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)
Mazhapolima recognised for its work in Kerala
News this week Swati Bansal posted 2 years 11 months ago

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. makarandpurohit posted 2 years 11 months ago

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. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 years ago

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. priyad posted 3 years 3 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 3 years 3 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 3 years 3 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. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 3 years 3 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@indiawaterportal.org posted 3 years 3 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 3 years 4 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 3 years 4 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.
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