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.

  • 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 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 2 years 3 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 2 years 3 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 2 years 3 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 2 years 3 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 2 years 4 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 2 years 5 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 5 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 2 years 5 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 2 years 5 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 2 years 5 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 2 years 5 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 2 years 6 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 7 months 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 7 months 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 7 months agoread more

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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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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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