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
September 21, 2022 The unique design and functioning of the Chakla bavdi in Chanderi Madhya Pradesh is another example of the water wisdom of our ancestors, which needs to be conserved and passed on to the future generations.
Chakla Bavdi at Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh (Image Source: Shirole, S. 2022. Architectural eloquence: Water harvesting structure in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh (India). Ancient Asia, 13: 9, pp. 1–13)
July 14, 2022 The river is faced with the dual problem of flood plain encroachment and growing levels of water pollution
Illegal transverse check dams (Badhals) built on Ichamati near a village in Basirhat (Image: Prithviraj Nath @ TheWaterChronicles)
July 11, 2022 The Chauka system of Rajasthan can not only provide a sustainable way to manage water resources in water stressed regions, but also support livelihoods through development of pastures.
Can greening of barren lands happen? (Image Source: India Water Portal Flickr photos)
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)
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)
World Bank to provide $250 million to ensure dam safety in India
Policy matters this fortnight Posted on 10 Aug, 2021 07:04 AM

World Bank will provide $250 million for dam safety in India

Malampuzha dam in Kerala (Image source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Empowering women to be water stewards
Women work on demystifying technologies in a remote Rajasthan village Posted on 07 Aug, 2021 12:53 PM

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

Gayatri's efforts helped women get together and work on water management for the well being of a community (Image: Foundation for Ecological Security)
Odisha's Puri becomes first city in the country to have safe water under Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban)
News this fortnight Posted on 28 Jul, 2021 07:48 AM

Odisha’s Puri first city in the country to provide safe drinking water while

Functional tap water supply to end rural water woes (Image source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Yavatmal’s water security crisis
Improper location, poor operation and maintenance of water harvesting and recharge structures threaten water security in Yavatmal Posted on 23 Jul, 2021 02:38 PM

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 Posted on 22 Jul, 2021 12:25 PM

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)
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