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
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Cities in India are marked by unequal distribution of water, lack of access, outdated infrastructure and minimal enforcement of rainwater harvesting and other means of supply.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)
November 18, 2019 Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs.
Image credit: Citizen Matters
Measurement of weather parameters: Data collection and analysis – A presentation by ACWADAM
Weather information is necessary to plan watershed programmes, especially understanding recharge-discharge relationship for irrigation planning rajshekar posted 10 years 8 months ago

The presentation by ACWADAM deals with measurement of weather parameters and outlines the methods used in weather related data collection and analysis. Weather information is necessary for the planning and implementation of watershed programmes, especially in understanding factors like groundwater recharge, the relationship between recharge & discharge and in aspects like irrigation planning.

Augmenting groundwater resources by artificial recharge: A case study of Kolwan valley by ACWADAM
Rise in groundwater resources by artificial recharge- a study of Kolwan Valley rajshekar posted 10 years 8 months ago

The presentation by ACWADAM deals with a case study of augmenting groundwater resources by artificial recharge in Kolwan valley, Mulshi taluka, Pune. The DfID funded project was undertaken by the British Geological Survey in collaboration with its partners in India from 2002–2005. The objectives of the study were:

  • Improved knowledge of the impacts of managed aquifer recharge in different physical and socio-economic settings.
  • Guidance on scope and effectiveness of managed aquifer recharge for implementers, funders and policy makers.
  • Dissemination of knowledge.

Invitation for case study submission in water magazine
Everything About Water formally invitaties for editorial contribution (a Case Study) for a monthly water & wastewater magazine. iwp posted 10 years 9 months ago

Everything About Water

Our publication is coming up with the annual "Case Study Special Issue” in Sept. 2010. Its a collector’s issue, where we are covering leading industries across the globe.

Myths about small water harvesting systems - EPW paper
A response to “Chasing a Mirage: Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge in Naturally Water-Scarce Regions” in the Economic and Political Weekly. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 10 years 9 months ago

This article is written in response to an earlier published article “Chasing a Mirage: Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge in Naturally Water-Scarce Regions” in the Economic and Political Weekly and argues that the paper makes a number of assertions about small water harvesting systems, that are based on faulty assumptions and inadequate information.

A sudy of the core of a riverine system and relevance of meltwater in river basin hydrology
An account of the bore well gone muddy. R.Ashok Swaminathan posted 10 years 9 months ago

My house is about 20 years old and is located in R T Nagar in Bangalore. In 1990, I had got a borewell dug. The Borewell is about 150 feet deep and has been giving me excellent quality water until about 2 years ago when I started noticing muddy water. The water that is pumped to an overhead tank contains fine particles of mud which tends to settle down in the overhead tank.

Training programme on urban rainwater harvesting, CSE, New Delhi
Rama Mani posted 10 years 9 months ago

Centre for Science and Environment

Organizer: Centre for Science and Environment

Venue: Centre for Science and Environment, 41 Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi


Every summer, there is a big hue and cry for drinking water in our cities. Rapid urbanization and industrialization is leading to over exploitation and pollution of water resources. It leads to scarcity of water. On the other hand our water demands are increasing day by day.

A rapid geohydrological study of microwatersheds from Bolangir district, Orissa state - A report by ACWADAM
Planning water resource management in one of the hottest and most backward regions of India, Bolangir district in Orissa Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 10 years 9 months ago

BolangirThis document by ACWADAM is a report of a rapid geohydrological assessment of some of the microwatersheds from parts of Bolangir district Orissa.

Bolangir district in Orissa forms a part of one of the hottest and backward regions of India with low land-productivity, and opportunities and technologies for agriculture in the district remain relatively unexplored.

Vagaries of rainfall and the underlying hard-rock geology further compound the problem and limit agricultural productivity to a great extent. Given such natural uncertainties, systematic implementation of a watershed management programme is the most viable avenue to overcome the problems of this region.

Bolangir district was thus selected as pilot area to conduct a pre-feasibility exercise for planning of water resources management. ACWADAM, Pune was invited, along with Samaj Pragati Sahayog, Bagli to conduct this pre-feasibility exercise.

Seeds of hope - Case studies from the Planning Commission and Lokayan
This set of case studies is part of a book prepared by Lokayan in collaboration with the Planning Commission titled “Seeds of Hope" rajshekar posted 10 years 10 months ago

This set of case studies is part of a book prepared by Lokayan in collaboration with the Planning Commission titled “Seeds of Hope", covers themes of agricultur

Feasibility study of rainwater harvesting in semi-arid region – A research report by National Institute of Hydrology
The report gives an account of a feasibility study of rainwater harvesting in semi-arid regions. Rama Mani posted 10 years 10 months ago

The report gives an account of a feasibility study of rainwater harvesting in semi-arid regions. A review of water harvesting systems is followed by a section wherein numerical solutions for surface flow equations are explained.