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Rainwater Harvesting : Water conservation...

Rain Water harvesting simply means collecting Water for future use during the rainy season. Rain water harvesting has been in existence since long ago in various parts of India where the Summer months were harsh and the rainy seasons were short and the rainfall insufficient..

Rain Water harvesting simply means collecting Water for future use during the rainy season.

Rain water harvesting has been in existence since long ago in various parts of India where the Summer months were harsh and the rainy seasons were short and the rainfall insufficient. In States like Rajasthan, Punjab , parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat they still have a method of water conservation which is most effective. They start by collecting all the rain water that falls on their own houses.

All the water that is falling on the roof of the house and other parts where it is clean is collected and channelised into an underground tank . This not only brings up the water level of their well , but is helpful for them during the harsh summer months.

And over a period of time the water table of the entire area comes up.

This scheme has benefited scores of people in the dry regions and villages where facilities were limited to store water  . The Water table in many areas has come up and this in turn has brought  in prosperity and economic stability to these regions.

I had the chance of visiting a small village in Karnataka which is close to an extremely  dry region called Bidar, which is a district headquarters. Bidar is probably one of the driest places in India with less than an average rainfall and a very intense summer that lasts for many months.

 One of my relative, a farmer by profession had a piece of land consisting of a field and a small hill which was all but dry and barren! They had dug 3 wells at different spots on the advise of a geologist and all of them had run dry after 2 or 3 years.

My relative was finding it extremely difficult to cultivate anything worthwhile because of this problem, but he was determined to find a way out. While talking about his problem , a helpful government official mentioned that he could try Rain water harvesting which had proved very helpful to other farmers from other regions of the country.

The official guided him through various stages of doing it. 3 large pits were dug at different levels of the hillock and another 2 pits were dug by the side of the field. This was for collecting the rain water. Surprisingly the very first year after the pits were dug , the water collected in these pits during rains, and the water level in all 3 wells, that had run dry previously had increased. They lasted nearly one month longer than they did earlier. The second year was even better , the wells dried only in the month of May when the Summer heat was at its peak. This encouraged him to dig 2 more tanks at strategic points to collect more rain water, which further increased the well water level. I visited his place 6 years after he started rain water harvesting and the place was unbelievable- amazing to say the least !.

I had visited it many years back when it was a dry, barren land with some indifferent Raagi crops (a staple diet of that area) growing in the fields, and the hill was almost empty of any vegetation. But this time I was in for a pleasant surprise! They had planted many trees on the hill side and his field was lush with vegetables and Raagi crops that looked healthy. There was sufficient water for his household purpose and for all the vegetation and he has never had any water problem since the past 2 years. And surprisingly the neighbor too benefited from this as his well water level too went up. Now many people have started rain water harvesting in that region and there is mutual benefit from this, which has made the entire village green. I am sure that with more time the entire region would compete with a tropical rain forest. It has to be seen to be believed. Since I had seen it earlier when it was dry and have seen it now after the implementation of rain water harvesting I have come to realise the wonderful benefits of this scheme which is so natural and so economical. It can be implemented by anyone with very little cost and it has never failed so far. I feel that rain water harvesting is a boon to farmers and now in India many metro cities are insisting that each household should have while planning to build a house for themselves.

This is an excellent scheme so that each person becomes self sufficient in water and learns to respect nature and not misuse her bounties.

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Comments (4)

Very informative and useful.

Sandeep Mangal

Water is one of the most essential thing for life. Rainwater in one of the purest form of source for water. Also the under ground water is another source for drinking water and other purposes like agriculture, etc.

For the preservation and maintenance of the water table it is essential to install rain water harvesting plants at various housing societies and event at place having go amount of rain every year.

Rain water harvesting can also be done for farm lands.

Preserving and restoring of rain water is very important.

To get more details how to implement Rain water harvesting do visit

http://www.commonfloor.com/articles/rainwater-harvesting-an-efficient-water-solution-for-apartment-1100.html

Dinesh Rao

Very impressive & encouraging story about RWH for farmland. We have about 5 acres of farmland near Bangalore which we want to implement RWH solutions as both our borewells have dried up. Request you to let me know which government department officials have to be contacted for technical / procedural help. Thank you in advance.

Hi Dinesh, the obvious department would be the Bangalore water supply board or the geological department both of which are in the City Corporation. I am sure they would be able to give you some clue. In fact, now it has become mandatory for every household within the city limits to implement Rainwater harvesting within their premises . Thereby, they would be having a separate department to handle this matter - thanks a lot for the feedback and all the best :)

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