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Rain Water Harvesting - Need of an hour…. RWH - How Far It Can Solve The Problems Of Water Scarcity. Prepared by: Raju, Deepti and Ruchir Jeevantirth, Juna Koba, Gandhinagar-382009 jeevantirth@hotmail.com. Looming Danger.

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rain water harvesting need of an hour

Rain Water Harvesting - Need of an hour…

RWH - How Far It Can Solve The Problems Of Water Scarcity

Prepared by:

Raju, Deepti and Ruchir

Jeevantirth, Juna Koba, Gandhinagar-382009


looming danger
Looming Danger

By the year 2030, over 60% of all people, or some 4.9 billion, will live in cities- a virtual time bomb waiting to explode- in terms of water, sanitation and the health hazards.

population not served with improved water supply
Population not served with improved* water supply


  • Household connection
  • Public standpipe
  • Borehole
  • Protected well
  • Protected spring
  • Rainwater collection

Source: WHO Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000

Total un-served: 1.1 billion

  • 443 million school days each year are lost to water-related illnesses.
  • Millions of women spend up to four hours a day collecting water.

Source: Human Development Repost 2006

Some 1.8 million children die each year as a result of diarrhea —which is 4,900 deaths a day.

india scenario
India Scenario

India has 16% of world’s population while having only 2% of land and 4% of fresh water resources

Water availability / Per Person

Year Cu. M.

1951 3450

1999 1250

2050 760

India: 5,87,000 Villages

Can harvest Runoff from average access of 340 hectares or a rainfall endowment of 3.75 billion liters of water. (Source-EXCEL)


gujarat a water scarce state
Gujarat – A Water Scarce State

Every third year is a drought year…

North Gujarat is Absolutely Water Scarce, Saurashtra and Kutch are Water Scarce.

Major Problems:

GW Depletion

Excessive Fluorides

Salinity Ingress


With all the utilizable surface water and 90% ground water harnessed, the gap will be around 11.5 BCM in 2025

five types of water civilization river based civilization
Five Types of Water Civilization-River Based Civilization
  • Rives flowing from Central Saurashtra’s hilly area like BHADAR, MACHHU etc. were protecting Salinity ingress from Costal line and river from Aravali were protecting North Gujarat from Desertification.

Don’t Link the Rivers,

Link People with the Rivers!

Eastern hilly area of ARAVALI, VINDHYACHAL-SAPUTARA and SAHYADRI provided water through BANAS, SABARMATI, MAHI, NARMADA, and TAPI to Main Land of Gujarat.

Source: Sabar Sena, JEEVANTIRTH, Gujarat

five types of water civilization tank based civilization
Five Types of Water Civilization-Tank Based Civilization

6,000 Village Tanks were built in North Gujarat during SiddhrajJaysingh era.

Sadly neglected water tanks has lost their utility.

Traditional methods were scrapped by vested interests.

100 years back 11 to 12 lacks village water tanks existed in India.

five types of water civilization water mining based civilization
Five Types of Water Civilization-Water Mining Based Civilization

Over extraction of GW has affected about 4.06 million ha. (21% of the state) in 74 talukas of 14 districts. (57 talukas fall in “Dark Zone”)

Source: Gujarat Ecology Commission

Struggle for Ground Water.

Umedpur village of Sabarkantha spent unorganisedly Rs. 64 lacks in 40 years.

1960-’70 Well deepening 12 lacks

1970-’80 Oil Engines 12 lacks

1970-’85 H/V Holes in Wells 8 lacks

1980-’85 Electric Motors 15 lacks

1985-’99 Tube-wells 17 lacks

five types of water civilization pipeline canal based civilization
Five Types of Water Civilization-Pipeline & Canal Based Civilization

News Flash!!!

Dharoi DW Scheme running in loss, 40 crore electricity bill unpaid.

DW problems persist in 42% villages where Narmada pipeline water has reached.

(Source: Civic Monitoring of the Largest DW Projects in the World -Report)

Investment in Rural DW Supply in Gujarat

1982-’99 Sate plan 860.36 Crore

Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme418.62 Crore

Scarcity Water Supply Plan 843.75 Crore

Narmada Canal Based Water Supply Project 7,400 Crore

Running Cost will be 511.86 Cr. Yearly!

what is rwh
What is RWH?

Water Harvesting is the process of the intercepting storm water runoff from a surface and putting it to beneficial use.

Water harvesting

From a tree trunk.

