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.

  • 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 2 years 2 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 2 years 2 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • ‘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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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 5 months 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 5 months agoread more
  • Yamuna pollution stays the same, despite a drop in sewage flow Per the Environment Ministry’s Annual Report (2014-15), although there is a decline in the discharge of sewage water into the Yamuna in the last year, the water quality continues to deteriorate. The reason attributed behind the unchan...
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  • The Himalayas, an important part of the geography of India, extend along the entire Northern and North-Eastern boundary of the country. It spans six Indian States namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Sikkim and a major part of Arunachal Pradesh from west to east. T...
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  • Indian Water Works Association in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and SGGS Institute of Engineering and Technology, Nanded is orgainising a national seminar on 'Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting' at IIT Bombay. For more de...
    swatiposted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • As the race to bridge the gap between limited water availability and increasing demand for water narrows in India, rain water harvesting has been increasingly recommended in urban areas to harness the available water, rather than relying on expensive and unsustainable means of procuring water.  ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • Dear India Water Portal, We need help to implement a water harvesting project in our colony Kakkanad, Ernakulam, Kerala at least cost. Can you please help? Thanks
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 9 months agoread more

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December 14, 2016 9:30AM

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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 harvesting go hand in hand. Could you share some expert advise on this?

Thanks

Binu Joseph

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Citizens come forward to restore polluted lakes and rivers in their cities. They demand support and swift action from the government.

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 clean water, have been successful, while others are ongoing. Here, we feature some stories of a few Good Samaritans and their efforts to restore the lakes and rivers of their cities.

Udaipur lakes

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The hill forts of Maharashtra provide valuable lessons in water harvesting and conservation.

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 absent and the population depended on rains and often faced water scarcity or droughts.

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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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News this week

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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