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.

  • There was a time when the farmers of Yavatmal district depended completely on rainfed agriculture. That was before the introduction of Doha, a water harvesting structure by NGO Dilasa Sansthan in 2014. Farming changed drastically after that, something which Sitaram Kove, a 40-year-old farmer of Raji...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • That Tamil Nadu qualifies to be dubbed as a land of climate paradoxes is beyond debate. The massive flood of 2015 was quickly followed by a punishing drought in 2016. Though the state benefited marginally from the south-west monsoon, as is usually the case, the biggest let down was the manner in whi...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • “Can you see the alternating bands of light and shadow in the sky?” Chattar Singh asks me. When I nod in affirmation, he continues, “This is Mogh. There are clouds where the sun is setting right now. If we get a favourable wind, these clouds will reach here and we may get rain by night. In des...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • In Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talaab, Shri Anupam Mishra documents the life and work of several individuals and communities, across the country, in setting up water harvesting and management systems through talaabs (lakes / tanks). These traditional water bodies are the lifeline of many villages and towns ...
    ashisposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • A recent analysis by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) determined the rooftop rainwater harvesting potential of the districts in Maharashtra in a year by calculating the average amount of rainwater in litres that can be caught over one square foot roof area. Head of IMD’s Climate App...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • Despite all the hype around Swachh Bharat Mission, the situation on the ground remains dismal. The city of Ujjain is located on the western part of Madhya Pradesh on the Malwa Plateau and is primarily a religious tourism centre due to the Mahakal temple. The temple is not only one of the 12 jyotirli...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • Dear IWP I live in a gated community with over 200 villas. We s a community are very conscious of our environment and practice Rain water harvesting, composting of waste, tree planting etc. However recently some members have started promoting RO treatment for the entire water supplie...
    sabitakaushalposted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • For hundreds of years, tanks, both big and small, served people and cattle alike in Tamil Nadu. Chennai’s neighbouring district of Kancheepuram was the the wealthiest when it came to water through these means. The Chola and Pallava kings, along with various other major and minor royal houses of th...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • Hello I live in Bhimtal, Uttarakhand. We are in process of finalizing a design for our cafe. Since we are constructing afresh, we would like to do it right and imbibe a rainwater harvesting system in the construction. The architect has been chosen and the final capacity will depend on the area of c...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 7 months agoread more
  • Call for Nominations Fourth Edition of FICCI Water Awards December 14, 2016 at FICCI, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. Introduction The FICCI Water Awards were launched under the aegis of FICCI Water Mission, to promote awareness, policy advocacy, sharing of best practices and th...
    Water Awards 2016posted 2 years 7 months agoread more
  • Hello There is filter from my terrace to an open well for RWH. My terrace also holds my vegetable garden. The organic fertilizers from the garden can make the water impure, and I have been advised to remove the vegetable garden from my terrace. However, I want terrace vegetable garden and rainwater...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 years 8 months agoread more
  • The pitiful state of some of the water bodies in the country, coupled with the sheer apathy of the government, have forced some well-meaning citizens to come out of their comfort zones and make a difference. Some of these efforts, like the Puttenahalli lake in Bengaluru that is now overflowing with ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • In the olden times, people knew the importance of water and had devised a number of techniques to manage and conserve water resources. These efforts not only met the drinking water needs of the people, but also helped the survival of livestock and agriculture in areas where perennial rivers were abs...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • Water crisis is a reality in most of India. After the summer of droughts come the monsoon floods. Take Maharashtra, for instance. If at one time it is desperately searching for drinking water, at another time, its capital, Mumbai is wading through knee-high water. How do we overcome these annual cri...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Summer temperatures soar to a gruelling 50ocelsius in Rapar, a little known block in Gujarat’s Kutch district. Land here is dry, saline and arid; the monsoon is erratic. Many a times, the entire year’s rain falls in a short span of two or three days, doing more harm than good. Dubbed a dark zone...
    sabitakaushalposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Maharashtra government withdraws plea against ban on construction on wetlands   The Maharashtra government has withdrawn its petition seeking modifications in an earlier court order pertaining to banning of constructions in wetland areas. In the last court hearing, the state government wa...
    swatiposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • The cracks on the parched land of Bundelkhand are waiting for the monsoon to quench the thirst of its arid landscape. Despite the wide-spread drought here, Pipara, one of the villages in the region, stands apart as the only one that has not run completely dry.  “Only seven-10 percent of vill...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Rural India walks too far to quench their thirst Going by the 2011 census data, 63 percent of rural India does not have a source of drinking water at home and they walk more than 500m daily to get drinking water. The data has revealed that households in rural Odisha take the longest average walking...
    swatiposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • Vikram Patel, a 71-year-old farmer in Chidavad village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh is one of the first farmers to have embraced the idea of farm ponds to increase the groundwater level in his farm. “For the last two decades, the Chidavad village in the Tonk Khurd block, was one among the ...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • Gajanand Sharma is excited about the monsoon this year. He is building an anicut on the small stream that runs through his farm. “After the rain, the land will be filled with water and then I will sow wheat and reap record production in this area,” he prophesises. This forecast doesn’t come fr...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 11 months agoread more

