Books and Book Reviews

Baravanne Manisida Mallanna: A case of successful farming even during drought
An account of drought-proofing techniques adopted and disseminated by Dr. Mallanna Nagaraj, farmer scientist from Bagalkote, Karnataka. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:59 PM

This book talks about the practise of soil and water conservation adopted by Dr. Mallanna in Bagalkote. Bagalkote is a district in northern Karnataka, which is known for scanty rainfall. 

Soil and water conservation to face scanty rains
The forgotten Madakas of southern India
A book on traditional water harvesting system of coastal Karnataka by Harish Halemane. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:56 PM

Madakas are manmade structures for storing rainwater that was abundantly prevalent in Kasargod District of Kerala. Pallas on the contrary, were similar structures but not man made. Pallas and Madakas met the water requirements of the settlements around these structures. 

Madakas and Pallas of Southern India
Gujaratina neera tijori: Taankaa
Taankaas are considered as safe deposit lockers of water in Gujarat. They have been storing every drop of water that falls down and quenching the thirst of households for decades. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:56 PM

Rainwater harvesting is not a new science in India. There are several traditional practices across the country where rainwater was stored safely and used in times of need. One such example is the 'Taankaa' system in Gujarat.

86,000 litres tanka in Ahmedabad
Matte Roopararel Battalilla: Learning from Rajasthan
Community efforts over a decade led to the revival of johads, traditional rainwater harvesting structures in Alwar, Rajasthan. This book shares the process of this remarkable achievement. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:43 PM

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. 

Johads for rainwater harvesting
Talaparige: The pride of Tumkur, Karnataka
Talaparige' by Mallikarjuna Hosapalya introduces readers to the concept of this source of water, which once was well known for its ability to provide water for irrigation and drinking. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:39 PM

'Talaparige' is a well known traditional source of water in Tumkur region in Karnataka. These are also seen in Kolar, Bellary and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka. So far, there has been no exhaustive documentation about this source of water.

Talaparige - Hosakere
Rainwater and You: 100 ways to use rainwater
Rainwater and You is a compendium of knowledge on rainwater harvesting from Japan and other places in the world. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:30 PM

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 buildings and community facilities


Rainwater harvesting and utilisation
Mannu Mattu Neeru
A compilation of local practices and farming tips from Karnataka to overcome a drought situation. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:22 PM

Mannu Mattu Neeru by Shree Padre gives examples of local knowledge and agricultural practices that have successfully helped overcome a drought situation in the state of Karnataka.

These age-old practices, which have been in use for generations now, have helped families survive in circumstances of accute drought and famine. 

Traditional knowledge of farming
Sharanu Banni Jala Kaayakake
A collection of features on soil and water conservation by Shree Padre. Posted on 20 Feb, 2014 11:17 PM

Sharanu Banni Jala Kaayakake is a collection of features on soil and water conservation written by Shree Padre and published by the Akhila Bharata Sharana Sahitya Parishat, Mysore.

This piece of writing is based on interviews with farmers and experiences from the ground. This is one of the 8 books that was published duing the 8th Akhila Bharata Sharana Sahitya Sammelan.

Soil and water conservation
Engineering witchcraft in Bihar
The Bhutahi Balan, a tributary of the Kosi may be a small river but it has caused immense devastation. Dinesh Mishra says that embankments aren't the answer to this problem. Posted on 09 Feb, 2014 07:46 PM

It's been years since Bhutahi Balan, a small tributary of the Kosi river in Madhubani, North Bihar, has been causing devastation on both its banks. Dinesh Mishra in his book 'Story of a ghost river and engineering witchcraft' objectively analyses the failure of embankments, which are raised banks to contain the river's flooding.

Devastation due to floods
Yamuna Nama: a book review
Born out of citizens' concern for the Yamuna, the bi-lingual Yamuna Manifesto presents a lucid and succinct snapshot of the river, it's troubles, and the potential for its resuscitation. Posted on 22 Dec, 2013 05:51 PM

The Yamuna Manifesto -or Yamuna Nama- is a bilingual book with passages in both Hindi and English, published as part of the Yamuna Elbe project. In five deceptively short sections, the book takes us from the birth to the river to its future.

Yamuna river (Source: