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
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)
January 2, 2021 Lack of community ownership and local governance are spelling doom for the once royal and resilient traditional water harvesting structures of Rajasthan.
Toorji Ka Jhalara, Jodhpur (Image Source: Rituja Mitra)
December 29, 2020 Water resources in most Indian cities are overworked and overused, and not adequately replenished.
Cities in India are marked by unequal distribution of water, lack of access, outdated infrastructure and minimal enforcement of rainwater harvesting and other means of supply. (Image: Anish Roy, Pixabay)
December 4, 2019 The 2015­-2018 drought, the longest, but less severe of droughts experienced by India raises alarm on the negative effects of future droughts on water security in the country.
India will see more droughts in the future. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Yavatmal’s water security crisis
Improper location, poor operation and maintenance of water harvesting and recharge structures threaten water security in Yavatmal Amita Bhaduri posted 5 hours 28 minutes ago

Water security in  Yavatmal district could be at risk if steps are not taken to revive and renovate water harvesting and recharge structures according to a study by Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC).

A study assesses the current status of the water harvesting and recharge structures in Yavatmal (Image: India Water Portal Flickr)
Thirsty for change
Empowering women to be decision-makers in managing water Amita Bhaduri posted 1 day ago

In June 2021, UNDP felicitated 41 Women Water Champions for their remarkable contributions to water conservation efforts in the country.

Laichi Bai Uike takes lead to construct boribund on streams to harvest water (Image: Foundation for Ecological Security)
This year's India Smart Cities Awards goes to UP, Surat, Indore, Chandigarh!
News this fortnight Swati Bansal posted 1 week 3 days ago

UP, Surat, Indore, Chandigarh become winners of India Smart Cities Awards Contest 2020

Varanasi, a city in Uttar Pradesh (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Stories of change: Becoming water abundant by harvesting rainwater
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. Swati Bansal posted 1 week 4 days ago

We often take for granted those things that come easy to us. Rain is one such resource that we always enjoy, but never capture for the future.

Catch the rain where it falls (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Dealing with droughts
There are many reasons why we see more droughts in India these days. Here is all the information that you need to know droughts better. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month ago

Droughts are one of the most feared natural calamities in India impacting food production, the economy as well as the morale of millions of farmers in a cou

India will see more droughts in the future. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Harnessing runoff to cope with droughts in South India
With north east monsoon playing truant, understanding the reasons for droughts in South India is crucial. Can harnessing runoff help to cope with the increasing dry spells that south indian cities are facing? Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

The years 2016 to 2018 saw a major drought in the South of India due to low winter rainfall from the northeast monsoon – rainfall crucial for water availability, agriculture and livelihoods for the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The scramble to collect water: Can it be prevented? (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Sheroes: A tribute to women who value water
Beating odds, women water warriors deepen their work on water Amita Bhaduri posted 4 months ago

Every year, March 22 is celebrated as World Water Day. The theme for this year is ‘valuing water’. This indicates the higher level of thinking that is percolating agencies like the UN.

Rural women believe in the power of ‘water continuity’ or having sustained and intergenerational access to water resources (Image: Romit Sen)
Revival of Ganga wetlands gets government's attention
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

Jal Shakti Ministry draws focus towards revival of Ganga wetlands

Receding Ganga river at Sangam (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)
Baravas - Unique water harvesting structures of Maharashtra
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! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 4 months 3 weeks ago

Traditional groundwater storage structures such as cisterns, stepwells, tanks, and wells in India are well known and had cultural, religious, social, and utilitarian significance in olden times.

A barav from Limb village in Satara district, Maharashtra (Image Source: Aarti Kelkar Khambete)
Bringing life to a dying stream
In Vidarbha, water harvesting restores a nala to a perennial stream Amita Bhaduri posted 5 months 1 week ago

Located in the Ghatanji block in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, Jarur village has seen a good monsoon this year.

The communities are aware of the importance of harvesting and storing rainwater for meeting their needs, and have established several rules and norms for use of common resources. (Image: FES)