Rainwater harvesting in India is not something new; it is a practice that are used for ages by the early civilizations in the Indus valley and Harappa. Focusing on the Indian Subcontinent, collecting rainwater can be found back to 300 BC when farming communities located in the North West, i.e., today’s Pakistan and areas of Afghanistan and India, used methods to store rainwater for both personal and agricultural use.
The first rainwater collection tanks were constructed by various dynasties who ruled multiple regions of India, such as the Shivganga Tank in Veeranam Tank in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, and we can observe many more even in the present day.
Through urbanization and development, the public and the government ignored the water harvesting practice, which led to the depletion of freshwater resources in India. People who know the need to protect their precious resources turn towards sustainable water-use methods.
What is Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater collection refers to the simple technology or process of conserving rainwater. It involves collecting, storing, and transporting water from roofs, roads, and other spaces. For later use, we can collect rainwater roofs and then redirect them to tanks, cisterns, boreholes, wells, and shafts. You can also collect fog and dew with nets or other tools. In this process, from rainwater collection to usage, we can use different diverters.
Facts about Rainwater Harvesting in India
Here are some facts about rainwater collection in India.
- India has been performing rainwater collection since the 10th Century. The 11th Century was when the enormous rainwater harvesting tank was constructed by the Chola King and is 16 km long.
- The regular roof holds 600 gallons (2,271.2 L) of water per inch of rain.
- It will need minimal infrastructure improvements for the first rainwater harvesting project to be started.
- A filtering system and UV disinfection are required to make this water appropriate to drink.
Need of Rainwater Harvesting in India
We all know that water is a vital natural resource and forms the fundamental element of our lives. We can use this water for drinking, domestic purposes, water transportation, industry, and hydroelectricity generation. Water is a resource that cycles repeatedly after cleaning. To fulfil all the water needs, we should save water. Most of the rainwater gets lost in surface run-off and then ends up in the drainage systems of our towns and cities. In rural areas, some rainwater requirements are important for irrigation. However, the water that flows to drains is a complete waste. In addition, the surface run-off water creates unnecessary soil erosion and flooding.
Importance of rainwater harvesting;
- To report the lack of surface water supply to meet our needs.
- To stop the decline in groundwater levels.
- To increase groundwater availability in specific locations and times and use rainwater to promote sustainable development.
- To increase the amount of agricultural production.
- To improve the ecological condition of the region by increasing the vegetation cover and so on.
The Government’s Policies Regarding Rainwater Harvesting
Although we live in the 21st Century, it is inspiring to realize that in a nation of over 1.3 billion inhabitants, with 29 states and 4100 cities and towns, only two cities, Thiruvananthapuram and Kota, have a constant, 24/7 water source.
Most cities in India, with more than one million people, get water for approximately 3-4 hours daily. It is not due to the lack of arrangement but to the poor management and oversight of the distribution system within districts.
The Foremost Indian state to mandate rainwater harvesting for building constructions to lessen groundwater reduction was Tamil Nadu in 2001, which has brought considerable advantages to the entire state. Five years later, the groundwater levels within Chennai were up by more than 50; consequently, they improved the water quality.
After the Tamil Nadu model’s success, many regulations and rules were presented by other states. And even the Government has made efforts to help by introducing a central law known as the Rainwater (Gathering and Storage) Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016.
Where can Rainwater Collection be accomplished?
We can do Rainwater harvesting everywhere: in residential areas, educational institutes, municipal and corporate offices, public places, farms, villages, and other locations where rainwater has been wasted or the water supply is insufficient. It is suggested in areas such as Rajasthan, Central India, where there is a rain shortage and farmers cannot locate another source of irrigation for their crops.
Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting is a practice in which we can collect stormwater from the sky and store it for later use. It is a way of conserving water and using it more efficiently. In India, rainwater harvesting is becoming a prevalent practice. We can use it to help the country conserve water and also use it to support the country reduce water scarcity.
Rainwater collection is not just a practice in India; it is a practice worldwide. It is a well-known process in Australia, Spain, and the United States. This water harvesting is very important because the scarcity of high-quality water is a significant concern today. Rainwater is of high quality and pure quality and we can use it to water crops, clean, wash, cook, and for other livestock needs.
There are many advantages of water collection, some of which are:
- Lower cost
- This method helps to reduce your water bill.
- It reduced water demand.
- This technique Encourages water conservation and energy conservation.
- It conserves water without affecting the environment.
- It does not require much maintenance.
- Reduces pollution since it does not involve the use of chemicals.
- It increases the quality of groundwater.
- Landscape irrigation doesn’t require a filter system.
- The technology is simple to use, install, and manage.
Rainwater harvesting can be an independent water supply during water shortages. In regions where clean water is costly, or it is difficult to fulfil the water requirements of the population, rainwater could be an essential source of clean water. Collecting and harvesting rainwater is an appropriate method to tackle the water shortage prevalent in many areas of India. Water harvesting is an essential and crucial element in establishing an environmentally sustainable water resource pathway for every community.