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.

  • Gajanand Sharma is excited about the monsoon this year. He is building an anicut on the small stream that runs through his farm. “After the rain, the land will be filled with water and then I will sow wheat and reap record production in this area,” he prophesises. This forecast doesn’t come fr...
    Manu Moudgilposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • With two consecutively weak monsoons, this summer is particularly difficult for India. Around 330 million people across 10 states are affected by the drought. Most of these areas are ecologically and economically disadvantaged. Lands are degraded, rainfed farming is the norm and livestock graze...
    Manu Moudgilposted 4 years 2 months agoread more
  • Rapid growth in population, agriculture production, industrialisation and urbanisation have put an extreme burden on India's dwindling water resources. Water-guzzling paddy covers maximum gross area under cultivation at 44 million hectares. Disputes related to inter-state rivers have been rising be ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Hello Rainwater should go to underground with the help of small pipes in urban area roads. Is this possible ? We stay in a small galli where a lot of rainwater accumulates during the rain and and then simply evaporates. Can we send it for groundwater recharge? Is it only possible for newly constru...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Hello, I have a roof top terrace garden that I have tended to for many months now. I don't use any chemicals for the plants and the only addition to the soil is compost once in a few months. Is it okay to harvest rain water from the same place where I have this garden? I was adviced by one person ...
    Schimmandaposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • The Israeli water industry is one of the best in the world, and this is because of the country’s breakthrough in technological innovations in areas like desalination, drip irrigation and water security. The country uses its water so sustainably that since 1964, its total water consumption has rema...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • The water scarcity that India is facing even before the onslaught of summers, and the plight of farmer’s in Marathwada have been making headlines every single day. Our water problems have been exacerbated by climate change, rapid development, increasing energy demands and unmindful, extravagant us...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Hello  I need some help to design a filter for roof top rain water harvesting. The water catching area is 100 sqm, and the rainfall maximum is 130 mm, and so the filter should have the capacity to filter 216 liters/min. I have a 4'' down pipe installed, while the storage area is...
    Sahana raoposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Centre releases DPR on forestry intervention for Ganga river The Water Resource Ministry has unveiled the Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Forestry Intervention for the Ganga which has been prepared by the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. The project envisages the plantation of 4 crore native t...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 years 4 months agoread more
  • Hi, I am looking for people who can help me with groundwater recharge solutions in Karnataka. Can you please help with the contact numbers of concerned persons? Thanks Deepu  
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 4 months agoread more
  • Sirkoo, a 39 year old woman in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, walked 8 km every day to fetch water. As a woman, it was obviously her responsibility to ensure the household's water availability. This put an additional stress on her already depleted health as well as time--until she decided to tackl...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • It was 1961. Simon Oraon, a Class IV school drop-out began his journey against drought in Bedo, a tribal block of Ranchi, Jharkhand. An idealistic young man, he along with his fellow villagers began constructing earthen dams to capture rainwater for recharging groundwater. This along with his broade...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • The East Coast of India is very much unlike its western counterpart both in terms of physiography and climatology. Unlike the West Coast which receives a predictable amount of rainfall within a predictable time frame, the East Coast is entirely dependent on the depressions in the Bay of Bengal to br...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • Erratic rainfall, heavy storms, extreme weather and droughts are some of the major impacts of climate changes. Though it affects everyone, certain sections of society, like indigenous people who live closer to the natural environment, are in fact more vulnerable to these variations. However, they ar...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • About the programme: The training programe will include interactive sessions with leading experts/practitioners, presentation on case studies, and visit to successfully implemented RWH and DWWT systems in CSE campus. The participants will get the opportunity to plan and design the sustainable urban...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 years 5 months agoread more
  • The Babur Nama mentions that the “the finest running water in Hindustan is that in the Dun.” The expanse of the valley and the ridgelines of the two major watersheds (Ganga and Yamnuna) passing through Dehradun, make it a unique ecosystem which can support a wide variety of plants and ...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Delhi, home to 16.75 million people, is in the grip of a major water crisis. Statistics by the Delhi Jal Board for the year 2011 suggest that the water deficit stands at about 250 million gallons per day with the supply being 830 million gallons per day. Unaccounted for water--the gap between t...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • Coastal regions of Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha have been hit by cyclonic storms for more than two decades. These have severely affected the livelihood of the communities living in the region. Ashok Das of Junapangara village is one such farmer who had suffered massive agric...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 7 months agoread more
  • Hi, I am building a house on 30x40 plot in Bangalore. I have made the provision for storing rain water which is approximately 30,000 liters. I want to harvest the grey water as well. I want to reuse only the water from the kitchen and washing machine. We are a family of 4 including a 3 years old ki...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 years 7 months agoread more
  • About WET 2016VIKSAT announces the next batch of the WASH Educators Training (WET 2016). This batch is particularly for the Institutions/applicants from the western eco-regions of India working on issues related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The training is directed towards creating and n...
    Ramesh Gadhviposted 4 years 8 months agoread more

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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.

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.

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A temple trust revives an ancient stepwell, comes to the rescue of a water-starved village.

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.

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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.

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

India is a groundwater economy. At 260 cubic km per year, our country is the highest user of groundwater in the world - we use 25 percent of all groundwater extracted globally, ahead of USA and China.

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Studies reveal that efforts at guinea worm eradication have triggered the spread of hydrofluorosis in Rajasthan.

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. 

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News this week

Good rainfall fails to improve Hyderabad's groundwater table

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Toilets in households have only increased the drudgery of village women as they have to fetch water from faraway sources for toilet use.

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.

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During rainy season, almost all our streets in almost all our cities get inundated with storm water.

Please tell us  how best to filter, collect, store, treat and reuse the storm water in underground storage tanks  built in the compounds of houses, open places, parks and gardens etc.

Regards,

P Nukaiah Chetty

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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.

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. Singh is referring to the excessive quantity of water being used for manufacturing a digestive drink by a factory located in his village. The indiscriminate use of a lake bed in the village for industrial use has led to groundwater scarcity during peak summer months.

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Chhattisgarh’s Bemetara district has been facing severe water shortage for a while now. Rainwater harvesting could be a solution to this.

There seems to be no end to the drinking water crisis in the Bemetara district in Chhattisgarh. It is only becoming worse with every passing day. More than 40 percent of all the hand pumps installed in the district have run dry due to the depletion of groundwater level.  

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Hello,

Every time it rains, I see huge rain water gushing through the roads and drains of Bangalore city. The entire water gets wasted as it reaches the sewage and flows out of city as sewage water. If we can stock this running water across the areas, it should recharge the depleting ground water and increase the availability of water in private bore wells which shall decrease the load on the troubled water supply board.

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