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.

  • The conventional freshwater sources available in India are being currently overexploited, leading to widespread environmental degradation and depletion of freshwater resources especially groundwater. To sustain the needs of an increasing population and ecology, our consumption of water far exce...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 days 14 hours agoread more
  • An inspiration called Kumbharwadi in the rain-shadow region of Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is one of the many successful stories of water stressed villages that were transformed by Paani Ka Teeka’s knowledge partner – Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), a Pune based non-profit. Kumbharw...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 6 days agoread more
  • Efforts are underway by both state and central governments to improve access to safe and adequate drinking water to people, and nationally, as on 31 December 2018, 79% of rural habitations had been covered at 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd) but only 47% at 55 lpcd. Yet, in spite of the big push ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the Kuttanad region in Alleppey district, Kerala faces severe drinking water scarcity due to infrastructure failure and civic body inaction. This picture-perfect expanse that lies at the heart of the backwaters experiences “frequent floods, waterlogging, conta...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 5 days agoread more
  • Hi, I am based out of Delhi and looking for an organisation to help install rainwater harvesting system in my society. If interested kindly revert to my email address - SaurabhGalhotra89@gmail.com
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Kotda village provides an inspiring example of how a village suffering from teething troubles in the critical areas of water and sanitation can emerge as a model water and sanitation village. Located in Mangrol block of Junagadh district, from a distance this village presents a lush green appearance...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • This compendium by Mihir Kumar Maitra is a valuable resource for all practitioners engaged in watershed management activities in the field. The first part of the book addresses the technical and engineering aspects useful in developing natural resources like land, surface water, groundwater, crops a...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 months 4 days agoread more
  • Droughts in India: types, causes and effects Droughts are greatly feared in India, impacting food production, the economy and the livelihoods of millions of farmers. 60% of India’s population is engaged in agriculture. So what is a drought? A drought can be defined as “An extended period—a...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • “It is a lack of (institutional) capacity which is leading to public woes on water. We are not in a position to give you quality services because of two things – one, manpower, and two, finances,” said BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath, speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Sustainable, Equ...
    priyadposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • Pune continues to face a water crisis every summer despite having sufficient water, thanks to its geographical location and plentiful natural water assets. While enough of its water needs are taken care of by water supply from the Khadakwasla dam, the use of groundwater to meet the needs of the popu...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • India has witnessed extreme weather conditions this year. While parts of the north and south have battled drought like conditions this summer, the northeast and western coastal areas witnessed heavy rains and floods.While climate change has been highlighted as one of the reasons for these extreme ev...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 7 months 1 day agoread more
  • The Water Future Conference in Bangalore last week, saw many from the scientific community, academia, research, civil society and the media come together to discuss the state of water resources across the world and in India, as well as future pathways and scenarios, and different technological and i...
    priyadposted 7 months 2 days agoread more
  • A recent report by Shailendra Yashwant for Oxfam India looks at India’s ingenious ways of harvesting, storing and distributing water from the Kuhls in Himachal Pradesh that channel water from Himalayan glaciers, and the Dongs of Assam to the Aghers in Arunachal Pradesh, the Pynes of Bihar. India h...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 7 months 6 days agoread more
  • The last few months have seen much debate and discussion on the fast approaching Day Zero, with claims that taps in 21 major Indian cities will dry up. People in Chennai were compelled to queue up to collect water from tankers this past June. Last year’s NITI Aayog’s report set off alarm bells t...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 7 months 1 week agoread more
  • While most parts of the country are facing a water crisis, here’s a case from the arid state of Rajasthan, where decentralized initiatives are solving water issues. Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan has exemplified how community participation with local level planning processes are working towards i...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Team Malhar, students of Water Policy and Governance (WPG) and alumni of Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai in partnership with RRA Network proudly present the third annual session of "WATER TALK SERIES" on 7th September, 2019 at TISS, Mumbai The Water Talk Series was started in 2017 with t...
    priyadposted 7 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Hi, We are a housing society in Parel, Mumbai. In may 2019, we drilled a borewell until 250 ft and got 2.5 inch water, reasonably good quality with tds 1100. We dug a ringwell around this borewell (19 feet depth), and connected our terrace (4000 sqft) and podium (10000 sqft) to this ringwell. After...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 8 months 4 days agoread more
  • We are constructing a residential building project  in Burdwan, West Bengal. So, we want to install a rainwater harvesting system and recharge pit. To whom shall we contact regarding this.  
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 8 months 6 days agoread more
  • Besides showcasing the architectural expertise and aesthetics of their time, temple tanks also play an extremely important role as water storage systems in Chennai. Chennai has 39 temple tanks (excluding the suburban area) according to a study conducted in 2008.  As the rains arrived, a few tem...
    priyadposted 8 months 1 week agoread more

