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.

  • Sukhomajri village has long been a reminder of people's participation in ecological preservation and in turn, greater economic good. The small village in Panchkula district of Haryana changed its fortunes when it entered into joint forest management with the help of the Chandigarh-based Central So...
    Manu Moudgilposted 4 years 8 months agoread more
  • HelloI would like to harvest rainwater in my home. Would you be able to refer me to a service provider?Thank youSankar
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 8 months agoread more
  • Query received over facebookPlease send me some information on rainwater harvesting. Can you help us implement water harvesting in our colony? We are at greater Noida.Regards
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 9 months agoread more
  • Increasing urbanization in India has led to soaring freshwater demands and has hence resulted in large amounts of wastewater generation. This water crisis is mainly a consequence of the current water management regime which focuses on centralized water management. We need to implement sustainable an...
    ravleenposted 4 years 9 months agoread more
  • Sehgal foundation has constructed the check dam at Rawli village in Mewat, Haryana for recharging the groundwater. The check dam, that will serve the bordering villages at Haryana and Rajasthan, has been inaugurated and handed over to the project beneficiaries committee for operation and maintenance...
    swatiposted 4 years 9 months agoread more
  • Fresh water found on land has only two primary sources - melting of ice, and rain. Harvesting rain is crucial for sustaining both the surface and sub-soil water sources. That this has been well understood throughout rural India historically is evident from the numerous age-old water harvesting syste...
    Seethaposted 4 years 10 months agoread more
  • NGT tells Mahagenco to use clean coalThe National Green Tribunal has ordered the Maharashtra power utility to strictly abide by the Environment Ministry's notification, which prohibits coal and power utilities from using coal that has over 34% ash content. Inferior quality coal generates large amoun...
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  • The recent World Water Development Report by the United Nations has projected that India's demand for water is likely to surpass availability by 2050. The analysis is based on the fact that the country’s per capita availability of water has declined by three times over the past six decades- the pe...
    swatiposted 4 years 10 months agoread more
  • Bangalore water mafia goes innovative to evade lawThe water mafia, with the help of local political leaders, has taken to digging borewells in rented premises in localities closer to lakes. This started after the government started monitoring borewells in the cityToxic veggies on Navi Mumbai's railw...
    ravleenposted 4 years 10 months agoread more
  • Many great civilisations have thrived near rivers with people moving in search of water across swathes of lands. The same holds true for present day Punjab, especially its farmers.Ajaib Singh migrated to Bhawanigarh in Sangrur eight years back. He sold off 4 acres of his ancestral farmland at Sandha...
    Manu Moudgilposted 4 years 10 months agoread more
  • Hi!Please can someone tell me if we can direct the RO waster water to the rain water harvest pit?I am currently constructing my house and it has 3 kitchens each with a RO filter installed, as we dont have drinking water supply yet. I was thinking  of directing the RO waste water from each kitch...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • Finally, prediction of low monsoon from the horse's mouthThe Indian Meteorological Department, corroborating global assessment of the El Nino, has predicted “below normal” rainfall during monsoon this year with a rainfall of 95% of the long period average Low rainfall kills tea crop in TripuraAb...
    ravleenposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • No deal on Teesta irks Bangladesh Opposition The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has blamed the ruling government for not being able to ink a deal on Teesta river's water sharing. Dams on the river on the Indian side have hindered its flow and led to water scarcity in northern BangladeshAlarming w...
    ravleenposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • Himachal villages to carry out own EIA90,000 people from 250 villages in the Sutlej basin of Himachal Pradesh decide to carry out their own assessment of the environmental damage caused by hydropower projects. They allege that the state-sponsored Indian Council of Forest Research and Education repor...
    ravleenposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • Drinking water in more than half rural homes contaminatedEven as 99% of urban and 97% rural households in India have drinking water access, 41% urban and 60% rural homes still get contaminated water, says the latest study published in Lancet, a British medical journalManganese in Goa's prime reservo...
    ravleenposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • Garudeshwar dam: for a statue or for people?The dam in Gujarat's Bharuch district will act as downstream storage for the Sardar Sarovar project which means it can't be used for irrigation, flood control or even net power generation.However, it will create a reservoir around the 'Statue of Unity' pro...
    ravleenposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • This simple guide lists out the most popular questions related to rainwater harvesting to help understand this important topic better. Please click on a topic to view more detailed information. What is Rainwater Harvesting (RWH)? Who can practice RWH? Why should I implement RWH? Where can RWH...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • More power, but no water security to MP and Gujarat, observes SANDRPThe weekly reservoir level updates of the Central Water Commission (CWC) has shown a drastic depletion of water levels in the Sardar Sarovar Project and Indira Sagar Project on the Narmada river. The prime reason for this ...
    swatiposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • Govt to increase irrigation potential by 10%The move is cut down reliance on monsoon rain which sustains agriculture on 50% of the farmland in the country, says A B Pandya, chairman of the Central Water Commission. As of now, 97 million hectares of land is under irrigationHimachal dam protesters cha...
    ravleenposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • Steep fall in water table worries Tamil NaduGround water level has fallen sharply even in Coimbatore and Theni, the districts abutting the forested Western Ghats region. Across the state, water table has fallen by 0.5 metres to 2.3 metres in the last one yearWater level in Narmada dams hits record l...
    ravleenposted 4 years 11 months agoread more

