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
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)
July 12, 2021 India Water Portal presents you with some inspiring stories of individuals and organisations in India that have adopted exemplary ways to combat water scarcity through harvesting rainwater.
Catch the rain where it falls (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
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)
Jal Shakti ministry formed to tackle water woes
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 2 years 4 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 2 years 5 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 2 years 5 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 6 months 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 6 months 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)
Indore tops in Swachh Survekshan 2019
News this week Swati Bansal posted 2 years 7 months ago

Once again, Indore tops in Swachh Survekshan

Clean road near Pardesipura, Indore (Source: India Water Portal)
SC orders forced eviction of tribals, forest dwellers
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 2 years 7 months ago

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

Tribal women in Chhattisgarh (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Can we gain from changing rains?
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. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 2 years 8 months ago

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?

Changing rainfall patterns in India (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Bengaluru hosts the 4th National Summit Sustainable Water & Sanitation
An annual event in Bangalore brought together various stakeholders in water and sanitation to discuss the challenges and way forward. priyad posted 2 years 8 months ago

While India has experienced dynamic growth over the past few years, enormous challenges remain in the water supply and sanitation sector.

A future without water?
Once abundant with water, Sikri village is fighting a losing battle to meet its water needs. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 years 10 months ago

Sikri is a small village that lies 65 km north-west of Bharatpur on the Alwar road. The village used to depend on a traditional irrigation system that assured water throughout the year. A local saying related to the water availability at Sikri goes thus: Lakh daal le chittri, jay rahoongi Sikri (You may put lakhs of fetters to stop it, but the waters will still reach Sikri).

An off-taking canal that promoted flow irrigation. The system has become a relic of the past. There is a demand to revive this colonial irrigation system whose bund is over 17-km long and has 28 distributaries. (Image: India Water Portal)
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