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.

  • Mathew Jacob, estate supervisor at Bishop Cotton School (BCS) in Shimla, remembers when he took his students walking in single file to the nearby stream to wash and bathe every other day in the summers. Today, the present lot of students take laps in the swimming pool even in the driest of...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • The Hindu Kush Himalayan region (HKH) is the source of 10 major rivers and is often referred to as the water tower of Asia. However, communities living in this region and downstream face frequent seasonal water scarcity and flooding due to high variations in rainfall. This causes too much water in t...
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  • ‘Kitna shaant hai ye paani, aur iske liye yeh rajniti’ (the water is so still, yet there is politics around it). This exchange between the two protagonists in the film ‘Kaun kitne paani mein’ says a lot about its subject. Set in a water starved locale in Odisha, this Hindi film created ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • Centre approves bringing down protected zone around Okhla Bird Sanctuary from 10 km to 1The Environment Ministry has approved the draft notification that proposes an eco-sensitive zone of 100 metres to 1 km around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Noida, as against the 10 km suggested by the NGT. Per the ...
    swatiposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • Dr. Kalam is no more but he lives on in the hearts of many through his quotes, beliefs, speeches and his acclaimed book India 2020: A Vision for the New Millenium among many others. Though referred to as 'Missile Man' due to his interest in and engagement with the defense sector, Kalam, especia...
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  • Panel suggests that the Govt not rush through with changes in green lawsTaking into consideration the views of over 50 organisations, individuals and experts from across the country, the Parlimentary Panel has asked the Government not to rush through the proposals of the high-level committee&nb...
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  • Water Ministry restricts permission to dam projects hindering e-flow of riversThe Water Resources Ministry has ordered the Central Water Commission (CWC) to not allow dam projects that will affect the environmental flow of the rivers. The Ministry has also announced that it will spend Rs 3...
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  • The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which continues to be the largest public employment program involving Rs.34,600 crore in a period of just five years since its implementation, was enacted on August 25, 2005 and renamed as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gua...
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  • Most tourists visiting Shimla won’t know that they are walking on a water tank when they wait to get their pictures taken or go horse riding on Ridge road but they will know that the city faces water shortage -- their hotel bathrooms have messages asking them to use water judiciously.  I saw...
    Manu Moudgilposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Hi,I went through the articles and FAQ on rain water harvesting. I need to know if you are aware of any NGOs or organisations which take care of this in Hyderabad? We are looking at rain water harvesting mainly for ground water rechargeThank you
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Dear India Water Portal, We cultivate rain water from roof top with first rain flush theory. We also allow ample flush for secondary and third rain depending on quality of rain. We are using filtered rain water for daily drinking purpose.We have also installed a membrane based filter prior to drink...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Yamuna pollution stays the same, despite a drop in sewage flow Per the Environment Ministry’s Annual Report (2014-15), although there is a decline in the discharge of sewage water into the Yamuna in the last year, the water quality continues to deteriorate. The reason attributed behind the unchan...
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  • Centre presents an opposite picture in the Uttarakhand dam case With respect to the six specific hydroelectric projects on the upper Ganga basin in Uttarakhand, the Environment Ministry had informed the Supreme Court that experts have given a clean chit to the six dams and that the latter can also ...
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  • The Himalayas, an important part of the geography of India, extend along the entire Northern and North-Eastern boundary of the country. It spans six Indian States namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Sikkim and a major part of Arunachal Pradesh from west to east. T...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • Indian Water Works Association in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and SGGS Institute of Engineering and Technology, Nanded is orgainising a national seminar on 'Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting' at IIT Bombay. For more de...
    swatiposted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • As the race to bridge the gap between limited water availability and increasing demand for water narrows in India, rain water harvesting has been increasingly recommended in urban areas to harness the available water, rather than relying on expensive and unsustainable means of procuring water.  ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • Dear India Water Portal, We need help to implement a water harvesting project in our colony Kakkanad, Ernakulam, Kerala at least cost. Can you please help? Thanks
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Several lakhs of farming communities in Tamil Nadu depend on the 39,202 tanks spread around the state. These tanks capture the runoff water from the monsoon rainfall that occurs in a short span of time, and also provide water for irrigation and other uses for the community. However, these water bod...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Despite its shrinking greens, Delhi has significant tree diversity. Pradip Krishen, a naturalist, author and filmmaker, identifies around 250 tree species in the concrete jungle, in his book titled ‘Trees of Delhi’ published in 2007. But these trees do not have the breathing room they need ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 7 months agoread more
  • Big sandstone hills cover the landscape dotted by little grass, while the land below is covered with Israeli babool (akesia tortlis), an invasive species which does not let any other vegetation grow. Amidst this, Baadi village with its lush green fields full of cabbage, pepper and groundnut seems ou...
    Manu Moudgilposted 4 years 7 months agoread more

