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)
SC orders forced eviction of tribals, forest dwellers
Policy matters this week Posted on 27 Feb, 2019 01:31 PM

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. Posted on 07 Feb, 2019 12:30 PM

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. Posted on 20 Jan, 2019 12:00 AM

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

Dealing with droughts
There are many reasons why we see more droughts in India these days. Here is all the information that you need to know droughts better. Posted on 13 Dec, 2018 04:20 PM

Droughts are one of the most feared natural calamities in India impacting food production, the economy as well as the morale of millions of farmers in a cou

India will see more droughts in the future. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
A future without water?
Once abundant with water, Sikri village is fighting a losing battle to meet its water needs. Posted on 11 Dec, 2018 01:17 PM

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)
Mazhapolima recognised for its work in Kerala
News this week Posted on 13 Nov, 2018 06:16 PM

Mazhapolima wins accolades for offering sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity

Mazhapolima helps recharge wells. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Vidarbha farmer's date with success
Farmer Thangavel tastes success with date farming in the drought-prone region of Vidarbha. Posted on 30 Oct, 2018 10:12 AM

In a drought-prone region like Vidarbha in Maharashtra, mostly in the news for water scarcity and farmer suicide, it is not every day that you hear the success story of a farmer. That's why the story of Savi Thangavel, 69, a resident of Mohegaon village which is just 22 km from Nagpur, is special.

Thangavel date farm (Source: India Water Portal)
Kerala floods and after
The reason behind Kerala floods is a lot more than what the CWC wants us to believe. Posted on 27 Sep, 2018 05:11 PM

Every time there is a huge flood in India with massive loss of lives and extensive physical damage, there is a hue and cry. Especially, if this takes place in an area not normally prone to such floods. Assam and Bihar, for instance, are regularly laid waste by floods and so, there is not much agitation over that anymore.

The floods in Kerala have taken nearly 400 lives and have displaced around 1.2 million people. (Image: Ranjith Siji via Wikimedia Commons)
“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. Posted on 06 Jul, 2018 03:15 PM

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. Posted on 04 Jul, 2018 02:33 PM

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)
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