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While millions of people in India still wait for their share of water and toilets, this year's budget fails to give them any hope.

GoI allocations for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is Rs. 22,357 crores

For the first time in the last four years, the allocation for the sanitation programme Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has gone down from Rs 19,248 (RE 2017-18) to Rs 17, 843 crore (2018-2019).

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The video tells us the success story of Kakaddara village that won the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup-2017 by efficiently managing its water.

Every year, thousands of villages in Maharashtra get affected by droughts. Experts say that the reasons for recurrent droughts include a lack of policy framework, technical knowledge and community participation as well as poor implementation of government programmes.

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An innovative project makes rainwater harvesting easier and more effective in certain areas of Mewat village with increased groundwater salinity.

One of the major causes of deterioration of water quality is the increase in overall salinity. Total hardness and the presence of materials like fluoride, nitrate, iron, arsenic, and toxic metal ions determine salinity levels in groundwater. With the demand for groundwater growing rapidly, its exploitation is also accelerating which causes depletion. Depletion of groundwater changes the flow (both direction and velocity) of the groundwater which may cause the inflow of polluted water into the freshwater aquifer from surrounding areas.

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Sustainable agro-ecological farming is one way to overcome the limitations of conventional farming. Green College shows us how to do it.

Pitidri is a nondescript village that dots the rainshadow area of Purulia district in West Bengal. Droughts are common here even when the area is endowed with above average rainfall of over 1300 mm a year. Until some time ago, Urmila Mahato, a 42-year-old farmer from Pitidri had been struggling to ensure her family’s food security. Her family could barely sustain on the 18 quintals of paddy her small farm of two acres could produce in a year. Only one acre of her farm could be used for seasonal farming of vegetables due to lack of irrigation facilities.

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Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a riveting new book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

February 6, 2018 6:15PM
February 5, 2018 12:00PM

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A remarkable, first-ever collection of 35 essays on India’s future, by a diverse set of authors – activists, researchers, media practitioners.

Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

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Experts from government, NGOs and industry gathered at the Sheraton Grande Hotel for the two day summit.

Sustainable water supply and sanitation has become extremely important due to the increase in water scarcity, the impact of climate change and the need for adaptation, and the increasing demand in water and competition among different usages.

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Policy matters this week

SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan 

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How do we conserve water so we do not have to face acute shortage in the future?

Water, the most precious commodity is being abused to such an extent that there is fear that this might lead to another world war or it may be difficult even to get drinking water. Water is indeed an integral part of human body as it accounts for 66 percent of it. The only liquid that quenches thirst satisfactorily is water and a mere two percent dehydration reduces performance by 20 percent.

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The villagers of Khalabari are hopeful that the overhead tank being built in the village would make drinking water easily accessible to them.

In the early hours, the villagers of Khalabari, a tribal-dominated village in the Dumuripadar gram panchayat of Koraput district in Odisha step out of their houses for bringing wood and drinking water. The road to the forest where the water is available is rocky. Both women and men walk a few kilometres on the harsh terrain to bring essential commodities needed for their survival. Khalabari, with a population of 186, has 45 households. 

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