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 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)
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)
Water Talk Series at TISS, Mumbai on 7th September 2019
A one day event on "The Discourse of Flood and Drought in India - The Question of Life, Livelihood and Ecology." priyad posted 2 years 1 month ago

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

In photos: How temple tanks are helping Chennai conserve rain water
During the monsoon, temple tanks in Chennai fill to the brim with water, helping in groundwater recharge. priyad posted 2 years 1 month ago

Besides showcasing the architectural expertise and aesthetics of their time, temple tanks also play an extremely important role as water storage systems in Chennai.

Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane has the biggest tank. Recently, volunteers belonging to the Central Industrial Security Force cleaned the tank. Pic: Laasya Shekhar
Government undertakes 3D mapping of aquifers in all villages
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 2 years 2 months ago

Government to 3D map aquifers in all villages

Groundwater drops to alarming levels. Illustration credit: KN Balraj. Source: India Water Portal on Flickr
Jolted by water shortage, Chitlapakkam RWA takes up roadside rainwater harvesting.
Chennai residents take matters into their hands in a novel initiative priyad posted 2 years 2 months ago

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 ways to use their water resources better.

Residents of Muthulakshmi Nagar in Chitlapakkam came together to inaugurate the pilot roadside rainwater harvesting project in their area. Pic : L Sundararaman for Citizen Matters
"Digging recharge wells is the only way Bengaluru won’t run out of water"
A million recharge wells for Bangalore priyad posted 2 years 2 months ago

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.

Ramakrishna Bovi is a traditional well-digger in Bengaluru. Image credit: Citizen Matters
Is the Jalayukt Shivar Abhiyan just a quick fix to manage droughts?
A research paper argues that quick fix solutions to drought management will not work unless they are backed up by proper planning, implementation, monitoring and regulation of water use. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 2 years 2 months ago

Maharashtra is reeling under drought this year too, with the situation in Marathwada particularly bad.

Quick fix solutions to droughts will not work (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
3rd Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020), CWRDM, Kozhikode
18-20 February 2020, Kozhikode Kerala priju posted 2 years 2 months ago

Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) is organizing the Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020) to discuss 'Groundwater Resources Management for Sustaina

CWRDM INGC
Spending a summer building scalable water access in rural India
A young college graduate shares his experience working with Tata Trusts in Assam on water issues. priyad posted 2 years 2 months ago

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.

Stream Network in Tezpur, Assam. Image credit: Rohit Sar
Water Future Conference: Towards a Sustainable Future
At Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, September 24 to 27 2019 priyad posted 2 years 2 months ago

A Future Earth Conference

Opening new frontiers in water system diagnostics and innovative solutions to mitigate the 21st-century global water crisis

Rajasthan's ancient yet ever-evolving water heritage
A book documents the enormous range of water harvesting systems still in use in Rajasthan. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 years 2 months ago

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.

The design of Chand baodi (stepwell) in Abhaneri village, Rajasthan, was intended to conserve as much water as possible (Image: Unseen Horizons, Flickr Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0)
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