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 is an astonishing thing to see the five rivers of Alwar in Rajasthan flowing for more than 6-8 months in a year. This is no miracle though. It is the result of a decade-long effort by Jal Jungle Andolan lead by Dr. Rajendra Singh.  Traditional rainwater harvesting structues called Johads th...
    Prarthana Vishalposted 3 years 4 days agoread more
  • Rainwater and You: contains ideas that anyone can use anywhere gives essential details about hte background of rainwater utilisation in urban, rural and islands gives designs for rainwater utilisation systems and points of maintenance gives examples of actual uses in individual homes, large bu...
    Prarthana Vishalposted 3 years 4 days agoread more
  • We are living in an apartment with 112 flats. We have made provision to collect surface run off from common terraces to a tank and this water is used for washing cars and gardening. We have a borewell and we are looking for a simple inexpensive method to recharge it. Can we use trenches to recha...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • Hello, I am Aditya, I am designing a small self-sustaining farm 200 kms from Bangalore. For which, I have acquired a barren land sloping gently from west to east in between 3 small hills. I am looking for some site specific advice on how to harvest rain water in a way that benefits the ground water ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • Maharashtra village reclaim rights on submerged forestKorku tribals in Amravathi district lost their agricultural and forest land to a dam in 2005-06; reclaim fishing and management rights over part of the reservoir under Forest Rights Act'Rajasthan getting only 1% of its share in Yamuna water'Chief...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • MP interlinks Narmada with KshipraThe 432 crore project includes lifting water from the Narmada with pumps upto a height of 350 metres from a distance of 50 km and bringing it to the origin of Kshipra river. Project targetted to benefit 3,000 villages and 70 towns of the Malwa region in Madhya Prade...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • Mumbai slums to get potable water Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced the scheme to supply water to around 10 lakh residents of unauthorised slums.Tamil Nadu village sets example in water conservationPoongudi village in Tiruchi district renovated its tank three years ago which ...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • River diversion project launch put offThe Yettinahole project, which Union Environment Minister Veerappa Moily was to launch, has not received clearance from the environment and forest department yet. Timely letter by NGO SANDRP puts brakes on the launch plansPatna to have biggest sewerage...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • Please provide details on training in rainwater harvesting. I have already talked to Sri Siraj Bhai in Lucknow about this. Thank you, Uditnarayan Shukla
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 1 week agoread more
  • Hi, I was attending a session with IGBC recently and there was a problem faced unanimously about percolation rate of different soil types. I would request, if you have any data related to this, it will be indeed very helpful as green building projects across India are facing this problem while d...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Pudukottai gets crop insurance scheme to mitigate nature's fury Both the Central and the Tamil Nadu governments have approved the modified national agricultural insurance scheme in all 13 blocks in Pudukottai. Under the scheme, compensation will be provided at revenue-village-level for lo...
    swatiposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • NGO writes to Moily against river diversion project Claims that Yettinahole project in Karnataka have no environment clearance and will damage 100 hectare forest land in Western Ghats. Activists want UP wetlands to be declared Sarus SafariDemand protection for 35-km stretch spann...
    ravleenposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • The name Tripura originated from 'Twi' meaning water and 'Para' meaning land. The indigenous population, which is about 32%, refer to Tripura as Twipra, meaning land of water. However, the state no longer seems to be living up to its name. Its annual average per capita water availability is 35,...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • We plan to do a Rain Water Harvesting project in Panchkula, Haryana wherein we intend to harvest the rain water from asphalt/bitumen roads and divert them to desilting chambers and then recharge borewells. In the process, we need to estimate the runoff that'll be collected from the roads. So my ques...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Cochin estuary high on insecticides: StudyCochin estuary has one of the highest concentration of organochlorine insecticides in the world, revealed a study by the Cochin University of Science and Technology.Poo to power Bangalore Around 100 megawatt will be produced from methane emitted by...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Green norms eased for expanding coal mines MoEF eases the environmental clearance for expansion of coal mines. As per the new rules,  mines with an annual capacity of up to 8 million tonnes, do not require holding of public hearings, if expanded by up to 50% of their capacity. This is aga...
    swatiposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Delhi metro stations to conserve rainwater By March 2015, 17 metro stations will have rainwater harvesting system, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT had earlier ordered rainwater harvesting system at all metro stations.Meghayaya favours livelih...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • HC directs shutting operations in Mundra Port and SEZThe Gujarat High Court has directed 12 industrial units in the Mundra Port and SEZ in Kutch district to stop operations unless the industrial complex gets environmental clearance.Tribal Ministry dilutes laws to clear Thoubal multi-purpose projectA...
    ravleenposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • The report throws light on the recharge techniques practiced traditionally in different regions of the country and shares some of the success stories of the Board in implementing cost effective groundwater recharge techniques.
    Prarthana Vishalposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Trails showcasing artificial lakes as both storage and defensive units, efficient network of aqueducts and drains and beautiful stepwells can help increase tourist footfall at Amber fort in Jaipur, says this research paper.
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 1 month agoread more

