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.

  • 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 1 year 8 months 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 1 year 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 10 months 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 10 months 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 11 months 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 11 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 2 years 1 day agoread more
  • Chennai has historically been a water-starved region, but never rain-starved as it receives much of its annual quota during the northeast or ‘retreating’ monsoon between October and December. But this November was like no other. The water level in Tamil Nadu for the week ending 11.11.2015 w...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 years 5 days agoread more
  • The northern region of India is facing drought for the second consecutive year. The rainfall deficit is hovering around 35 percent in Punjab and Haryana and data shows that the two states have consistently registered below normal rainfall since 1998, which has put a severe strain on their groundwate...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 1 week agoread more
  • CAG report blames Uttarakhand Government for 2013 flash floodsPer the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, the Uttarakhand Government's unpreparedness and failure to learn from previous natural disaster aggravated the 2013 flash floods in the State. Before that, the State had witnessed two ...
    swatiposted 2 years 1 week agoread more
  • 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 2 years 2 weeks 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 2 years 2 weeks 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 2 years 3 weeks 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 2 years 3 weeks 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 2 years 4 weeks 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 2 years 1 month agoread more

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The land of gems will have a new government soon. We look at what leading political parties have to say about issues related to natural resources.

The key issue in the Manipur Assembly election is the ongoing economic blockade in the state, which, in turn, is attributed to the present government’s decision to bifurcate districts.

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How the Doha model of groundwater recharge saved the livelihoods of farmers in Maharashtra.

There was a time when the farmers of Yavatmal district depended completely on rainfed agriculture. That was before the introduction of Doha, a water harvesting structure by NGO Dilasa Sansthan in 2014. Farming changed drastically after that, something which Sitaram Kove, a 40-year-old farmer of Rajini village in the district, will vouch for. Once a distressed farmer like many in Vidarbha and Marathwada, he is now content with the productivity of his six-acre-farm that has doubled since the introduction of Doha.

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Tamil Nadu continues to witness cycles of flood and drought annually. Mismanagement of traditional water management systems is one of the main reasons.

That Tamil Nadu qualifies to be dubbed as a land of climate paradoxes is beyond debate. The massive flood of 2015 was quickly followed by a punishing drought in 2016. Though the state benefited marginally from the south-west monsoon, as is usually the case, the biggest let down was the manner in which the more dominant north-east monsoon had panned out. Tamil Nadu wound up with a paltry 168.3 mm of rainfall during the north-east monsoon season as against the normal 440.4 mm, leaving the state with an overall deficit of close to 62 percent of the long-term expected average precipitation.

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There are many unsung heroes amidst us who go about their good work silently. Chattar Singh is one such hero who has revived traditional water management system of the parched Jaisalmer villages.

“Can you see the alternating bands of light and shadow in the sky?” Chattar Singh asks me. When I nod in affirmation, he continues, “This is Mogh. There are clouds where the sun is setting right now. If we get a favourable wind, these clouds will reach here and we may get rain by night. In desert, people live by such clues from nature.”  

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This book by Shri Anupam Mishra documents the life and work of individuals and communities across India, in setting up water harvesting and management systems through talaabs (lakes / tanks).

In Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talaab, Shri Anupam Mishra documents the life and work of several individuals and communities, across the country, in setting up water harvesting and management systems through talaabs (lakes / tanks).

These traditional water bodies are the lifeline of many villages and towns in the country even today. Their work serves as a guide, in organising to face and tackle the current water crisis in the country.

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An analysis by IMD proves that rainwater harvesting is the best way to overcome the continuous dry spells the country witnesses.

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 Application Group, Dr Pulak Guhathakurta spoke to India Water Portal on the findings of the

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The holy city of Ujjain is dealing with severe water and sanitation issues. A study reveals serious anomalies in the WASH situation in the city.

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 jyotirlingas in India but also has prominence as the location for the Simhastha Kumbh Mela every 12 years.

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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 supplied to the community through our water supply system.

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One of the temple ponds of Kooram, neglected for years, has been revived by well-meaning citizens.

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 the time, dug out massive irrigation tanks or eris, as they are known locally, to support agriculture in a terrain fed by seasonal rains.

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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 construction. It rains 1670mm annually, on an average.

I would like to know if there is a provision of subsidy from the government for installing rainwater harvesting in the property; and how to go about applying for it.

Regards

Akanksha Bumb

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