Rain water is harvested from big tree trunks using banana fiber tied around the tree trunk and directed to a large clay pot. This water can be put to domestic use or for irrigating crops.

The Simplest form of RWH

Anil Agarwal conceptualized and edited the CSE publications Dying Wisdom – which explores the tremendous potential of India's traditional water harvesting systems – and Making Water Everybody's Business - which documents water harvesting technologies that are being practiced even today by communities in various parts of the country.

can rwh solve the problems of water scarcity
Can RWH solve the problems of Water Scarcity?
  • Measuring (un)sustainability The Ecofootprint approach
  • Average European needs 3 planets
  • Average American needs 5 planets

NO! if…

We do not change our consumption pattern.


can rwh solve the problems of water scarcity1
Can RWH solve the problems of Water Scarcity?

Let’s make a paradigm shift from surface storage system to under ground storage system, flood irrigation to soil moisture technique, wasteful consumption pattern to judicial use of water.

YES! if…

We change our Life Style.

earth the water planet
Earth – The Water Planet

The earth has so much water that it can cover up 3,000 meter thick layer on its surface!

world s largest water purifying system
World’s Largest Water Purifying System

The nature has not changed its method of giving fresh water over a millions of years…

-AnupamMishra, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Delhi.

Water Cycle

rain water don t lose it use it
Rain Water -Don’t lose it, Use It!

We need to recognize that the source of all water on earth is not the river, is not the underground aquifer, is not the lake, well or stream. Rain is the source of all water.

rain water harvesting principles
Rain Water Harvesting Principles

Put harvested water to beneficial use

Adjust and Maintain your systems as needed

Start managing water at the top of the watershed (Ridge to Valley)

Create multiple small watersheds

Collect, Slow and Infiltrate the water

Prepare for Overflow

Mulch to reduce evaporation

why harvest rainwater
Why Harvest Rainwater?
  • Practicing RWH is valuable under different disaster conditions - In floods or droughts.

Save Money!

Save Energy!

Save Water!

Be Self Reliant!

Reduce Erosion!

Improve Water Quality!

Avoid Diseases!

Disaster Mitigation!

drinking water scarcity
Drinking Water Scarcity

Water Security

and Insecurity

is a product of


Plus culture,

Not just

a given of


-Vandana Shiva

Water Stress

rwh a time tested technique
RWH – A Time Tested Technique

Clay house at SANA’A

with WH / Saving System

  • RWH is one of the most ancient activities in the history of human-kind.

3,000 years old RWH system in YEMEN

rajasthan desert or water culture
Rajasthan – Desert or Water Culture?
  • There can be Water Scarcity in high rainfall region and adequate water in low rainfall regions like the Rajasthan Desert.

Rajasthan manages the water it receives so parsimoniously, one can say, drop by drop.

prioritization of areas for rwh
Prioritization of areas for RWH
  • Ground Water Stress Areas
  • Decadal long term decline of water levels
  • Ground Water quality deterioration
  • Coastal areas
  • Drought prone areas
  • Flood prone areas
  • Hilly areas

Rain Water Harvesting is a applicable everywhere

from Cherapunji to Sahara Desert

water harvesting design process
Water Harvesting – Design Process
  • Adopt an integrated design process
  • Analyze site characteristics and conditions
  • Identify potential to use harvested water and other site resources
  • Develop an integrated design for the site
  • Prepare detailed design

The Rain Water Harvesting System needs to be designed

in a way that it does not occupy large space

for collecting and recharge system

conceptual techniques of rwh
Conceptual Techniques of RWH





water harvesting techniques microbasins
Water Harvesting Techniques: Microbasins

To support single or multiple plants,

(infiltration in 12 hr. to avoid mosquito problems)

water harvesting techniques french drains
Water Harvesting Techniques: French Drains

Rock filled trenches to encourage rapid storm water infiltration through the sides, ends and bottom of the trench where soil and water meet.

water harvesting techniques recharge pit and trench
Water Harvesting Techniques: Recharge Pit and Trench

In alluvial areas where permeable rocks are exposed on the land surface or at very shallow depth, or where permeable strata is available at shallow depth.

