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.

  • New guidelines proposed by the Centre on groundwater usage by industries The water ministry has proposed new guidelines for groundwater use according to which industries, mining and infrastructure dewatering projects—whether existing or new— will need to obtain a no-objection certific...
    swatiposted 6 months 6 days agoread more
  • Here’s some news for nature lovers. A dirty drain in Delhi could well be on its way to becoming a bird sanctuary. The Najafgarh drain or nallah that flows through the northwest part of Gurugram is becoming a new habitat for the strikingly tall Greater flamingos, a rosy-white pink billed migratory ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 6 days agoread more
  • I have a 300 sft plot in Gachibowli in Hyderabad. For the past two months, a cavity of 2 feet in diameter has formed. Rainwater is disappearing into this hole. I got this cavity filled up twice but a hole gets created whenever it rains. The bore is ten feet away and has casing upto 60 feet. I recent...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • How many litres of water are available in a tank that is 20×20 feet in lengths and with a 10 feet depth? 
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • Vrindavan, the small dusty twin town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, has a special place in the Hindu mythology. This is where Lord Krishna is believed to have spent most of his childhood and adolescence. The river Yamuna straddles through the town, a hot destination for thousands of devotees lining up...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 7 months 6 hours agoread more
  • The problem of Bengaluru’s water is well known. The demand for water tankers skyrockets during the summer months, when municipal and borewell water supplies run dry, and many of the city’s lakes, actually man-made tanks, lie neglected and polluted. While legislation on rainwater harvesting ...
    priyadposted 7 months 1 week agoread more
  • We often notice dew drops on leaves, grass and some sloping surfaces in the morning hours. These dew drops can actually be a source of drinking water.  A group of Indian scientists, working with experts from France, has developed technology for harvesting dew or atmospheric moisture for drinki...
    priyadposted 7 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Most ground nearly everywhere is sloping in various degrees. Much more so in the hills. One way to easily and repeatedly catch rain water run off is to dig staggered contour trenches wherever possible. In forests, in grasslands, on marginal lands both government and private. The forest departments c...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Far in the distance, towards the edge of Noida and Greater Noida flows the Hindon river amidst clusters of modern highrise buildings. A few years ago, the landscape here was more countrified and quite distinct from the low rise neghbourhoods of Delhi dotted with its numerous parks and abundant insti...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Public hearing for Pancheshwar dam continues while ignoring people's concern On August 11, the environment public hearing (EPH) was held at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand for the Pancheshwar dam, a joint venture between India and Nepal that aims to produce more power than all existing dams in the state...
    swatiposted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • As India celebrates 70 years of independence, the recent flooding in states like Assam and Gujarat and droughts in places like Tamil Nadu and Marathwada remind us that we still need to go far to achieve independence from water woes. According to water conservationist Dr Rajendra Singh, popularly ca...
    arathiposted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Marathwada in Maharashtra is an arid region with rainfall of less than 750 mm per year. Most villages in the region face acute water scarcity. Kachner in Aurangabad was no exception.  This meant that only rainfed agriculture was possible when the rains were good. Most of the year, and particul...
    arathiposted 8 months 3 days agoread more
  • The training programme will follow a mix method approach involving lectures, in-class exercises, interactive discussions and audio-video training support. A full-day field exposure visit will be organised for participants to explore best management practices on RWH and DWWTs. The participants will g...
    swatiposted 8 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Illegal slums on Maharashtra mudflats cause loss to state According to a new study--Effect of water pollution and encroachment on tourism potential of eco sensitive area: Case of Mahul Creek--the state is losing more than Rs 200 crore annually in tourism because of 60,000 slums that have illegally ...
    swatiposted 8 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Vasant Baburao Parkale, a 52-year-old farmer, has become a role model for many farmers in the drought-prone Marathwada region. His determination and the will to excel in life have helped him to transform his dreams into reality. In 1984, he was just another labourer working for Bhagwan Yashwantrao ...
    makarandpurohitposted 8 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • With its pleasant climate and serene environment, Kovaipudur, a quaint township located in Coimbatore, was once known to be a haven for retired people. Kovaipudur is living out a nightmare now, one that has snowballed over the years. It is painful to even picture what it is like to reside in an area...
    arathiposted 9 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The people of the Marathwada region have been facing severe water crisis for more than three decades. Despite adverse circumstances, the Akoladev panchayat in the Jalna district has set an example for other panchayats by solving their water woes through community participation and effective water ha...
    makarandpurohitposted 9 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • NOCs for running tubewells must for Punjab industries  To address the issue of depleting groundwater in the state, the Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) has ordered industries in Punjab to take no objection certificates (NOCs) for the already existing tubewells inside the units. As per...
    swatiposted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Located in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district, with vast agricultural fields growing sugarcane, rice, wheat, jowar, chana and all kinds of seasonal vegetables, Dhikoli in Pilana tehsil comes across as a bustling and prosperous village. Barely an hour-long car ride from New Delhi, it is home to 15000...
    arathiposted 11 months 1 hour agoread more
  • Centre urges states to gear up for possible monsoon failure The agriculture ministry has ordered all the states and union territories to prepare themselves for a possible monsoon failure and operationalise their drought mitigation strategies. For this, the states and union territories have been per...
    swatiposted 11 months 1 week agoread more

