people across 10 states are affected by the drought. Most of these areas are ecologically and economically disadvantaged. Lands are degraded, rainfed farming is the norm and livestock graze...
    Manu Moudgilposted 8 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Rapid growth in population, agriculture production, industrialisation and urbanisation have put an extreme burden on India's dwindling water resources. Water-guzzling paddy covers maximum gross area under cultivation at 44 million hectares. Disputes related to inter-state rivers have been rising be ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 9 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Hello Rainwater should go to underground with the help of small pipes in urban area roads. Is this possible ? We stay in a small galli where a lot of rainwater accumulates during the rain and and then simply evaporates. Can we send it for groundwater recharge? Is it only possible for newly constru...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 10 months 2 days agoread more
  • Hello, I have a roof top terrace garden that I have tended to for many months now. I don't use any chemicals for the plants and the only addition to the soil is compost once in a few months. Is it okay to harvest rain water from the same place where I have this garden? I was adviced by one person ...
    Schimmandaposted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The Israeli water industry is one of the best in the world, and this is because of the country’s breakthrough in technological innovations in areas like desalination, drip irrigation and water security. The country uses its water so sustainably that since 1964, its total water consumption has rema...
    swatiposted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The water scarcity that India is facing even before the onslaught of summers, and the plight of farmer’s in Marathwada have been making headlines every single day. Our water problems have been exacerbated by climate change, rapid development, increasing energy demands and unmindful, extravagant us...
    sabitakaushalposted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Hello  I need some help to design a filter for roof top rain water harvesting. The water catching area is 100 sqm, and the rainfall maximum is 130 mm, and so the filter should have the capacity to filter 216 liters/min. I have a 4'' down pipe installed, while the storage area is...
    Sahana raoposted 10 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Centre releases DPR on forestry intervention for Ganga river The Water Resource Ministry has unveiled the Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Forestry Intervention for the Ganga which has been prepared by the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. The project envisages the plantation of 4 crore native t...
    swatiposted 11 months 2 days agoread more
  • Hi, I am looking for people who can help me with groundwater recharge solutions in Karnataka. Can you please help with the contact numbers of concerned persons? Thanks Deepu  
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Sirkoo, a 39 year old woman in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, walked 8 km every day to fetch water. As a woman, it was obviously her responsibility to ensure the household's water availability. This put an additional stress on her already depleted health as well as time--until she decided to tackl...
    sabitakaushalposted 11 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • It was 1961. Simon Oraon, a Class IV school drop-out began his journey against drought in Bedo, a tribal block of Ranchi, Jharkhand. An idealistic young man, he along with his fellow villagers began constructing earthen dams to capture rainwater for recharging groundwater. This along with his broade...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 12 months 2 days agoread more
  • The East Coast of India is very much unlike its western counterpart both in terms of physiography and climatology. Unlike the West Coast which receives a predictable amount of rainfall within a predictable time frame, the East Coast is entirely dependent on the depressions in the Bay of Bengal to br...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • Erratic rainfall, heavy storms, extreme weather and droughts are some of the major impacts of climate changes. Though it affects everyone, certain sections of society, like indigenous people who live closer to the natural environment, are in fact more vulnerable to these variations. However, they ar...
    sabitakaushalposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • About the programme: The training programe will include interactive sessions with leading experts/practitioners, presentation on case studies, and visit to successfully implemented RWH and DWWT systems in CSE campus. The participants will get the opportunity to plan and design the sustainable urban...
    swatiposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • The Babur Nama mentions that the “the finest running water in Hindustan is that in the Dun.” The expanse of the valley and the ridgelines of the two major watersheds (Ganga and Yamnuna) passing through Dehradun, make it a unique ecosystem which can support a wide variety of plants and ...
    sabitakaushalposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Delhi, home to 16.75 million people, is in the grip of a major water crisis. Statistics by the Delhi Jal Board for the year 2011 suggest that the water deficit stands at about 250 million gallons per day with the supply being 830 million gallons per day. Unaccounted for water--the gap between t...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Coastal regions of Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha have been hit by cyclonic storms for more than two decades. These have severely affected the livelihood of the communities living in the region. Ashok Das of Junapangara village is one such farmer who had suffered massive agric...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Hi, I am building a house on 30x40 plot in Bangalore. I have made the provision for storing rain water which is approximately 30,000 liters. I want to harvest the grey water as well. I want to reuse only the water from the kitchen and washing machine. We are a family of 4 including a 3 years old ki...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • About WET 2016VIKSAT announces the next batch of the WASH Educators Training (WET 2016). This batch is particularly for the Institutions/applicants from the western eco-regions of India working on issues related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The training is directed towards creating and n...
    Ramesh Gadhviposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • What is the exact problem as regards groundwater salinity, fluoride and water scarcity in Mewat, Haryana? Is the area underlain with saline groundwater aquifers? What is the status of surface water in the area? Can it not reduce dependence on groundwater?Mewat has a dual problem of saline groundwate...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 3 months agoread more

