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)
The Water Future Conference in Bangalore: Towards a Sustainable Water Future
The recently concluded 4 day conference in Bangalore looked at the current state of global water resource challenges & future pathways to achieve the SDGs, while ensuring equity in access to all. Posted on 30 Sep, 2019 12:38 PM

The Water Future Conference in Bangalore last week, saw many from the scientific community, academia, research, civil society and the media come together to discuss the state of water resources across the world and in India, as well as future pathways and scenarios, and different technological a

Charles Vorosmarty, Chair, COMPASS Initiative, Water Future at the opening plenary on advanced water system assessments to address water security challenges of the 21st century.
Water wisdom in times of a climate crisis
New report documents India’s rich traditions of water harvesting and sustainable use. Posted on 26 Sep, 2019 12:15 PM

A recent report by Shailendra Yashwant for Oxfam India looks at India’s ingenious ways of harvesting, storing and distributing water from the Kuhls in Himachal Pradesh that channel water from Himal

Bandhara (in Nashik, Maharashtra), a low masonry weir of 1.2 to 4.5 m height, which is constructed across a small stream for diverting the water into a small main canal taking off from its upstream side (Image: Shailendra Yashwant, Oxfam India)
India’s deepening water crisis
Making false doomsday claims of a water crisis could support problematic mega solutions, which could lead to more problems. Posted on 25 Sep, 2019 02:50 PM

The last few months have seen much debate and discussion on the fast approaching Day Zero, with claims that taps in 21 major Indian cities will dry up.

India's demand for water will exceed supply by a factor of two by 2030, as per a NITI Aayog report (Image: Vinoth Chandar, Flickr Commons (CC BY 2.0))
How local democracy is solving water issues in southern Rajasthan
People come together to dig community ponds in Dungarpur, to fight water scarcity. Posted on 09 Sep, 2019 09:48 AM

While most parts of the country are facing a water crisis, here’s a case from the arid state of Rajasthan, where decentralized initiatives are solving water issues. Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan has exemplified how community participation with local level planning processes are working towards improving rainwater harvesting and recharge of groundwater.

Community pond in Doja after the first pre-monsoon rain. Pic credit: Rajat Kumar
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."
Posted on 04 Sep, 2019 02:30 PM

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. Posted on 21 Aug, 2019 03:05 PM

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 Posted on 07 Aug, 2019 11:07 PM

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 Posted on 07 Aug, 2019 05:54 PM

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 Posted on 07 Aug, 2019 02:29 PM

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. Posted on 02 Aug, 2019 10:29 AM

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)
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