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
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Cities in India are marked by unequal distribution of water, lack of access, outdated infrastructure and minimal enforcement of rainwater harvesting and other means of supply.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
October 25, 2019 Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.
Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
October 1, 2019 Deconstructing the traditional narrow engineering based policy discourses around floods and droughts and connecting them to social and cultural realities is the need of the hour in India.
Water talk Series at Mumbai (Image Source:Tata Insitute of Social Sciences)
“Agriculture alone cannot provide for our teeming millions.”
Watershed management is not just to harvest and store water but also to create democratic processes at the village level and enable inclusive, sustainable development that meets the people's needs. priyad posted 2 years 6 months ago

In India, although we have approximately four months of monsoon (which is basically 45 days of effective rainfall), in drought prone areas, there are only 10-15 days of harvestable rain in the entire season. If you don't get enough rain during those days, it's a cause for worry.

Watershed management. Image source: India Water Portal
Village steps up water revival effort
A temple trust revives an ancient stepwell, comes to the rescue of a water-starved village. makarandpurohit posted 2 years 6 months ago

Long before piped water supply became the norm, groundwater got extracted for use and rivers neglected, stepwells served as a major source of water for people.

Stepwell in front of Khedamata temple at Modi village. (Source: India Water Portal)
The politics of groundwater
To make access to water adequate and equitable, the focus must shift from water sources to water resources. Science, community participation and cooperation, are key to addressing our water woes. priyad posted 2 years 6 months ago

A growing demand for water implies the need for an improved understanding of our resources, and the ability to manage that demand in an equitable and sustainable way.

Wells, not dams, have been the temples of modern India

When solving one health problem triggers another
Studies reveal that efforts at guinea worm eradication have triggered the spread of hydrofluorosis in Rajasthan. aartikelkar posted 2 years 6 months ago

Up until two decades ago, the main sources of drinking water in Rajasthan included surface water from perennial ponds, reservoirs, lakes, dams, rivers and streams with borewells and tubewells used sparingly and only in remote areas. All this changed when guinea worm infections started appearing in the state. 

A child drinks water from a hand pump. (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Hyderabad's groundwater levels fail to improve
News this week seetha@indiawa… posted 2 years 6 months ago

Good rainfall fails to improve Hyderabad's groundwater table

Despite good rainfall, Hyderabad's groundwater levels continue to be precarious. (Photo: IWP Flickr)
Toilets need water, women suffer under ODF drive
Toilets in households have only increased the drudgery of village women as they have to fetch water from faraway sources for toilet use. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 years 7 months ago

Rajasthan is all geared up for the open defecation free (ODF) status well before the national deadline of October 2, 2019. According to the assistant engineer of the nagar parishad, Resha Singh, 4.75 lakh toilets have been constructed since October 2, 2014 in Alwar district which is about to be declared ODF.

Village women collect water for toilet use. (Photo by India Water Portal)
Alwar homes, farms and factories fight for water
Water conflict in Rajasthan’s Alwar district is not just between upstream and downstream users; it is also between users with domestic, agricultural and industrial needs. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 years 7 months ago

Lewari, a village located around 17 km from Alwar in Rajasthan, is the site of a water conflict these days. “The production of Jayanti jaljeera, haazme ka lalantop drink (a digestive drink) has left our village parched,” says Nanak Singh, a resident.

Operation of sluice outlet of Siliserh lake is marked by chaos and conflict among various interest groups.
Not enough water, villagers look for solution
Chhattisgarh’s Bemetara district has been facing severe water shortage for a while now. Rainwater harvesting could be a solution to this. makarandpurohit posted 2 years 7 months ago

There seems to be no end to the drinking water crisis in the Bemetara district in Chhattisgarh. It is only becoming worse with every passing day. More than 40 percent of all the hand pumps installed in the district have run dry due to the depletion of groundwater level.  

Women of Bagledi struggle to get a pot of drinking water from one of the four stand posts.(Pics: India Water Portal)
Call for Admissions for Graduate Program of Water Science and Policy 2018 at Shiv Nadar University
A first of its kind academic program offering a multi-disciplinary perspective on water with a special focus on policy and practical solutions. priyad posted 2 years 8 months ago

Entering its second year, the Graduate Program of Water Science and Policy 2018 at Shiv Nadar University envisages a multi-disciplinary classroom, engagement and content delivered by some of the best minds globally – experts on water who have worked on ground realities, made policies and initiated change.

Anicuts affect Mahanadi's flow
While the three anicuts on the Mahanadi are hampering its free flow, another one is being planned by the government. makarandpurohit posted 2 years 8 months ago

Gopal Nishad, a fisherman in his early 40s, is frustrated that there is hardly any fish left in the Mahanadi’s basin at Pitaibandh due to the lack of water in the basin. This basin is located near Rajim-Nawapara in Chhattisgarh, the proposed site for the fourth anicut on the Mahanadi.

Anicut on the Mahanadi basin at Rajim-Nawapara (Source: India Water Portal)