WH can be done through recharge Pit or Trench.

water harvesting techniques for commercial plots and pathways
Water Harvesting Techniques: For Commercial Plots and Pathways

Public Rights-of-Way Example

water harvesting techniques gabion and mulching
Water Harvesting Techniques: Gabion and Mulching

To construct a semi permeable barrier to slow, but not to stop, the flow of storm water in a small water course

To optimize Water Harvesting by reducing evaporation from soil

In Gabion structure a small bund across the stream is made by putting locally available boulders in a mesh of steel wires and anchored to the stream banks

water harvesting techniques shallow aquifer recharge
Water Harvesting Techniques: Shallow Aquifer Recharge

Recharge Wells are specially constructed where large quantities of surface runoff is available within a very short period of heavy rainfall for storm water management.

water harvesting techniques deep aquifer recharge
Water Harvesting Techniques: Deep Aquifer Recharge

If the aquifer available at greater depth -say more than 20m- Recharge Tubewell is constructed to augment deep aquifer.

water harvesting techniques percolation tank
Water Harvesting Techniques: Percolation Tank

Artificial recharge to groundwater is a process by which the ground water reservoir is augmented at a rate exceeding that obtaining under natural conditions or replenishment. Any man-made scheme or facility that adds water to an aquifer may be considered to be an artificial recharge system.

water harvesting techniques hidden dam
Water Harvesting Techniques: Hidden Dam

A sub-surface dam intercepts or obstructs the flow of an aquifer and reduces the variation of the level of the GW table upstream.

water harvesting techniques urban context
Water Harvesting Techniques:Urban Context

Soil Stabilization

Cover disturbed soil to reduce erosion

Turf Mats

Create and plant a shallow depression

Restore infiltration

Permeable Pavement

Allows for rainfall infiltration

Low traffic surfaces (driveways, parking lots, walk ways)

Slow water en route to streams to reduce flooding.

Clean water en route to streams to reduce pollution.

r d innovative experiments greening of deserts
R & D: Innovative ExperimentsGreening of deserts

Growing of trees in arid regions

Soil water evaporation using solar energy.

Pit size ~ 1m X 1m X 0.6 m

100% seedlings survival. Five yr. data on 1000 m2. Leucaena, Prosopis and Neem grown. Avg. water prod. 300 ml/d per pit.

Given to NDDB by NARI,Pune. Need for large scale experiments.

r d innovative experiments dew harvesting
R & D: Innovative ExperimentsDew Harvesting

Do The Dew!!!

DEW Harvest to supplement DW sources in Arid Coastal Belt of Kutch

Dew yield from Ashramshala – Kothara

(150 Sq. M. Sheet Roof – 2004)

Month Yield (Lit.) Dew Nights

March 393 18 23 liters per

April 487 21 dew – nights.

Source: Dew Harvest – GirjaSharan

r d innovative experiments cloud seeding
R & D: Innovative ExperimentsCloud Seeding

Rain Dance –

American Indians

The deliberate treatment of certain clouds or cloud systems with the intent of affecting the precipitation process(es) within those clouds.

New source of water?

Artificial Rain Making! - Cloud Seeding?

Remember Atmospheric Vapor is only 0.001% of the total water in the hydrosphere

concept autonomous sustainable housing
Concept:Autonomous Sustainable Housing


Plants & Vegetables


Alberta Sustainable House




The World is facing water, energy and food crisis, but everything is available in my house!


Source: ASH Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

concept ecooffice
Concept: EcoOffice

Salient Features:

Straw Bale Wall Construction

Interior Non-Bearing Wall Framing maintains continuous air/vapor barriers

Water Efficient Toilet

Source: Airdie, Canada

hydrological constrains of rwh
Hydrological Constrains of RWH

Per Capita Roof Area



Physical Feasibility

Economic Viability

suggested strategies for rwh
Suggested Strategies for RWH
  • Adopt as a National Program
  • Proactive approaches
  • Invoke suitable legislative measures
  • Cautious and scientific approach
  • Integrate with suitable land-use practices
  • Adoption of conjunctive use measures
  • Build data base, Disseminate information
  • Conduct Techno-economic evaluation for large projects
  • Research and Development must go on
  • Water use ENERGY in large network transfers and treatment.
allocate more resources for rwh
Allocate more resources for RWH

Don’t put all your efforts

on the backend!

GW Recharge & RWH: 400 Crore

‘Rural Water Supply’: 2,000 Crore

‘SardarSarovar’: 40,000 Crore

‘Narmada Canal Based DW Project’: 7,400 Crore

‘Kalpsar’ : 53,000 Crore

education for sustainable future
Education for Sustainable Future

“SabarMata” gives blessings to all and motivates to join ‘Sabar Sena’ for Water Conservation