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Rain Water Harvesting

Due to the disadvantages and growing resistance against multi-purpose river valley projects , water harvesting system was considered the best method to conserve water.

This is because the water harvesting is cheap, environment friendly and can be easily practised by individuals.

Traditional rain water harvesting techniques in India

Guls or Kuls in Western Himalayas

Kuls are a traditional irrigation system in Hmachal Pradesh- surface channels diverting water from natural flowing streams( Khuds). A typical community kuhl services six to thirty farmers, irrigating an area of about 20 hectares. The system consists of a temporary headwall (constructed usually with river boulders) across a Khud(ravine) for storage and diversion of the flow through a canal to the fields.

Rooftop Rain Water Harvesting

Traditional roof water harvesting

Rooftop Harvesting of rainwater is a practice in Mizoram & Rajasthan. The water pours into a pipe that is connected to a tank.

Inundation channels in flood plains of West Bengal

Khadis and Johads of Rajasthan


Khadin is a system whereby rocky catchment areas are used to collect-run-off water in a valley by constructing a bund across the flow. The system combines two adjoining physiographic land units. The arrested water stands in Khadin throughout the monsoon period. The collected water is allowed to percolate after which a crop can be grown. The soils of khadin are extremely fertile because of frequent deposition of fine sediments.

A well developed khadin farm

Kundis or Tankas or Kunds

These are artificial wells, which store runoff from an artificially prepared catchment surrounding them so that rainwater that falls on the catchment rapidly runs into the well and gets stored. The surrounding catchment area is generally prepared or treated to improve the contribution of rainfall to the runoff fraction. The catchment surface is made impermeable by using pond silt. They can be made anywhere, if adequate land is available.

An improved tanka

Rainwater harvesting is on the decline now a days in Rajasthan because of the Rajasthan Canal which supplies enough water to dry regions. Fortunately, rain water harvesting is practiced successfully in many parts Rural and Urban India.

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