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Dear IWP

I live in a gated community with over 200 villas. We s a community are very conscious of our environment and practice Rain water harvesting, composting of waste, tree planting etc. However recently some members have started promoting RO treatment for the entire water supplied to the community through our water supply system.

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One of the temple ponds of Kooram, neglected for years, has been revived by well-meaning citizens.

For hundreds of years, tanks, both big and small, served people and cattle alike in Tamil Nadu. Chennai’s neighbouring district of Kancheepuram was the the wealthiest when it came to water through these means. The Chola and Pallava kings, along with various other major and minor royal houses of the time, dug out massive irrigation tanks or eris, as they are known locally, to support agriculture in a terrain fed by seasonal rains.

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Hello

I live in Bhimtal, Uttarakhand. We are in process of finalizing a design for our cafe. Since we are constructing afresh, we would like to do it right and imbibe a rainwater harvesting system in the construction. The architect has been chosen and the final capacity will depend on the area of construction. It rains 1670mm annually, on an average.

I would like to know if there is a provision of subsidy from the government for installing rainwater harvesting in the property; and how to go about applying for it.

Regards

Akanksha Bumb

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December 14, 2016 9:30AM

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Hello

There is filter from my terrace to an open well for RWH. My terrace also holds my vegetable garden. The organic fertilizers from the garden can make the water impure, and I have been advised to remove the vegetable garden from my terrace. However, I want terrace vegetable garden and rainwater harvesting go hand in hand. Could you share some expert advise on this?

Thanks

Binu Joseph

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Citizens come forward to restore polluted lakes and rivers in their cities. They demand support and swift action from the government.

The pitiful state of some of the water bodies in the country, coupled with the sheer apathy of the government, have forced some well-meaning citizens to come out of their comfort zones and make a difference. Some of these efforts, like the Puttenahalli lake in Bengaluru that is now overflowing with clean water, have been successful, while others are ongoing. Here, we feature some stories of a few Good Samaritans and their efforts to restore the lakes and rivers of their cities.

Udaipur lakes

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The hill forts of Maharashtra provide valuable lessons in water harvesting and conservation.

In the olden times, people knew the importance of water and had devised a number of techniques to manage and conserve water resources. These efforts not only met the drinking water needs of the people, but also helped the survival of livestock and agriculture in areas where perennial rivers were absent and the population depended on rains and often faced water scarcity or droughts.

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An NGO’s effort to recharge the groundwater in an area finds little success with water-guzzling crops that rule the market.

Water crisis is a reality in most of India. After the summer of droughts come the monsoon floods. Take Maharashtra, for instance. If at one time it is desperately searching for drinking water, at another time, its capital, Mumbai is wading through knee-high water. How do we overcome these annual crises? Unfortunately, the answers are not so easy to find. 

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How an arid, saline land where migration in search of water and jobs was a way of life, boasts of plenty of water now.

Summer temperatures soar to a gruelling 50ocelsius in Rapar, a little known block in Gujarat’s Kutch district. Land here is dry, saline and arid; the monsoon is erratic. Many a times, the entire year’s rain falls in a short span of two or three days, doing more harm than good. Dubbed a dark zone, groundwater extraction is rampant even as agriculture remains the main source of income.

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Policy matters this week

Maharashtra government withdraws plea against ban on construction on wetlands  

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