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.

Featured Articles
March 21, 2022 Recognizing women's accumulated knowledge and adaptive capacities in springshed management
Van Panchayat Samiti discussing the matters related to forest (Image: Varun Raja)
November 9, 2021 Building resilient agricultural system through groundwater management interventions in degraded landscapes of Bundelkhand region
Charkhari talab in Bundelkhand (Image: IWP Flickr)
July 23, 2021 Improper location, poor operation and maintenance of water harvesting and recharge structures threaten water security in Yavatmal
A study assesses the current status of the water harvesting and recharge structures in Yavatmal (Image: India Water Portal Flickr)
July 12, 2021 India Water Portal presents you with some inspiring stories of individuals and organisations in India that have adopted exemplary ways to combat water scarcity through harvesting rainwater.
Catch the rain where it falls (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
March 22, 2021 Beating odds, women water warriors deepen their work on water
Rural women believe in the power of ‘water continuity’ or having sustained and intergenerational access to water resources (Image: Romit Sen)
February 24, 2021 Baravas, the unique water harvesting structures of Maharashtra continue to stand the test of time. Urgent efforts need to be made to conserve them and learn from them!
A barav from Limb village in Satara district, Maharashtra (Image Source: Aarti Kelkar Khambete)
Centre launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign, 2022
Policy matters this fortnight Posted on 06 Apr, 2022 10:24 AM

Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign, 2022 launched during the 3rd National Water Awards

Catch the rain where it falls, when it fall (Image source: IWP Flickr album). Photo for representation only
Celebrating the role of hill women in springshed development and governance
Recognizing women's accumulated knowledge and adaptive capacities in springshed management Posted on 21 Mar, 2022 06:34 PM

Hill women share a special intricate and culturally nurtured connection to forest and water, making them better stewards or owners of their resources.

Van Panchayat Samiti discussing the matters related to forest (Image: Varun Raja)
Assam: Technology used to map historical ponds of Darrang
The ponds are home to birds, reptiles and amphibians; study looks at their ecological relevance Posted on 27 Jan, 2022 10:54 PM

Smaller water bodies, such as ponds, are important not only for biodiversity (Oertli, Céréghino, Hull, & Miracle, 2009) but al

Lakhimpur pond (Image: Authors)
Ecosystem services of traditional water bodies
Empirical evidence from West Bengal Posted on 05 Dec, 2021 04:49 PM

People obtain a variety of benefits, both tangible and intangible, from ecosystems. The complex and dynamic interactions between ecosystems and people have resulted in exponential rise of ecosystem services research in recent decade.

Households living close to tanks pursue a variety of livelihood activities based on resources available in tanks for their sustenance (Image: Amitabha Gupta, Wikimedia Commons)
Potential of rainwater management in Bundelkhand
Building resilient agricultural system through groundwater management interventions in degraded landscapes of Bundelkhand region Posted on 09 Nov, 2021 04:10 PM

Bundelkhand, a geographical and cultural region in north-central India covering parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is one of the hotspots of poverty and malnutrition.

Charkhari talab in Bundelkhand (Image: IWP Flickr)
Harvesting and using rainwater, a must in Bengaluru
Policy matters this fortnight Posted on 23 Sep, 2021 12:24 PM

State government makes harvesting and using of rainwater a must in Bengaluru

Rainwater harvesting installed in a house (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Revival of Dohas in tribal Madhya Pradesh
Nala widening and deepening to increase water storage and recharge capacity of the stream Posted on 08 Sep, 2021 09:33 AM

The most important precondition to make farming profitable for small and marginal tribal farmers residing in undulating terrains

Dohas constructed in a stream in Dindori district. (Image: Action for Social Advancement)
Lift irrigation cooperatives provide irrigation to tribal drylands
Existing government schemes and programmes offer good potential for scale-up these cooperatives in various states Posted on 06 Sep, 2021 03:59 PM

The earliest known civilizations settled around rivers as they provided access to the water needed for cultivating crops. Over time, humans learnt to control the flow of water by the construction of barriers across the direction of the river flow.

Simalaghasi check dam across Panam river, Dahod constructed by NM Sadguru Water and Development Foundation (Image: NM Sadguru Water and Development Foundation)
Reviving traditional water harvesting structures
A CSO-led holistic tank rehabilitation initiative launched in 2017 to restore the Chandela and Bundela tanks to their ancient glory Posted on 24 Aug, 2021 11:10 PM

150 years ago, no government system anywhere in the world was responsible for water supply.

Kishanpura tank, Tikamgarh district, Madhya Pradesh (Image: Strategy document BIWAL)
Nainital’s water woes: Every drop of rain counts
Nainital, a burgeoning hill town with a huge growing population is faced with water supply issues. Adoption of the practice of rainwater harvesting can lead to a paradigm shift towards better utilisation of the town’s natural water resources. Posted on 15 Aug, 2021 04:16 PM

Nainital, the jewel of Uttarakhand’s Kumaun region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in northern India.

Naini lake, a natural freshwater body, quenches the thirst of the town (Image: Sanjay Bora)
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