Rain water harvesting


Project: Rain Water Harvesting and Recharging Ground Water

Motivation: Over the recent years, shortage of water has sparked immense friction between countries and between states within a country. A good many of these are simply due to improper utilization of available fresh water and absence of emphasis on rainwater harvesting. The remarkable success achieved by Dr. Rajendra Singh in Rajasthan and Sri Anna Hazare in Maharashtra underscores its significance. Given the existing pressures on land and water, and a grim future for this problem, it is of paramount importance to educate farmers and others to the success of these techniques and encourage carefully planned, efficient usage of water and soil. Also, the plants grown in BCRT’s nursery too require a steady source of water for their nourishment.

Specific Aims:

  1. 1.Create a steady source of water to care for the plants grown in the nursery of BCRT.

  2. 2.Work with Jalanayana (watershed) Department to build farm ponds and check dams in villages around BCRT

  3. 3.Adopt ground-water recharging methods that Tarun Bharat Sangh uses in Rajasthan.

  4. 4.De-silt a vast hollow to create a lake and thereby recharge ground water

  5. 5.Plant trees in the vicinity of this lake with the intention of creating a bird-sanctuary and stabilize its banks.


A Brief Description of the Project: As the number of plants grown in BCRT’s nursery grew steadily, so did the demands on water. The primary motivation for this project was an immediate need for a source of water to nurture the plants. Preliminary attempts were made in 2002 and 2003 to construct tanks and bore-wells exclusively for use within the nursery. In 2004, BCRT called the attention of Jalanayana Department, Hassan to the needs of villages in and around Anuganalu. BCRT was involved in identification of the neediest farmers. Over 12 farm-ponds and 5 check dams were built in 7 villages around BCRT. This has lead to an evident increase in ground water in some parts.

In a separate effort, a vast disused hollow stretch, belonging to four adjoining villages, Anuganalu, Sanenahalli, Maranahalli and Devegowdanahalli was identified for its potential of holding rainwater and forming a lake. BCRT worked with the village Panchayats of each of these villages to obtain their consent for the project. During March-April 2003, Jalanayana was enlisted to de-silt this hollow, with the soil dug out used by the farmers to enrich their lands. This activity is still in progress as renewed efforts would be made in 2005 to further de-silt it. This also holds the promise of being a haven for birds. Specific ‘birds-friendly’ trees like Ficus spp., Pongamia, Fig, Singapore Cherry, Jackfruit, Sandal, Pipal and Gulmohar have been planted on the rim.

Given the positive response that these efforts have received, BCRT intends to expand its activities in 2005, particularly with the intention of incorporating construction of small pits to harvest rain-water-a very efficient method pioneered by Tarun Bharat Sangh in Rajasthan.

Figures: Farmers around BCRT are volunteers to de-silt a lake near Anuganalu (above). A farm-pond, constructed by the Jalanayana and BCRT. This serves to recharge ground water effectively (right).


To know more about our work on soil and water conservation, click here.