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An innovative project makes rainwater harvesting easier and more effective in certain areas of Mewat village with increased groundwater salinity.

One of the major causes of deterioration of water quality is the increase in overall salinity. Total hardness and the presence of materials like fluoride, nitrate, iron, arsenic, and toxic metal ions determine salinity levels in groundwater. With the demand for groundwater growing rapidly, its exploitation is also accelerating which causes depletion. Depletion of groundwater changes the flow (both direction and velocity) of the groundwater which may cause the inflow of polluted water into the freshwater aquifer from surrounding areas.

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Sustainable agro-ecological farming is one way to overcome the limitations of conventional farming. Green College shows us how to do it.

Pitidri is a nondescript village that dots the rainshadow area of Purulia district in West Bengal. Droughts are common here even when the area is endowed with above average rainfall of over 1300 mm a year. Until some time ago, Urmila Mahato, a 42-year-old farmer from Pitidri had been struggling to ensure her family’s food security. Her family could barely sustain on the 18 quintals of paddy her small farm of two acres could produce in a year. Only one acre of her farm could be used for seasonal farming of vegetables due to lack of irrigation facilities.

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Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a riveting new book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

February 6, 2018 6:15PM
February 5, 2018 12:00PM

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A remarkable, first-ever collection of 35 essays on India’s future, by a diverse set of authors – activists, researchers, media practitioners.

Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

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Experts from government, NGOs and industry gathered at the Sheraton Grande Hotel for the two day summit.

Sustainable water supply and sanitation has become extremely important due to the increase in water scarcity, the impact of climate change and the need for adaptation, and the increasing demand in water and competition among different usages.

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Policy matters this week

SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan 

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How do we conserve water so we do not have to face acute shortage in the future?

Water, the most precious commodity is being abused to such an extent that there is fear that this might lead to another world war or it may be difficult even to get drinking water. Water is indeed an integral part of human body as it accounts for 66 percent of it. The only liquid that quenches thirst satisfactorily is water and a mere two percent dehydration reduces performance by 20 percent.

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The villagers of Khalabari are hopeful that the overhead tank being built in the village would make drinking water easily accessible to them.

In the early hours, the villagers of Khalabari, a tribal-dominated village in the Dumuripadar gram panchayat of Koraput district in Odisha step out of their houses for bringing wood and drinking water. The road to the forest where the water is available is rocky. Both women and men walk a few kilometres on the harsh terrain to bring essential commodities needed for their survival. Khalabari, with a population of 186, has 45 households. 

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The theme for the Conclave this year is “Water Use Efficiency: An Imperative for India” to highlight the imperative of water use efficiency in the industry, agriculture and urban contexts

November 28, 2017 10:00AM
November 27, 2017 12:00PM

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A Rajasthan village gets to drink sweetwater despite high salinity in its groundwater, thanks to a solar-powered desalination unit.

Solawata, a small village in Jaipur district is barely 10 kilometers away from Sambhar, India's largest saline lake which is a major centre of salt production that produces about two lakh tonnes of salt a year. On our way to the village from Sambhar, we see caravans packed with bright coloured camel saddles parked on the road. In sharp contrast, the villages on the way look dry and dreary with their bleak infertile lands.

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