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
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Cities in India are marked by unequal distribution of water, lack of access, outdated infrastructure and minimal enforcement of rainwater harvesting and other means of supply.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)
November 18, 2019 Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs.
Image credit: Citizen Matters
October 25, 2019 Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.
Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
October 1, 2019 Deconstructing the traditional narrow engineering based policy discourses around floods and droughts and connecting them to social and cultural realities is the need of the hour in India.
Water talk Series at Mumbai (Image Source:Tata Insitute of Social Sciences)
Centre to ensure safe drinking water and scale up activities during monsoon, under JJM
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 8 months 1 week ago

Under JJM, Centre to ensure safe drinking water and scale up activities during monsoon

Labourers building check dams under MGNREGA. (Image Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Facing up to the water crisis
Conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting and recharging of groundwater need to be generally well established in both rural and urban areas. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 3 weeks ago

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.

Water conservation measures invariably have a positive effect on water quality and the environment (Image: Joel Bassuk / Oxfam; Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Using music to build water positive villages
A campaign tries to make watershed development work a citizens movement. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months 3 weeks ago

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

Women drawing water from a village well. Prior to watershed development and integrated water management, scarcity of water was a way of life for the people of Kumbharwadi (Image: WOTR)
Tap water to all
What can be learnt from past experiences on scaling up coverage of piped water supply? Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months 3 weeks ago

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.

Child drinks water from a tap (Image: Imal Hashemi/Taimani Films/World Bank, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Unravelling Kuttanad’s drinking water paradox
Floods such as in 2018 could take the situation downhill causing severe drinking water crisis. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months 2 weeks ago

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.

Lack of sufficient quality water, poor pipe connectivity and frequent breakdown of existing pipelines are common in the area (Image: Jayasree Vaidyanathan)
Overcoming heavy odds to emerge as a WATSAN model
How women came together in a Junagadh village to tackle drinking and domestic water shortage effectively. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months 3 weeks ago

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.

AKRSP has promoted rainwater harvesting to address the issue of scarce potable water at Mangrol. By encouraging households to collect rainwater using pipes on their roofs which then drain into an underground tank they have been able to promote water security. (Image: Aga Khan Foundation Flickr)
The Karnataka State Water Policy 2019
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? aartikelkar posted 11 months 3 weeks ago

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.

Groundwater depletion, a growing challenge (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Watershed Management Compendium
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. aartikelkar posted 1 year ago

This compendium by Mihir Kumar Maitra is a valuable resource for all practitioners engaged in watershed management activities in the field.

Watershed management in India (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Looking back into history to understand droughts
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. aartikelkar posted 1 year 1 month ago

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.

India will see more droughts in the future. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
BWSSB’s workforce woefully inadequate, says Chairman Tushar Girinath
Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs. priyad posted 1 year 1 month ago

“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’.

Image credit: Citizen Matters