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.

  • 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 8 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 1 year 10 months 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 1 year 10 months 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 1 year 10 months 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 1 year 11 months 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 1 year 11 months 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 1 week 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 2 years 1 week 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 2 years 1 week 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 2 years 1 week 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 2 years 3 weeks 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 2 years 1 month 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 2 years 1 month 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 2 years 1 month 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 2 years 2 months agoread more

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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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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 get the opportunity to plan and design the Rainwater harvesting and decentralised wastewater treatment systems as part of ‘Do It Yourself ‘- group exercise. 

September 25, 2017 9:00AM - September 29, 2017 6:00PM

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Illegal slums on Maharashtra mudflats cause loss to state

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A video tells the story of a poor farmer who, through effective water conservation methods, became rich and a role model to other villagers.

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.

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While Kovaipudur is finding it difficult to survive another season with no groundwater and an indifferent government, the solution is in harvesting every drop of rain it gets.

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 that receives corporation water supply for about half an hour to maybe one hour once in 20 or 30 days. But that’s what living in this town means these days.

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A short film provides insight into the water sector situation in the Marathwada region in Maharashtra.

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 harvesting measures that suit their geographic terrain.

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Policy matters this week

NOCs for running tubewells must for Punjab industries 

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How restoration of traditional ponds, rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment saved a village from water scarcity.

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-odd inhabitants, mostly of the Jat community.

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Policy matters this week

Centre urges states to gear up for possible monsoon failure

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