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.

  • 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 10 months 1 week 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 10 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 10 months 4 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 11 months 3 days 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 11 months 1 week 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 11 months 1 week 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 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The only place for building rainwater harvesting structure within an apartment site is the stilt parking area with a 10 ft roof.   Are there restrictions in building RWH structure of 3ft dia width and 10ft deep within the apartment stilt parking area in Chennai? With this type of recharge...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Government to 3D map aquifers in all villages Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat said that the Centre is carrying out 3D aquifer mapping of every village in India, to help target water conservation measures at a micro level across the country. Such an exercise will help the governmen...
    Swati Bansalposted 12 months 1 day agoread more
  • Chennai had a severely deficient monsoon in 2018 with 40% less rain than normal. Since then, the city has been bracing itself for a water crisis. But clearly not enough had been done and the severe water scarcity this summer has been a wake-up call for people, highlighting the urgency of finding way...
    priyadposted 12 months 1 day agoread more
  • Vishwanath Srikantaiah, popularly known as the 'Rainman', has been in the news recently for his ambitious project to build one million recharge wells in Bengaluru. Given the dire situation we find ourselves in vis-à-vis water, the initiative could not have come at a better time. While Vishwanath h...
    priyadposted 12 months 1 day agoread more
  • Maharashtra is reeling under drought this year too, with the situation in Marathwada particularly bad. As high as twenty four out of thirty six districts in the state are facing deficient monsoons and about 4,920 villages and 10,506 hamlets are now completely dependent on water tankers for drinking ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 1 day agoread more
  • Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) is organizing the Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020) to discuss 'Groundwater Resources Management for Sustainable Development with the Special Emphasis on Coastal and Urban Environment’ at CWRDM, Koz...
    prijuposted 1 year 2 days agoread more
  • I am planning to build a house in a 30 X 40 site in Bangalore. I would like to incorporate a cost effective grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting system. Kindly let me know how do I go about it since I am at the design stage of the project. Thanks
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • This summer I had the incredible opportunity, to work with the Tata Trusts and their Tata Water Mission (TWM) initiative, exploring avenues to provide scalable water access to stakeholders in rural communities. TWM is one of the Trusts’ flagship initiatives in India, at the forefront of ensuring...
    priyadposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • Sir , I have small roof top of 800 sqft (approx), how to recharge my borewell with rainwater? I have no empty space around my house, can I make a passage for rainwater for influx into the borewell directly. Pl suggest me a cost-effective idea. Thank you M Jaya Krishna 9848124927 Vijayawada, Andh...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • A Future Earth Conference Opening new frontiers in water system diagnostics and innovative solutions to mitigate the 21st-century global water crisis The Sustainable Water Future Programme (Water Future) of Future Earth is organizing its first international conference in partnership with Divecha C...
    priyadposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • The state of Rajasthan has an immense range of ancient and ingenious water harvesting systems, like the famous johads or step wells managed by communities in the arid Thar desert, which receives very low rainfall. A recent book 'Wise water solutions in Rajasthan' by Om Prakash Sharma, Mark Everard a...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • I have one acre farmland which is slopey in the Aravali Hills. I want to conserve the rainwater using check dams. Request your advice on how to you do it ?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Dead rat in the water tank collecting rainwater through which water went into open well. We have removed the rat, but can see all its hair might have gotten into the open well, I suppose. Please advise on purifying the well water and cleaning the tank so that I can use it for future.
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more

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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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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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Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.

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 population continues to increase.

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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.

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 events, experts argue that human factors, faulty models of development and the narrow perception of droughts and floods at the policy level has worsened the situation in India.

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The recently concluded 4 day conference in Bangalore looked at the current state of global water resource challenges & future pathways to achieve the SDGs, while ensuring equity in access to all.

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 institutional solutions to accelerate the implementation of the water SDGs and the 2030 Agenda targets, leaving no one behind.

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