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 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Cities in India are marked by unequal distribution of water, lack of access, outdated infrastructure and minimal enforcement of rainwater harvesting and other means of supply.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)
November 18, 2019 Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs.
Image credit: Citizen Matters
Rainwater harvesting
(not verified) posted 5 months ago

Can I build a RWH in the area below the stilts in the basement on a 2500 sqft house.

What would be the cost to build it? Will the water collected last annually?

Swachh Survekshan 2020: Indore tops in cleanest city category
News this week Swati Bansal posted 7 months 3 weeks ago

Indore once again tops the Swachh Survekshan 2020 in the cleanest city category

Clean road near Pardesipura, Indore. (Source: India Water Portal)
Water projects get priority in MGNREGA amidst COVID-19
Efforts needed to better utilise MGNREGA funds to deter vested interests from misappropriating. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 4 weeks ago

Lockdown in April to May 2020 due to COVID-19 led to the mass migration of workers from the cities to villages. Despite strict measures by the government to stop any movement, people facing lost jobs and high cost of living in the cities began to walk back or use whatever transportation was available to travel to their home villages.

Work in progress at an MGNREGA site (Image: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh)
Boosting rural livelihoods using agriculture and MGNREGA amidst Covid-19
Strengthening farm and non-farm livelihoods can pave the way for food and nutritional security. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months 2 weeks ago

As the Covid-19 pandemic was leaving deep scars around the globe, it forced governments to take measures to protect citizens and ensure food security for its people. In India, initially, it looked as if the remote rural areas would skirt the pandemic.

MGNREGA can play an important role in integration of migrant labour in the rural economy (Image: Ashutosh Nanda)
Villagers in Rajasthan show resilience during national lockdown
Continuing to prepare rural communities for the most unprecedented events in Alwar. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months ago

India’s national lockdown to curb the fast-expanding community transmission of coronavirus led to life coming to a standstill across the country. The long pause of over three months is starting to ease, and the new shift towards “normal” gives health and hygiene ultimate attention.

Repairing the school infrastructures before students return to their classrooms (Image: Sehgal Foundation)
Need to protect the unique geological features in the Upper Ken basin
An attempt to document the geological features, water potential, and traditional wisdom around them in the Upper Ken basin. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months 1 week ago

Kathayi, a scheduled tribe (ST) dominated village in the midst of the forested stretches of Shahnagar block in Panna district faces acute water scarcity during the 3-4 summer months. Through the government schemes, three wells and two hand pumps were installed in this 75 household village in the last 10-15 years, but most of them are dysfunctional now.

Panghata Kund in village Aloni, Panna (June 2014, after initial monsoon) (Image: Seema Ravandale)
Be wise, water wise - Students get on a mission to combat water crisis
An initiative by the students of Oasis International School, Bengaluru, focuses on water conservation and management, while also developing universal values like empathy, gratitude, love and respect. Swati Bansal posted 10 months 3 weeks ago

In the past few years, India has undoubtedly developed remarkably, but not enough to eradicate all the problems it has been facing, including the shortage of water.

Students of Oasis International School participate in an initiative to help combat water crisis in a village (Image Source: Oasis International School)
Community economies - Reconstructing rural economy with ecological sustainability and ethics of equity
Collective management, participation and equity are the foundations on which community economies are sustained. Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months 1 week ago

The exodus of migrant workers from urban areas back to their villages in the wake of country wide lockdown has brought rural poverty into sharp focus. Reconstruction of rural economy therefore needs policy and planning attention.

Johads in Nanduwali nadi region (Image: Farhad Contractor, IWP Flickr)
Centre to ensure safe drinking water and scale up activities during monsoon, under JJM
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 11 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 11 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)