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
July 12, 2021 India Water Portal presents you with some inspiring stories of individuals and organisations in India that have adopted exemplary ways to combat water scarcity through harvesting rainwater.
Catch the rain where it falls (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
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)
Content Library: Groundwater management
A comprehensive library of video content on Participatory GroundWater Management amrthak posted 1 year 5 months ago

Participatory GroundWater Management (PGWM) - at its core believes in weaving together scientific and traditional groundwater management methods and making communities the champion of their water resources. 

Women drawing water from a beri (Image: IWP 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? Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 6 months 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. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 6 months 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. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 7 months 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 8 months 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
Mapping Pune’s aquifers
Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 8 months ago

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.

Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
From droughts to floods: India’s tryst with climate extremes
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. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 9 months ago

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.

Water talk Series at Mumbai (Image Source:Tata Insitute of Social Sciences)
The Water Future Conference in Bangalore: Towards a Sustainable Water Future
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. priyad posted 1 year 9 months ago

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 a

Charles Vorosmarty, Chair, COMPASS Initiative, Water Future at the opening plenary on advanced water system assessments to address water security challenges of the 21st century.
Water wisdom in times of a climate crisis
New report documents India’s rich traditions of water harvesting and sustainable use. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 9 months ago

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 Himal

Bandhara (in Nashik, Maharashtra), a low masonry weir of 1.2 to 4.5 m height, which is constructed across a small stream for diverting the water into a small main canal taking off from its upstream side (Image: Shailendra Yashwant, Oxfam India)
India’s deepening water crisis
Making false doomsday claims of a water crisis could support problematic mega solutions, which could lead to more problems. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 9 months ago

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.

India's demand for water will exceed supply by a factor of two by 2030, as per a NITI Aayog report (Image: Vinoth Chandar, Flickr Commons (CC BY 2.0))