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.

  • 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 7 months 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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 7 months agoread more
  • Hello,We are a community of 164 households in Okkiyam Thoraipakkam, Chennai. Our community is known as Trinity Park. Currently we source water from outside, as the groundwater is unusable. We are collectively looking for a rainwater harvesting solution to improve the groundwater quality.We need help...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 7 months agoread more
  • Climate change poses a threat to all. Be it forests, water or agriculture- it affects everything. India's Northeast, particularly, has witnessed a great deal of this impact. Sikkim, the physical bridge between the Northeast and mainland India, is also bearing the brunt of climate change in a myriad ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 3 years 7 months agoread more
  • Average rainfall in different districts for the period 1992-2010
    iwpsuperadminposted 3 years 7 months agoread more
  • Abolish manual scavenging: SCThe Supreme Court has ordered all states to abolish manual scavenging and undertake measures to rehabilitate manual scavengers. It has also directed the states to pay a compensation of Rs.10 lakh each to the family of manual scavengers who have died while enter...
    swatiposted 3 years 7 months agoread more
  • As a run up to World Water Day 2014, India Water Portal conducted a Grassroots Comics workshop with Field Facilitators, Barefoot Engineers and other field workers of the Dhara Vikas Programme. The Programme is an initiative of the Government of Sikkim through its Rural Management and Development Dep...
    Usha Dewaniposted 3 years 7 months agoread more
  • Chennai's water warriors Sekhar Raghvan and Indukant Ragade believe that rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling are simple steps to achieve water sufficiency. To educate tomorrow’s engineers and town planners to understand and appreciate the importance of these two measures, India Water Port...
    Seethaposted 3 years 7 months agoread more
  • India may become water scarce by 2020: ReportBusinesses in the country are underestimating water-related risks as depletion and pollution threaten to deprive millions of safe drinking water and stifle economic growth, says a study report by the Carbon Disclosure ProjectHimachalis want policies again...
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  • Most tourist brochures of ‘God’s own country’ Kerala, show off the beautiful beaches and backwaters of Kovalam and Alleppey. The state is also home to both the Northeast and Southwest monsoon receiving an average rainfall of 3000 mm annually (contrast that with around 1000 mm in neighbouring T...
    Seethaposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • Pophala is a dry land farming village with 73 families that cultivate 290 acres. The people would spend as many as 5 hours to go to another village and get water. In the year 2013, the Gram Sabha in Pophala village, decided on something unique. They decided to figure out a way to get and keep water ...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • India to get its first solar-powered toilet The waterless toilet converts human waste into charcoal that can be used as fertilizer in farming or as a fuel, say researchers at the University of Colorado who developed the toilet.Grams in Tripura not 'Nirmal'None of the 108 villages in Tripura declared...
    ravleenposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • Sea Line Co-operative Society, is a residential complex with 25 apartments in Bandra-a suburb in Mumbai. The 70 residents required 6000 kilolitres (KL) water per year but they managed to procure just about 5000 KL while paying through their noses - Rs. 20,000 per month, to be exact. Unders...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • Mewat, a historical region comprising of the present Mewat district of Haryana and parts of Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan, lies in a semi-arid belt. It experiences variable rainfall annually and receives, on average, 336 mm to 540 mm, as per the Mewat Development Agency.Gr...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • Chennai is rain-rich, but frequently water starved. The city receives a good amount of rain both from the South-West as well as the North-East monsoon, though the latter’s contribution is much higher. Even with an annual average rainfall of around 1200-1300 mm (the national average is around 800mm...
    Seethaposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • A little less than 40 km away from the district headquarters of Tikamgarh in northern Madhya Pradesh lies a watershed, which is an area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place (US Environmental Protection Agency). Called the Baldeogarh w...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • Dams sold but tribal issues remain unaddressedJaypee group is yet to pay a due of Rs 82 crore under local area development fund against Kinnaur's Karcham Wangtoo dam. Other dues under pollution norms, damage due to tunneling and forest rights also remain pendingTelangana chief promises drought free ...
    ravleenposted 3 years 8 months agoread more
  • El Nino might affect 2014 monsoonThe weather phenomenon that disturbs cloud formation could bring down India's economic growth from the current 6% to 5.2% in the next financial year, says a study by the credit Rating Information Services of India LimitedCentre accepts Kerala's demands on Western Gha...
    ravleenposted 3 years 8 months agoread more

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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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Hello,

I have 2 questions, requesting guidance:

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