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Conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting and recharging of groundwater need to be generally well established in both rural and urban areas.

The conventional freshwater sources available in India are being currently overexploited, leading to widespread environmental degradation and depletion of freshwater resources especially groundwater. To sustain the needs of an increasing population and ecology, our consumption of water far exceeds the rate at which we are recharging water sources. We are faced with water scarcity and will find it hard to meet the future regional demands.

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A campaign tries to make watershed development work a citizens movement.

An inspiration called Kumbharwadi in the rain-shadow region of Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is one of the many successful stories of water stressed villages that were transformed by Paani Ka Teeka’s knowledge partner – Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), a Pune based non-profit.

Kumbharwadi in 1998 - A bleak scenario

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What can be learnt from past experiences on scaling up coverage of piped water supply?

Efforts are underway by both state and central governments to improve access to safe and adequate drinking water to people, and nationally, as on 31 December 2018, 79% of rural habitations had been covered at 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd) but only 47% at 55 lpcd. Yet, in spite of the big push towards piped water supply in rural areas, the coverage continued to be poor.

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Floods such as in 2018 could take the situation downhill causing severe drinking water crisis.

Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the Kuttanad region in Alleppey district, Kerala faces severe drinking water scarcity due to infrastructure failure and civic body inaction.

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Hi, I am based out of Delhi and looking for an organisation to help install rainwater harvesting system in my society. If interested kindly revert to my email address - SaurabhGalhotra89@gmail.com

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How women came together in a Junagadh village to tackle drinking and domestic water shortage effectively.

Kotda village provides an inspiring example of how a village suffering from teething troubles in the critical areas of water and sanitation can emerge as a model water and sanitation village. Located in Mangrol block of Junagadh district, from a distance this village presents a lush green appearance because of an abundance of coconut trees. “Despite this, the village was so dirty about two decades back that we used to put a cloth on our nose to block the stench on some village paths," says Kamla, an elderly woman of Kotda. This was because open defecation was practiced by all households.

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The Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (KJA) set up a Task Group to draft a new water policy for Karnataka in December 2017 and the report is now in public domain. What are the suggestions that the report makes?

The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for water in the state. Expanding irrigation and urbanisation, possibly have also had a negative impact on river basins and water conflicts are seeing a rise in the state. All these developments have substantially complicated and aggravated the water challenges in Karnataka.

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This compendium by Dr Mihir Kumar Maitra answers all questions that will be of great use to practitioners engaged in both engineering and management aspects of watershed management in the field.

This compendium by Mihir Kumar Maitra is a valuable resource for all practitioners engaged in watershed management activities in the field. The first part of the book addresses the technical and engineering aspects useful in developing natural resources like land, surface water, groundwater, crops and forest while the second part discusses aspects related to  formulation, appraisal and implementation of watershed projects by involving the beneficiaries in the process.

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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.

Droughts in India: types, causes and effects

Droughts are greatly feared in India, impacting food production, the economy and the livelihoods of millions of farmers. 60% of India’s population is engaged in agriculture.

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Regions

Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs.

“It is a lack of (institutional) capacity which is leading to public woes on water. We are not in a position to give you quality services because of two things – one, manpower, and two, finances,” said BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath, speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Sustainable, Equitable Access to Water’.

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