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.

  • Marathwada in Maharashtra is an arid region with rainfall of less than 750 mm per year. Most villages in the region face acute water scarcity. Kachner in Aurangabad was no exception.  This meant that only rainfed agriculture was possible when the rains were good. Most of the year, and particul...
    arathiposted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • The training programme will follow a mix method approach involving lectures, in-class exercises, interactive discussions and audio-video training support. A full-day field exposure visit will be organised for participants to explore best management practices on RWH and DWWTs. The participants will g...
    swatiposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Illegal slums on Maharashtra mudflats cause loss to state According to a new study--Effect of water pollution and encroachment on tourism potential of eco sensitive area: Case of Mahul Creek--the state is losing more than Rs 200 crore annually in tourism because of 60,000 slums that have illegally ...
    swatiposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Vasant Baburao Parkale, a 52-year-old farmer, has become a role model for many farmers in the drought-prone Marathwada region. His determination and the will to excel in life have helped him to transform his dreams into reality. In 1984, he was just another labourer working for Bhagwan Yashwantrao ...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • With its pleasant climate and serene environment, Kovaipudur, a quaint township located in Coimbatore, was once known to be a haven for retired people. Kovaipudur is living out a nightmare now, one that has snowballed over the years. It is painful to even picture what it is like to reside in an area...
    arathiposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • The people of the Marathwada region have been facing severe water crisis for more than three decades. Despite adverse circumstances, the Akoladev panchayat in the Jalna district has set an example for other panchayats by solving their water woes through community participation and effective water ha...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • NOCs for running tubewells must for Punjab industries  To address the issue of depleting groundwater in the state, the Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) has ordered industries in Punjab to take no objection certificates (NOCs) for the already existing tubewells inside the units. As per...
    swatiposted 2 years 12 months agoread more
  • Located in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district, with vast agricultural fields growing sugarcane, rice, wheat, jowar, chana and all kinds of seasonal vegetables, Dhikoli in Pilana tehsil comes across as a bustling and prosperous village. Barely an hour-long car ride from New Delhi, it is home to 15000...
    arathiposted 3 years 5 days agoread more
  • Centre urges states to gear up for possible monsoon failure The agriculture ministry has ordered all the states and union territories to prepare themselves for a possible monsoon failure and operationalise their drought mitigation strategies. For this, the states and union territories have been per...
    swatiposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Women in drought-hit Karnataka takes on the task to revive lakes In Mandya district, nearly 3000 women across 31 villages are on a mission to revive lakes, ponds and irrigation tanks to tackle the water scarcity in the region. These women have even fought the administration to give them designated ...
    swatiposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • India's urbanisation continues unabated but most of its 53-million plus cities offer an appallingly low quality of life. Ten of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India as per a report by the World Health Organization. Despite this, most of India is now aspiring to produce smart cities. Wi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • The next big war is said to be for water and it might happen sooner than we think. If the current water scenario across Karnataka and most parts of India is anything to go by, we might just be the generation to start this war.  The situation in several parts of Karnataka is a dismal one, to pu...
    priyadposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • I belong to Roorkee and i would like to find information regarding organisations working in rain water harvesting field in Uttarakhand. I want to develop a home based rain water harvesting system which can be used to quickly store rain water, maybe used for rejuvenating the underground water instead...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Water is the most precious natural resource available to mankind. We can survive without food for days, but not without water. The availability of fresh water has been taken for granted for centuries. The world’s population has grown from 1.7 billion to 7.5 billion in the last 100 years....
    priyadposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Once home to over 400 water bodies, Chennai’s development story is similar to most metropolises across India. Urbanising at a hurried pace, the concrete city spilled over its waterways and wetlands, leaving behind a sorry tale of ecological destruction. The Narayanapuram wetland, part of the massi...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Located 10 km from the Yavatmal city in Maharashtra, the Nilona reservoir has been the primary drinking water source for its residents since 1972. As in many other parts of the country, the 1990s saw the city growing and the population increasing. The Yavatmal residents, who had not experienced wate...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • The key issue in the Manipur Assembly election is the ongoing economic blockade in the state, which, in turn, is attributed to the present government’s decision to bifurcate districts. The Centre claims to have brokered a peace deal between the Manipur government and the United Naga Council, a reb...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • 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 3 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 3 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 3 years 4 months agoread more

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Civil society activists champion alternatives to conventional water management solutions implemented by the government.

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. Twenty-one cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020, despite increasing demand, as per the report.

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Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person and Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 22 December 2006

 From Sarbeswara Sahoo, Kalpataru, Angul, Orissa, Posted 21 November 2006

Kalpataru is an NGO working in central Orissa on common property resources, specifically sustainable water resources management.

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Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person and Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 13 December 2006
 
From Kanishk Negi, Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), Udaipur, Rajasthan
Posted: 29 September 2006
 

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As climate change and urbanisation threaten water security in the HKH region, there is an urgent need for good water governance.

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

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Calculating water availability and crop budgeting can prevent over-extraction of groundwater and mounting farm debt.

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.

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News this week

Once again, Indore tops in Swachh Survekshan

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Policy matters this week

Forced eviction ordered for more than one million tribals and forest-dwellers

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Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person; additional research provided by Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 22 August 2006

Original Query: Mihir Maitra, India-Canada Environment Facility (ICEF), New Delhi

Posted: 26 July 2006

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While changing rainfall patterns, increased frequency of cyclones, droughts and floods threaten food and water security in India, adaptation strategies to cope with these changes are crucial.

India is undergoing a major transition with changes in rainfall patterns leading to increased frequency of droughts, floods, heat waves amidst fear of a major water crisis in the years to come. Why are these threats increasing?

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An annual event in Bangalore brought together various stakeholders in water and sanitation to discuss the challenges and way forward.

While India has experienced dynamic growth over the past few years, enormous challenges remain in the water supply and sanitation sector. As a part of the Nation’s vision various national initiatives are currently underway to improve the levels of cleanliness through solid and liquid waste management activities and providing every person in rural and urban India with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs on a sustainable basis.

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