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)
Tap water to all
What can be learnt from past experiences on scaling up coverage of piped water supply? Posted on 20 Mar, 2020 01:47 PM

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. Posted on 24 Feb, 2020 12:55 PM

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. Posted on 17 Feb, 2020 04:18 PM

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)
Content Library: Groundwater management
A comprehensive library of video content on Participatory GroundWater Management Posted on 10 Feb, 2020 10:11 AM

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? Posted on 20 Jan, 2020 11:42 AM

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. Posted on 27 Dec, 2019 06:32 PM

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. Posted on 04 Dec, 2019 02:53 PM

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. Posted on 18 Nov, 2019 02:49 PM

“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. Posted on 25 Oct, 2019 01:13 PM

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. Posted on 01 Oct, 2019 11:54 AM

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)
×