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Cities may not be able to lessen their 'concrete footprint', which prevents groundwater from entering the soil but maybe more city spaces can use porous surfacing to deal with this problem.

Despite its shrinking greens, Delhi has significant tree diversity. Pradip Krishen, a naturalist, author and filmmaker, identifies around 250 tree species in the concrete jungle, in his book titled ‘Trees of Delhi’ published in 2007. But these trees do not have the breathing room they need as the Public Works Department's (PWD) pavement tiling projects enclose trees completely in concrete.

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Baadi near Jodhpur turned its weakness into strength to halt distress migration and reduce its dependence on rains.

Big sandstone hills cover the landscape dotted by little grass, while the land below is covered with Israeli babool (akesia tortlis), an invasive species which does not let any other vegetation grow. Amidst this, Baadi village with its lush green fields full of cabbage, pepper and groundnut seems out of place.

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None of our policies seem to be designed keeping in mind the farmer and his convenience, says Suneel Joshi, State Coordinator for Jal Biradari, in an interview with India Water Portal.

Recent news has been flooded with reports of the severe drought situation in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra. Even more shocking are the reports of large-scale suicides by farmers due to crop losses.

Although the government has announced a relief package for drought-affected areas, these sort of quick- fix solutions are not enough to solve the real problems on the ground, argues Suneel Joshi.

Maharashtra is experiencing drought this year too. Why does this happen every year?

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Only a few of Bikaner's over 100 ponds are well-maintained today, some thanks to the efforts of citizens, and another due to rooftop rainwater being channeled. Could the remaining get as lucky?

Water connects food and religion. Religious ceremonies often involve taking a dip in a water body, and any food or meal is incomplete without water. The same two things - food and religion - stand out in Bikaner. While hot kachoris and samosas line street stalls, Mata Karni Devi and Baba Ramdev (not the yoga guru) shower their blessings from billboards and wall paintings. Ironically though, Bikaner is not rich in water since it is on the western side of Rajasthan. As unlikely a candidate as it is to be a religious and food hub, it only became so because of its ponds.

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After 30 days of digging and removing 6000 tractor loads of sand, the evasive Dharmar Theertham was found intact with fresh water being replenished in a pit in the middle of the structure.

The word 'Theertham' literally means ‘water’ but in Hindu mythology, it is usually the physical holy water body associated with a temple or deity. Rameshwaram has 64 such theerthams. 22 of these are believed to be sacred and are within the premises of the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple.

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Rainwater harvesting, a “soft path” approach towards water management, cannot be advocated in isolation to tackle water scarcity.

A drop in available water for irrigation is one of the important challenges that countries will face in the coming years. This could create a severe impact on agriculture and food production. This threat is far more serious in countries such as India due to the rapid growth in population as well as overexploitation of available water resources. Rather than centralised solutions, small scale solutions that are cost effective, efficient and environmentally sustainable in the long run, are being proposed to deal with water scarcity.

Rainwater harvesting

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Policy matters this week

NGT turns down clearance to Cuddalore thermal plant because of threat to mangroves

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Kerala's Ashtamudi lake recognised for sustainable clam fishing

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Basavaraj's house in drought-prone Chitradurga district in Karnataka is mostly self-sufficient for water. Was it serendipity, luck or something more?

Chitradurga district in southern Karnataka is infamous for drought. People here constantly suffer from water shortage and in the last few years, the problem has escalated due to poor rainfall. 

"The continuous drilling of bore wells in and around Chitradurga doesn't help either", says Devaraja Reddy, a hydrogeologist based here. The situation has worsened with more and more people drilling bore wells because the groundwater has continued to deplete thereby resulting in the depletion of surface water as well.

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Hudhud lands in Vizag at 195 kmph

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