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.

  • A recent analysis by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) determined the rooftop rainwater harvesting potential of the districts in Maharashtra in a year by calculating the average amount of rainwater in litres that can be caught over one square foot roof area. Head of IMD’s Climate App...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 7 months agoread more
  • Despite all the hype around Swachh Bharat Mission, the situation on the ground remains abysmal. The city of Ujjain is located on the western part of Madhya Pradesh on the Malwa Plateau and is primarily a religious tourism centre due to the Mahakal temple. The temple is not only one of the 12 jyotirl...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 7 months agoread more
  • Dear IWP I live in a gated community with over 200 villas. We s a community are very conscious of our environment and practice Rain water harvesting, composting of waste, tree planting etc. However recently some members have started promoting RO treatment for the entire water supplie...
    sabitakaushalposted 1 year 7 months agoread more
  • For hundreds of years, tanks, both big and small, served people and cattle alike in Tamil Nadu. Chennai’s neighbouring district of Kancheepuram was the the wealthiest when it came to water through these means. The Chola and Pallava kings, along with various other major and minor royal houses of th...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 7 months agoread more
  • Hello I live in Bhimtal, Uttarakhand. We are in process of finalizing a design for our cafe. Since we are constructing afresh, we would like to do it right and imbibe a rainwater harvesting system in the construction. The architect has been chosen and the final capacity will depend on the area of c...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • Call for Nominations Fourth Edition of FICCI Water Awards December 14, 2016 at FICCI, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. Introduction The FICCI Water Awards were launched under the aegis of FICCI Water Mission, to promote awareness, policy advocacy, sharing of best practices and th...
    Water Awards 2016posted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • 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...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • 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 ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • 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 abs...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • 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 cri...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • 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...
    sabitakaushalposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Maharashtra government withdraws plea against ban on construction on wetlands   The Maharashtra government has withdrawn its petition seeking modifications in an earlier court order pertaining to banning of constructions in wetland areas. In the last court hearing, the state government wa...
    swatiposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • 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.  “Only seven-10 percent of vill...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Rural India walks too far to quench their thirst Going by the 2011 census data, 63 percent of rural India does not have a source of drinking water at home and they walk more than 500m daily to get drinking water. The data has revealed that households in rural Odisha take the longest average walking...
    swatiposted 1 year 12 months agoread more
  • 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. “For the last two decades, the Chidavad village in the Tonk Khurd block, was one among the ...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 3 days agoread more
  • 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 fr...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 1 week agoread more
  • 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 2 years 3 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 2 years 1 month 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 2 years 1 month 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 2 years 2 months agoread more

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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 recently got the pump cleaned of mud and pebbles because water and soil had submerged the bore due to heavy rains. Now what is this hole that is forming? Is it a sink hole or a crack through which the water is disappearing?

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How many litres of water are available in a tank that is 20×20 feet in lengths and with a 10 feet depth? 

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An NGO comes forward to restore the forgotten kunds of Vrindavan which are not just historical marvels but are also freshwater sources.

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 for a dip in it every day. The place is also known for the rich saturated colours and messy revelry during “lathmar” holi where people hit each other with sticks.

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A partnership between Biome, ACWADAM and WIPRO brought stakeholders together to map Sarjapur's aquifer.

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.

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Indian scientists develop technology for harvesting water from dew.

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 drinking water purposes and shown that it can be a cost-effective option in water-stressed regions like Kutch in Gujarat. 

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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 could do this in a big way instead of mindlessly growing plantations after plantations which in most cases fail anyway. This strategy will also help so much of the root stock in the soil to come up, we would need very little plantation after that. Grasses would come up in a big way too.

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As cities spread wide, grey infrastructure projects flout green norms to provide affordable housing for all.

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 institutional spaces. 

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Policy matters this week

Public hearing for Pancheshwar dam continues while ignoring people's concern

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India's waterman Dr Rajendra Singh shares his thoughts on nationalisation of rivers, interstate river disputes and how development is affecting our rivers.

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.

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Transforming barren lands to lush green landscape is one of the many works of WOTR that won them the Land for Life Award 2017 from the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification.

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. 

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