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.

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  • 356 students and the teachers of Government Middle School in Sukhpuri village of Mewat district, Haryana are a happy lot now that they have access to potable water right within their school premises. The groundwater in the area was saline making it unfit for consumption. The school childre...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 10 months agoread more
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  • HiI read the article you published on rain water harvesting as I was looking to find more information about it. I am interested in installing it for my home and open farm land, but I am not sure whom to contact. The article would have been much more useful if it had referenced the following points:W...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 years 10 months agoread more
  • Chhattisgarh ranked number 1 in the country for providing domestic water connections in 2014-15 under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Despite this, the government has failed to provide safe and clean drinking water to many who are still affected by fluoride, arsenic and iron con...
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  • A regional capacity development workshop on ‘Ensuring Water Security in Changing Environment Scenario for Water Professionals of South Asian Countries’ sponsored by UNESCO is being organized jointly by IIT Bombay, NIH Bhoplal Regional Centre and NIT Hamirpur on November 26-27, 201...
    nagabhushanbposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • Hello,I have 2 questions, requesting guidance:Please let me know if it’s advisable to dig a borewell in an already fully constructed house? Will it affect the foundation?Can RWH be implemented, the house is constructed on a site measuring 30-40 site ( 1,200 Sq Feet), if yes, can the water collecte...
    AJDposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • It had not rained for awhile and the tiny cracks in the earth in Bapugaon were opening up. This little village in Chaksu tehsil of Jaipur was yet again faced with a drought in the mid 1980s. The situation was aggravated in 1986 when the river Dhund, an important water source for Bapugaon, went dry. ...
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  • We were driving down the long desert road that runs parallel to the Indo-Pakistan border in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. There was little else to see except the surrounding sand dunes and desert grass. That's where I saw a ‘taanka’--a raised platform with a small opening to fetch water from its wo...
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  • 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...
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    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
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  • 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...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 2 months agoread more
  • 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 3 months 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 3 months agoread more

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An innovative project makes rainwater harvesting easier and more effective in certain areas of Mewat village with increased groundwater salinity.

One of the major causes of deterioration of water quality is the increase in overall salinity. Total hardness and the presence of materials like fluoride, nitrate, iron, arsenic, and toxic metal ions determine salinity levels in groundwater. With the demand for groundwater growing rapidly, its exploitation is also accelerating which causes depletion. Depletion of groundwater changes the flow (both direction and velocity) of the groundwater which may cause the inflow of polluted water into the freshwater aquifer from surrounding areas.

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Sustainable agro-ecological farming is one way to overcome the limitations of conventional farming. Green College shows us how to do it.

Pitidri is a nondescript village that dots the rainshadow area of Purulia district in West Bengal. Droughts are common here even when the area is endowed with above average rainfall of over 1300 mm a year. Until some time ago, Urmila Mahato, a 42-year-old farmer from Pitidri had been struggling to ensure her family’s food security. Her family could barely sustain on the 18 quintals of paddy her small farm of two acres could produce in a year. Only one acre of her farm could be used for seasonal farming of vegetables due to lack of irrigation facilities.

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Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a riveting new book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

February 6, 2018 6:15PM
February 5, 2018 12:00PM

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A remarkable, first-ever collection of 35 essays on India’s future, by a diverse set of authors – activists, researchers, media practitioners.

Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

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Experts from government, NGOs and industry gathered at the Sheraton Grande Hotel for the two day summit.

Sustainable water supply and sanitation has become extremely important due to the increase in water scarcity, the impact of climate change and the need for adaptation, and the increasing demand in water and competition among different usages.

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Policy matters this week

SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan 

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How do we conserve water so we do not have to face acute shortage in the future?

Water, the most precious commodity is being abused to such an extent that there is fear that this might lead to another world war or it may be difficult even to get drinking water. Water is indeed an integral part of human body as it accounts for 66 percent of it. The only liquid that quenches thirst satisfactorily is water and a mere two percent dehydration reduces performance by 20 percent.

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The villagers of Khalabari are hopeful that the overhead tank being built in the village would make drinking water easily accessible to them.

In the early hours, the villagers of Khalabari, a tribal-dominated village in the Dumuripadar gram panchayat of Koraput district in Odisha step out of their houses for bringing wood and drinking water. The road to the forest where the water is available is rocky. Both women and men walk a few kilometres on the harsh terrain to bring essential commodities needed for their survival. Khalabari, with a population of 186, has 45 households. 

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The theme for the Conclave this year is “Water Use Efficiency: An Imperative for India” to highlight the imperative of water use efficiency in the industry, agriculture and urban contexts

November 28, 2017 10:00AM
November 27, 2017 12:00PM

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A Rajasthan village gets to drink sweetwater despite high salinity in its groundwater, thanks to a solar-powered desalination unit.

Solawata, a small village in Jaipur district is barely 10 kilometers away from Sambhar, India's largest saline lake which is a major centre of salt production that produces about two lakh tonnes of salt a year. On our way to the village from Sambhar, we see caravans packed with bright coloured camel saddles parked on the road. In sharp contrast, the villages on the way look dry and dreary with their bleak infertile lands.

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