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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Hello

There is filter from my terrace to an open well for RWH. My terrace also holds my vegetable garden. The organic fertilizers from the garden can make the water impure, and I have been advised to remove the vegetable garden from my terrace. However, I want terrace vegetable garden and rainwater harvesting go hand in hand. Could you share some expert advise on this?

Thanks

Binu Joseph

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Citizens come forward to restore polluted lakes and rivers in their cities. They demand support and swift action from the government.

The pitiful state of some of the water bodies in the country, coupled with the sheer apathy of the government, have forced some well-meaning citizens to come out of their comfort zones and make a difference. Some of these efforts, like the Puttenahalli lake in Bengaluru that is now overflowing with clean water, have been successful, while others are ongoing. Here, we feature some stories of a few Good Samaritans and their efforts to restore the lakes and rivers of their cities.

Udaipur lakes

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The hill forts of Maharashtra provide valuable lessons in water harvesting and conservation.

In the olden times, people knew the importance of water and had devised a number of techniques to manage and conserve water resources. These efforts not only met the drinking water needs of the people, but also helped the survival of livestock and agriculture in areas where perennial rivers were absent and the population depended on rains and often faced water scarcity or droughts.

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An NGO’s effort to recharge the groundwater in an area finds little success with water-guzzling crops that rule the market.

Water crisis is a reality in most of India. After the summer of droughts come the monsoon floods. Take Maharashtra, for instance. If at one time it is desperately searching for drinking water, at another time, its capital, Mumbai is wading through knee-high water. How do we overcome these annual crises? Unfortunately, the answers are not so easy to find. 

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How an arid, saline land where migration in search of water and jobs was a way of life, boasts of plenty of water now.

Summer temperatures soar to a gruelling 50ocelsius in Rapar, a little known block in Gujarat’s Kutch district. Land here is dry, saline and arid; the monsoon is erratic. Many a times, the entire year’s rain falls in a short span of two or three days, doing more harm than good. Dubbed a dark zone, groundwater extraction is rampant even as agriculture remains the main source of income.

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Policy matters this week

Maharashtra government withdraws plea against ban on construction on wetlands  

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Pipara village in the parched Bundelkhand region stands out for its uninterrupted water supply. The village has their women to thank for it.

The cracks on the parched land of Bundelkhand are waiting for the monsoon to quench the thirst of its arid landscape. Despite the wide-spread drought here, Pipara, one of the villages in the region, stands apart as the only one that has not run completely dry. 

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News this week

Rural India walks too far to quench their thirst

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Tonk Khurd’s innovative farm ponds prove that when it comes to solving water crisis, one size does not fit all.

Vikram Patel, a 71-year-old farmer in Chidavad village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh is one of the first farmers to have embraced the idea of farm ponds to increase the groundwater level in his farm.

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Nanduwali in east Rajasthan started flowing again when the villagers decided to work with nature and not against it. The river is now lifeline to those settled on her banks

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 from his knowledge of astrology, but that of geology, gained over the years.

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