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.

  • Query received over facebookPlease send me some information on rainwater harvesting. Can you help us implement water harvesting in our colony? We are at greater Noida.Regards
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • Increasing urbanization in India has led to soaring freshwater demands and has hence resulted in large amounts of wastewater generation. This water crisis is mainly a consequence of the current water management regime which focuses on centralized water management. We need to implement sustainable an...
    ravleenposted 3 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Sehgal foundation has constructed the check dam at Rawli village in Mewat, Haryana for recharging the groundwater. The check dam, that will serve the bordering villages at Haryana and Rajasthan, has been inaugurated and handed over to the project beneficiaries committee for operation and maintenance...
    swatiposted 3 years 4 weeks agoread more
  • Fresh water found on land has only two primary sources - melting of ice, and rain. Harvesting rain is crucial for sustaining both the surface and sub-soil water sources. That this has been well understood throughout rural India historically is evident from the numerous age-old water harvesting syste...
    Seethaposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • NGT tells Mahagenco to use clean coalThe National Green Tribunal has ordered the Maharashtra power utility to strictly abide by the Environment Ministry's notification, which prohibits coal and power utilities from using coal that has over 34% ash content. Inferior quality coal generates large amoun...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • The recent World Water Development Report by the United Nations has projected that India's demand for water is likely to surpass availability by 2050. The analysis is based on the fact that the country’s per capita availability of water has declined by three times over the past six decades- the pe...
    swatiposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Bangalore water mafia goes innovative to evade lawThe water mafia, with the help of local political leaders, has taken to digging borewells in rented premises in localities closer to lakes. This started after the government started monitoring borewells in the cityToxic veggies on Navi Mumbai's railw...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Many great civilisations have thrived near rivers with people moving in search of water across swathes of lands. The same holds true for present day Punjab, especially its farmers.Ajaib Singh migrated to Bhawanigarh in Sangrur eight years back. He sold off 4 acres of his ancestral farmland at Sandha...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Hi!Please can someone tell me if we can direct the RO waster water to the rain water harvest pit?I am currently constructing my house and it has 3 kitchens each with a RO filter installed, as we dont have drinking water supply yet. I was thinking  of directing the RO waste water from each kitch...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Finally, prediction of low monsoon from the horse's mouthThe Indian Meteorological Department, corroborating global assessment of the El Nino, has predicted “below normal” rainfall during monsoon this year with a rainfall of 95% of the long period average Low rainfall kills tea crop in TripuraAb...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • No deal on Teesta irks Bangladesh Opposition The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has blamed the ruling government for not being able to ink a deal on Teesta river's water sharing. Dams on the river on the Indian side have hindered its flow and led to water scarcity in northern BangladeshAlarming w...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Himachal villages to carry out own EIA90,000 people from 250 villages in the Sutlej basin of Himachal Pradesh decide to carry out their own assessment of the environmental damage caused by hydropower projects. They allege that the state-sponsored Indian Council of Forest Research and Education repor...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Drinking water in more than half rural homes contaminatedEven as 99% of urban and 97% rural households in India have drinking water access, 41% urban and 60% rural homes still get contaminated water, says the latest study published in Lancet, a British medical journalManganese in Goa's prime reservo...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Garudeshwar dam: for a statue or for people?The dam in Gujarat's Bharuch district will act as downstream storage for the Sardar Sarovar project which means it can't be used for irrigation, flood control or even net power generation.However, it will create a reservoir around the 'Statue of Unity' pro...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • This simple guide lists out the most popular questions related to rainwater harvesting to help understand this important topic better.Please click on a topic to view more detailed information.What is Rainwater Harvesting (RWH)?Who can practice RWH?Why should I implement RWH?Where can RWH be implemen...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • More power, but no water security to MP and Gujarat, observes SANDRPThe weekly reservoir level updates of the Central Water Commission (CWC) has shown a drastic depletion of water levels in the Sardar Sarovar Project and Indira Sagar Project on the Narmada river. The prime reason for this ...
    swatiposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Govt to increase irrigation potential by 10%The move is cut down reliance on monsoon rain which sustains agriculture on 50% of the farmland in the country, says A B Pandya, chairman of the Central Water Commission. As of now, 97 million hectares of land is under irrigationHimachal dam protesters cha...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Steep fall in water table worries Tamil NaduGround water level has fallen sharply even in Coimbatore and Theni, the districts abutting the forested Western Ghats region. Across the state, water table has fallen by 0.5 metres to 2.3 metres in the last one yearWater level in Narmada dams hits record l...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Marathwada on a suicide spree, again After last year's drought, it is the hailstorm in February this year which led to large scale crop destruction. 73 farmers have committed suicide since then even as the numbers keep growingWorld Bank rejects loan for Himachal hydro projectThe Bank dropped th...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Piped water only for 40% of the middle classOnly 15% of the middle class, households with an annual income above Rs. 88,800, get about three hours of water supply says the latest data from National Council for Applied Economic ResearchLow rainfall in Western Ghats means less water for citiesRainfall...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 months agoread more

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About WET 2016
VIKSAT 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 nurturing a cadre of young educators for better understanding of water and WASH issues.

February 24, 2016 10:00AM - March 4, 2016 7:00AM
January 15, 2016 11:45PM

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Lalit Mohan Sharma of Sehgal Foundation, Gurgaon speaks to India Water Portal about innovative solutions to sail through Mewat's water crisis.

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?

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Yet to recover from the torrential lashing, the low-lying city of Chennai is slowly piecing its life back together. How ironic for a state that was a pioneer in rainwater harvesting.

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 was 124.4mm, as against the norm of 49.3mm, a departure of nearly 152 percent. Chennai recorded a massive 239mm rainfall as against the expected 88.5mm, 170 percent more than usual [1].

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Farm ponds, rediscovered by a few farmers in Patiala, could be the answer to the state's growing groundwater crisis as they can harvest rainwater and cushion against flooding.

The northern region of India is facing drought for the second consecutive year.

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News this week

CAG report blames Uttarakhand Government for 2013 flash floods

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An innovative rainwater harvesting structure stores sweet rainwater below the ground, within a saline aquifer.

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.

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A village school in Madhya Pradesh deals with the micro-realities of the area and gets out of a sanitation crisis.

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 the River Narmada run by the Kalpantar Shikshan Kendra, now has functional bathrooms and toilets which is an exception in this country as despite the hype around the Swachh Bharat campaign, the reality is that most schools are without functional toilets.

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Hi

I 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:

  1. Whom should I contact to install the system for my home/open farm land
  2. Recommendation on quality products
  3. Contact information of companies that sell and install the system

Please advise.

Thanks Sudha,

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The film “Rainwater Harvesting: From books to fields”, showcases how rooftop rainwater harvesting can also bring about social and economic change.

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 contamination.

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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, 2015.

The venue for the workshop will be the Conference Hall, Victor Menezes Convention Centre, IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai. 

November 26, 2015 9:00AM - November 27, 2015 6:00PM

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