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Hello

There is filter from my terrace to an open well for RWH. My terrace also holds my vegetable garden. The organic fertilizers from the garden can make the water impure, and I have been advised to remove the vegetable garden from my terrace. However, I want terrace vegetable garden and rainwater harvesting go hand in hand. Could you share some expert advise on this?

Thanks

Binu Joseph

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Citizens come forward to restore polluted lakes and rivers in their cities. They demand support and swift action from the government.

The pitiful state of some of the water bodies in the country, coupled with the sheer apathy of the government, have forced some well-meaning citizens to come out of their comfort zones and make a difference. Some of these efforts, like the Puttenahalli lake in Bengaluru that is now overflowing with clean water, have been successful, while others are ongoing. Here, we feature some stories of a few Good Samaritans and their efforts to restore the lakes and rivers of their cities.

Udaipur lakes

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The hill forts of Maharashtra provide valuable lessons in water harvesting and conservation.

In the olden times, people knew the importance of water and had devised a number of techniques to manage and conserve water resources. These efforts not only met the drinking water needs of the people, but also helped the survival of livestock and agriculture in areas where perennial rivers were absent and the population depended on rains and often faced water scarcity or droughts.

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An NGO’s effort to recharge the groundwater in an area finds little success with water-guzzling crops that rule the market.

Water crisis is a reality in most of India. After the summer of droughts come the monsoon floods. Take Maharashtra, for instance. If at one time it is desperately searching for drinking water, at another time, its capital, Mumbai is wading through knee-high water. How do we overcome these annual crises? Unfortunately, the answers are not so easy to find. 

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How an arid, saline land where migration in search of water and jobs was a way of life, boasts of plenty of water now.

Summer temperatures soar to a gruelling 50ocelsius in Rapar, a little known block in Gujarat’s Kutch district. Land here is dry, saline and arid; the monsoon is erratic. Many a times, the entire year’s rain falls in a short span of two or three days, doing more harm than good. Dubbed a dark zone, groundwater extraction is rampant even as agriculture remains the main source of income.

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Policy matters this week

Maharashtra government withdraws plea against ban on construction on wetlands  

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Pipara village in the parched Bundelkhand region stands out for its uninterrupted water supply. The village has their women to thank for it.

The cracks on the parched land of Bundelkhand are waiting for the monsoon to quench the thirst of its arid landscape. Despite the wide-spread drought here, Pipara, one of the villages in the region, stands apart as the only one that has not run completely dry. 

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News this week

Rural India walks too far to quench their thirst

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Tonk Khurd’s innovative farm ponds prove that when it comes to solving water crisis, one size does not fit all

Vikram Patel, a 71-year-old farmer in Chidavad village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh is one of the first farmers to have embraced the idea of farm ponds to increase the groundwater level in his farm.

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Nanduwali in east Rajasthan started flowing again when the villagers decided to work with nature and not against it. The river is now lifeline to those settled on her banks

Gajanand Sharma is excited about the monsoon this year. He is building an anicut on the small stream that runs through his farm. “After the rain, the land will be filled with water and then I will sow wheat and reap record production in this area,” he prophesises. This forecast doesn’t come from his knowledge of astrology, but that of geology, gained over the years.

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