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Cities in India are marked by unequal distribution of water, lack of access, outdated infrastructure and minimal enforcement of rainwater harvesting and other means of supply.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
Digging deeper to cope with droughts
A study finds that farmers in south India continue to rely on borewells rather than investing in water conservation structures or demand management strategies to cope with droughts. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 9 months ago

India is witnessing the second driest pre-monsoon season in the last 65 years. As the country eagerly eyes the monsoon clouds, the delay so far has now widened the rain deficit to 43%.

Coping with droughts, a challenge for farmers (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
High Court takes note of acute water crisis in Chennai
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 1 year 9 months ago

High Court raps Tamil Nadu government over water crisis in Chennai

Chennai reels under acute water crisis (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
Slow monsoon causes countrywide rainfall deficit of 44 percent
In the news this week Swati Bansal posted 1 year 9 months ago

Monsoon makes slowest progress across India in 12 years (source: Times of India)

Image used for representational purposes only. Image source: India Water Portal on Flickr
Piped water to all rural households by 2024: Government
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 1 year 9 months ago

Government to launch rural piped water scheme

Ten thousand litres overhead tank to supply piped water (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Unravelling NITI Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index: Veering to a pragmatic approach
An analysis of the effectiveness of the Composite Water Management Index as a policy-making tool priyad posted 1 year 10 months ago

INTRODUCTION

Image for representational purposes only. Image credit: India Water Portal
Jal Shakti ministry formed to tackle water woes
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 1 year 10 months ago

Jal Shakti ministry formed by merging water ministry and drinking water ministry

Cauvery river at Hogenakal, Karnataka (Source: IWP Flickr Photos via Claire Arni and Oriole Henri)
Water management: Still a neglected electoral issue?
India is facing a major water crisis and a number of water sector challenges remain unaddressed even today. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 11 months ago

India is on the brink of a major water crisis. With drought looming over the southern and western parts of the country, the existing water resources are in peril. Rivers are getting more polluted, their catchments, water-holding and water-harvesting mechanisms are deteriorating and groundwater levels are depleting at an alarming rate.

India's water woes need urgent attention. (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Making water available for all
Civil society activists champion alternatives to conventional water management solutions implemented by the government. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 11 months ago

India, the second largest population in the world, is facing a water crisis with over 600 million people facing acute water shortage, as per a report by Niti Aayog, the government think-tank. India’s water crisis is expected to worsen, threatening the country’s food security as over 80 percent of our water is used in agriculture.

The pollution rates of the river Hindon are alarming. Despite work by conservation groups, the efforts on the part of the government to fix the problem remain uncertain. (Image: Hindi Water Portal)
Could the water towers of Asia be drying up soon?
As climate change and urbanisation threaten water security in the HKH region, there is an urgent need for good water governance. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 2 years ago

The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) cover 3500 kms across eight countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

A view of the Himalayas. (Source: IWP Flickr photos--photo for representation purpose only)
Number crunching helps farmers manage water
Calculating water availability and crop budgeting can prevent over-extraction of groundwater and mounting farm debt. Manu Moudgil posted 2 years ago

At 42 years, Bhagwat Ghagare seems young. But he is old enough to have seen his village prosper and decline many times. Farming had traditionally been small and distress migration rampant at Kumbharwadi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.

The weather station at Randullabad that helps farmers plan their crops. (Photo by Manu Moudgil)