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)
3rd Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020), CWRDM, Kozhikode
18-20 February 2020, Kozhikode Kerala
Posted on 02 Aug, 2019 01:26 AM

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. Posted on 25 Jul, 2019 04:08 PM

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
Posted on 22 Jul, 2019 11:56 AM

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. Posted on 21 Jul, 2019 11:10 AM

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)
The many facets to the fluoride problem in Chikkaballapur, Karnataka
INREM Foundation and The Fluoride Network have worked in Chikkaballapur extensively, to battle the problem of fluoride contamination in groundwater. Posted on 11 Jul, 2019 03:26 PM

Chikkaballapur is a district in the state of Karnataka, just north of the capital Bengaluru. A peri-urban area that was once an agricultural centre for this region, today Chikkaballapur is facing a unique problem. 

A can of 20 litres of RO filtered water costs around Rs. 20 in Chikballapur. Image credit: Karthik Seshan
Budget 2019 talks big on water
But have the crucial schemes received more money than last year? We talk to some experts in the water sector to find out. Posted on 10 Jul, 2019 02:04 PM

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister alluded to gaon, garib and kisan as the centre of all policies of this government, while announcing a clutch of schemes aimed at the rural and urban poor.

Indian children tapping water (Image: Global Water Partnership, Flickr Commons, CC BY NC-SA 2.0)
Budget allocation to Jal Shakti ministry reduced by 9.4 percent
Policy matters this week Posted on 10 Jul, 2019 12:01 PM

Government cuts budget for Jal Shakti Ministry by 9.4 percent; increases funds for rural drinking water mission 

Irrigation well in Randullabad, Maharashtra. Image credit: Manu Moudgil for India Water Portal
Neglect and lack of monitoring behind country's water scarcity: CWC
News this week Posted on 10 Jul, 2019 09:20 AM

India not a water defict country. Neglect and lack of monitoring behind country's water scarcity: CWC

Queuing up for water (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Government launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan to tackle water crisis
Policy matters this week Posted on 02 Jul, 2019 04:59 PM

Centre launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched to battle water crisis (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
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. Posted on 01 Jul, 2019 09:14 PM

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)
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