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Policy matters this week

New guidelines proposed by the Centre on groundwater usage by industries

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There is an urgent need to restore Najafgarh basin if the recurrent flooding and water shortage in Delhi and Gurugram have to be avoided in the future.

Here’s some news for nature lovers. A dirty drain in Delhi could well be on its way to becoming a bird sanctuary. The Najafgarh drain or nallah that flows through the northwest part of Gurugram is becoming a new habitat for the strikingly tall Greater flamingos, a rosy-white pink billed migratory bird as it passes through southwest Delhi.  

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I have a 300 sft plot in Gachibowli in Hyderabad. For the past two months, a cavity of 2 feet in diameter has formed. Rainwater is disappearing into this hole. I got this cavity filled up twice but a hole gets created whenever it rains. The bore is ten feet away and has casing upto 60 feet. I recently got the pump cleaned of mud and pebbles because water and soil had submerged the bore due to heavy rains. Now what is this hole that is forming? Is it a sink hole or a crack through which the water is disappearing?

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How many litres of water are available in a tank that is 20×20 feet in lengths and with a 10 feet depth? 

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An NGO comes forward to restore the forgotten kunds of Vrindavan which are not just historical marvels but are also freshwater sources.

Vrindavan, the small dusty twin town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, has a special place in the Hindu mythology. This is where Lord Krishna is believed to have spent most of his childhood and adolescence. The river Yamuna straddles through the town, a hot destination for thousands of devotees lining up for a dip in it every day. The place is also known for the rich saturated colours and messy revelry during “lathmar” holi where people hit each other with sticks.

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A partnership between Biome, ACWADAM and WIPRO brought stakeholders together to map Sarjapur's aquifer.

The problem of Bengaluru’s water is well known. The demand for water tankers skyrockets during the summer months, when municipal and borewell water supplies run dry, and many of the city’s lakes, actually man-made tanks, lie neglected and polluted.

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Indian scientists develop technology for harvesting water from dew.

We often notice dew drops on leaves, grass and some sloping surfaces in the morning hours. These dew drops can actually be a source of drinking water. 

A group of Indian scientists, working with experts from France, has developed technology for harvesting dew or atmospheric moisture for drinking water purposes and shown that it can be a cost-effective option in water-stressed regions like Kutch in Gujarat. 

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Most ground nearly everywhere is sloping in various degrees. Much more so in the hills. One way to easily and repeatedly catch rain water run off is to dig staggered contour trenches wherever possible. In forests, in grasslands, on marginal lands both government and private. The forest departments could do this in a big way instead of mindlessly growing plantations after plantations which in most cases fail anyway. This strategy will also help so much of the root stock in the soil to come up, we would need very little plantation after that. Grasses would come up in a big way too.

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As cities spread wide, grey infrastructure projects flout green norms to provide affordable housing for all.

Far in the distance, towards the edge of Noida and Greater Noida flows the Hindon river amidst clusters of modern highrise buildings. A few years ago, the landscape here was more countrified and quite distinct from the low rise neghbourhoods of Delhi dotted with its numerous parks and abundant institutional spaces. 

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Policy matters this week

Public hearing for Pancheshwar dam continues while ignoring people's concern

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