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 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 2 years 11 months 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 2 years 12 months 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 2 years 12 months 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 2 years 12 months 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 2 years 12 months 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 2 years 12 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 11 hours 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 3 days 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 5 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 1 week 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 1 week 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 1 week agoread more
  • Delhi prone to floods: IPCCThe Yamuna River floodplains need to be kept free as buffer zones to absorb the damage due to extreme weather events, says the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report also says Mumbai and Kolkata prone to coastal floodingPower everywhere ...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • People from all walks of life, villagers, NGOs, govt officials and water experts participated in the World Water Day celebration in Mewat that was organised by the S M Sehgal Foundation, a rural development NGO working in the district.Mewat is a dry region, thanks to absence of surface water, increa...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Himalayan glaciers could lose two-third mass by 2100The International Panel on Climate Change says this may hit India’s food security system andalso bring changes in the monsoon pattern. Famine, water shortage and regional conflicts are also expected in South Asia, especially IndiaWater in Ludhian...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Abolish manual scavenging: SCThe Court said entering sewer lines without safety gears should be made a crime and that safai karamchari women should be provided support for dignified livelihoodSow short duration crops: GovtThe Union Agriculture Ministry has suggested farmers sow short and medium dura...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Thermal power plants India's biggest water guzzling industryMost of the older generation thermal plants in India use open loop–wet cooling systems which accounts for 40-80 times more water use than the world average. These plants constitute 88% of the total industrial water demand in the countryIn...
    ravleenposted 3 years 3 weeks agoread more

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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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Hello,

I have 2 questions, requesting guidance:

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Hundreds of villagers pitched in to revive a village pond at Bapugaon, a village in Rajasthan, to make it water and food secure.

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. Since then, both the quantity and quality of water started deteriorating. The rains were playing truant yet again and had stopped buffing up the rocks and big boulders scattered over the hills.

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Taankas are trusted allies in the harsh weather of Rajasthan, but the focus is shifting now onto personal assets rather than community resources.

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 womb--for the first time.

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Policy matters this week

Teesta-III project in Sikkim gets a green signal

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Bishop Cotton School in Shimla tides over water scarcity by harvesting rainwater, setting an example for other residential schools located in hilly regions.

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.

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