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.

  • 356 students and the teachers of Government Middle School in Sukhpuri village of Mewat district, Haryana are a happy lot now that they have access to potable water right within their school premises. The groundwater in the area was saline making it unfit for consumption. The school childre...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • Sajan, a 14 year old Bhilala Adivasi boy studying in the Rani Kajal school in Kakrana in Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh says, "We now save a lot of time as we bathe in the bathrooms and defecate in the toilets rather than in the open fields; and so we study better". The school on the banks of ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • HiI read the article you published on rain water harvesting as I was looking to find more information about it. I am interested in installing it for my home and open farm land, but I am not sure whom to contact. The article would have been much more useful if it had referenced the following points:W...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • Chhattisgarh ranked number 1 in the country for providing domestic water connections in 2014-15 under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Despite this, the government has failed to provide safe and clean drinking water to many who are still affected by fluoride, arsenic and iron con...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • A regional capacity development workshop on ‘Ensuring Water Security in Changing Environment Scenario for Water Professionals of South Asian Countries’ sponsored by UNESCO is being organized jointly by IIT Bombay, NIH Bhoplal Regional Centre and NIT Hamirpur on November 26-27, 201...
    nagabhushanbposted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • Hello,I have 2 questions, requesting guidance:Please let me know if it’s advisable to dig a borewell in an already fully constructed house? Will it affect the foundation?Can RWH be implemented, the house is constructed on a site measuring 30-40 site ( 1,200 Sq Feet), if yes, can the water collecte...
    AJDposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • It had not rained for awhile and the tiny cracks in the earth in Bapugaon were opening up. This little village in Chaksu tehsil of Jaipur was yet again faced with a drought in the mid 1980s. The situation was aggravated in 1986 when the river Dhund, an important water source for Bapugaon, went dry. ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • We were driving down the long desert road that runs parallel to the Indo-Pakistan border in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. There was little else to see except the surrounding sand dunes and desert grass. That's where I saw a ‘taanka’--a raised platform with a small opening to fetch water from its wo...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Teesta-III project in Sikkim gets a green signalIn order to give a push to the renewable energy sector, the Centre has cleared the disputes blocking the Teesta-III hydropower project worth Rs 9000 crore. 90% work on the Teesta is already completed and with the resolving of its years-long d...
    swatiposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Mathew Jacob, estate supervisor at Bishop Cotton School (BCS) in Shimla, remembers when he took his students walking in single file to the nearby stream to wash and bathe every other day in the summers. Today, the present lot of students take laps in the swimming pool even in the driest of...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • The Hindu Kush Himalayan region (HKH) is the source of 10 major rivers and is often referred to as the water tower of Asia. However, communities living in this region and downstream face frequent seasonal water scarcity and flooding due to high variations in rainfall. This causes too much water in t...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • ‘Kitna shaant hai ye paani, aur iske liye yeh rajniti’ (the water is so still, yet there is politics around it). This exchange between the two protagonists in the film ‘Kaun kitne paani mein’ says a lot about its subject. Set in a water starved locale in Odisha, this Hindi film created ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Centre approves bringing down protected zone around Okhla Bird Sanctuary from 10 km to 1The Environment Ministry has approved the draft notification that proposes an eco-sensitive zone of 100 metres to 1 km around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Noida, as against the 10 km suggested by the NGT. Per the ...
    swatiposted 1 year 12 months agoread more
  • Dr. Kalam is no more but he lives on in the hearts of many through his quotes, beliefs, speeches and his acclaimed book India 2020: A Vision for the New Millenium among many others. Though referred to as 'Missile Man' due to his interest in and engagement with the defense sector, Kalam, especia...
    rekhaiwpposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Panel suggests that the Govt not rush through with changes in green lawsTaking into consideration the views of over 50 organisations, individuals and experts from across the country, the Parlimentary Panel has asked the Government not to rush through the proposals of the high-level committee&nb...
    swatiposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Water Ministry restricts permission to dam projects hindering e-flow of riversThe Water Resources Ministry has ordered the Central Water Commission (CWC) to not allow dam projects that will affect the environmental flow of the rivers. The Ministry has also announced that it will spend Rs 3...
    swatiposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which continues to be the largest public employment program involving Rs.34,600 crore in a period of just five years since its implementation, was enacted on August 25, 2005 and renamed as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gua...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Most tourists visiting Shimla won’t know that they are walking on a water tank when they wait to get their pictures taken or go horse riding on Ridge road but they will know that the city faces water shortage -- their hotel bathrooms have messages asking them to use water judiciously. I saw s...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Hi,I went through the articles and FAQ on rain water harvesting. I need to know if you are aware of any NGOs or organisations which take care of this in Hyderabad? We are looking at rain water harvesting mainly for ground water rechargeThank you
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Dear India Water Portal, We cultivate rain water from roof top with first rain flush theory. We also allow ample flush for secondary and third rain depending on quality of rain. We are using filtered rain water for daily drinking purpose.We have also installed a membrane based filter prior to drink...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 2 months agoread more

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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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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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Only 40 percent treatable land has been covered by various government programmes. It calls for better planning.

With two consecutively weak monsoons, this summer is particularly difficult for India. Around 330 million people across 10 states are affected by the drought.

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Data shows Haryana has done better than its parent state, but the positives are getting lost as both states clamour for 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 it the Cauvery in the south or the Yamuna in the north.

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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 constructed roads? Can the existing roads also use any possibilty to recharge groundwater?

Thanks

Yogita

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