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.

Term Path Alias


Featured Articles
September 21, 2022 The unique design and functioning of the Chakla bavdi in Chanderi Madhya Pradesh is another example of the water wisdom of our ancestors, which needs to be conserved and passed on to the future generations.
Chakla Bavdi at Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh (Image Source: Shirole, S. 2022. Architectural eloquence: Water harvesting structure in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh (India). Ancient Asia, 13: 9, pp. 1–13)
July 14, 2022 The river is faced with the dual problem of flood plain encroachment and growing levels of water pollution
Illegal transverse check dams (Badhals) built on Ichamati near a village in Basirhat (Image: Prithviraj Nath @ TheWaterChronicles)
July 11, 2022 The Chauka system of Rajasthan can not only provide a sustainable way to manage water resources in water stressed regions, but also support livelihoods through development of pastures.
Can greening of barren lands happen? (Image Source: India Water Portal Flickr photos)
March 21, 2022 Recognizing women's accumulated knowledge and adaptive capacities in springshed management
Van Panchayat Samiti discussing the matters related to forest (Image: Varun Raja)
November 9, 2021 Building resilient agricultural system through groundwater management interventions in degraded landscapes of Bundelkhand region
Charkhari talab in Bundelkhand (Image: IWP Flickr)
Odisha leads in the provision of quality drinking water on household tap connections
News this fortnight Posted on 04 Apr, 2024 08:55 AM

Odisha emerges as the only state to guarantee quality drinking water on household tap connections

Quality drinking water, a priority (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Erring and recovering from water woes
Water chronicles: Navigating through scarcity to security Posted on 25 Mar, 2024 10:34 PM

In 2015, I found myself at a hutment in Mekaniyon ki Dhani, near Pachpadra, Barmer. It was late June, and my work had taken me to this nearly barren land of sandy soil. Just the view of this landscape makes one thirsty. Naturally, the most precious resource in this terrain is water.

A tanka covered with Khejri branches (Image: Swaran V)
Can traditional tanks help Bengaluru revive its declining groundwater levels?
A study that examined the contribution of tanks in groundwater recharge in urban Bengaluru found that presence of more impermeable surfaces in the city led to some amount of groundwater recharge from tanks, but was influenced by location, area concerned, water level fluctuations and alternative recharge sources available. Posted on 19 Mar, 2024 11:21 PM

Can traditional tanks help Bengaluru in reviving its groundwater levels and in preventing the growing water crisis that the city is currently facing?

Traditional tanks in South India

Tanks of Karnataka (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Reviving the traditional tank irrigation systems of Andhra Pradesh
While encroachment, siltation, poor maintenance of traditional irrigation tanks limit farmers in Andhra Pradesh from accessing water in the command areas, strengthening WUAs shows a promising way forward to ensure maintenance of tanks at the community level and ensure water security for farmers. Posted on 28 Feb, 2024 10:34 AM

The tank irrigation systems of South India

Traditional irrigation tanks of South India. Image for representation purposes only (Image Source: India Water Portal)
DPCC recommends penalties for buildings without rainwater harvesting systems in Delhi
Policy matters this fortnight Posted on 15 Jan, 2024 08:34 AM

DPCC proposes penalising structures lacking operational rainwater harvesting systems in its NGT report

In accordance with regulations, structures over 100 square meters in Delhi are required to install rainwater harvesting systems, with non-compliance resulting in a 50% penalty on the monthly Delhi Jal Board bill.

Rainwater harvesting model for a stand alone house (Image: India Water Portal Flickr)
Citizens in coastal Karnataka join hands to revive their water bodies
News updates this fortnight Posted on 05 Jan, 2024 06:08 PM

Citizens from coastal towns of Moodbidri and Karkala in Karnataka have joined hands to revive their water bodies

Tanks of Karnataka. Image for representation purposes only (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Tribals in Kerala revive an age old tradition by cultivating millets
News updates this fortnight Posted on 18 Dec, 2023 04:50 PM

Tribals in Kerala cultivate millets, revive an age old tradition

A Bajra field (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Traditional salt workers from the Little Rann of Kutch recognised for their role in conservation
News this fortnight Posted on 03 Nov, 2023 04:13 PM

Traditional salt workers from the Little Rann of Kutch recognised for their role in wild ass conservation

The little Rann of Kutch (Image Source: Nagarjun Kandukuru via Wikimedia Commons)
Increasing adoption of rainwater harvesting technologies in rural India
What needs to be done to increase the adoption of rainwater harvesting technologies in rural areas? This study shows the way. Posted on 24 Oct, 2023 10:56 PM

Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) technology continues to be highly recommended as a potential solution to deal with water scarcity in developed as well as developing countries such as India and includes various methods such as Rooftop rainwater harvesting (RRWH), surface runoff collection, flood runoff harvesting, and in-situ RWH.

Catch the rain where it falls (Image Source: IWP flicker photos)
NGT forms committee for submerging island protection policy in India
Policy matters this fortnight Posted on 15 Jul, 2023 03:45 PM

NGT forms committee to frame policy to protect submerging islands in India

Committee to frame policy to protect islands (Image: PxFuel)