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.

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  • 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 5 months agoread more
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  • A documentary features the revival of water body with traditional harvesting systems led by community
    Prarthana Vishalposted 3 years 7 months agoread more
  • Hi, I am an agriculturist in Devanahalli, Bangalore rural district. Very recently we tried digging a borewell but it failed. Please provide contact details of a geologist or an NGO near Bangalore or Devanahalli who could help us in identifying a good point source for a new borewell. Also please p...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 7 months agoread more

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Rainwater harvesting is a cost effective solution to bridge the gap between water availability and demand. Jodhpur and Goa, areas with low and high rainfall, have shown how.

As the race to bridge the gap between limited water availability and increasing demand for water narrows in India, rain water harvesting has been increasingly recommended in urban areas to harness the available water, rather than relying on expensive and unsustainable means of procuring water.  

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Dear India Water Portal,

We need help to implement a water harvesting project in our colony Kakkanad, Ernakulam, Kerala at least cost.

Can you please help?

Thanks

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Eris or tanks in Tamil Nadu, which once provided water for drinking and irrigation, are in disrepair today. Can technology help restore them?

Several lakhs of farming communities in Tamil Nadu depend on the 39,202 tanks spread around the state. These tanks capture the runoff water from the monsoon rainfall that occurs in a short span of time, and also provide water for irrigation and other uses for the community.

However, these water bodies have been degenerating in the recent past due to reasons such as:

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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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