What we are able to be taught from over 25 conventional harvesting programs

wooAter is one among nature’s most important and priceless sources that we can not dwell with out – a phrase that all of us have heard numerous instances in a single type or one other. We additionally know that like different presents of nature, it’s not limitless.

And but, we proceed to battle to permit this reality to penetrate our aware thoughts. From the second we get up in entrance of the toilet sink the place the faucet is consistently on as we wash away the morning blues, with thousands and thousands of tons of impurities launched into water our bodies every day, our actions proceed to disregard the truth that Water is mostly a restricted useful resource.

Due to this, 4 billion folks all over the world, which is two-thirds of the world’s inhabitants, expertise water shortage for greater than a month yearly. In response to UNICEF estimates, by 2025, half of the world’s inhabitants will likely be dwelling in areas with extreme water shortage.

Confirming this, a NITI Aayog report acknowledged that 600 million folks in India, which is sort of half of its inhabitants, face excessive water shortage day-after-day. The scenario is so dangerous that nearly three-quarters of India’s rural households should rely upon soiled polluted water as a result of their houses should not have entry to piped potable water.

On this scenario, water conservation is the one method to avert impending doom. Nevertheless, in quest of options to bolster our future, we should look again to the previous the place earlier civilizations have struggled with the challenges surrounding water shortage with related, if not equal, challenges.

From floods to droughts, one can discover a vary of eco-friendly and sustainable conventional strategies of water conservation within the pages of historical past, which haven’t solely saved thousands and thousands of lives however have additionally stood the check of time. Nearly each area in India has been blessed with these in-house water harvesting and conservation methods that swimsuit the distinctive geographical and cultural wants of the place and the group dwelling in it.

On this World Water Day, we resolved to undergo the pages of historical past and spotlight among the essential sustainable water conservation strategies practiced in India.

Ahar Paynes


Prevailing in South Bihar, Ahar Pines are conventional flood water harvesting programs that function reservoirs to cut back the runoff of water and retailer it for irrigation and different functions. These reservoirs are made up of embankments on three sides that are situated on the finish of the diversion channels.

These diversions are often known as channel pines that are synthetic rivulets which are prolonged to gather water from rivers and carry it to the ahars for irrigation in the course of the dry months. In a state recognized for its agricultural contributions, particularly paddy cultivation, this method of utilizing Ahar pines is exceptionally helpful in areas with low rainfall.



Practiced by the Apatani tribes of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh, the Apatani system is used to gather each groundwater and floor water for irrigation. On this system the valleys are lower into terraced plots separated by 0.6 m excessive earthen dams that are supported by bamboo planks.

All these plots have an inlet and outlet on the alternative facet. Deep channels are additionally created which join the inlet level to the outlet level, in order that the terraced plots are stuffed or drained by opening or blocking these inlets and shops as per the requirement. This technique of water harvesting remains to be utilized in rural elements of the state, particularly in moist rice cultivation and fisheries.



A barely extra well-known conventional water harvesting technique, baoli had been advanced constructions constructed by royal households and nobles to assist the widespread folks and enhance civic welfare. These had been thought-about to be secular constructions, which allowed everybody to attract water for private use, no matter caste, class or faith.

Stepwells with intricately carved motifs and arches, and generally even rooms on consecutive sides, had been constructed both in central factors of villages or on commerce routes. Whereas the previous additionally served as a spot for social gatherings and conferences, the latter was meant to supply a protected and quiet resting place for vacationers and retailers. A few of these stepwells, which had been specifically constructed for agricultural functions, additionally had a powerful drainage system that carried all of the water on to the fields.



One other water harvesting technique employed in a sloping space, Cheo-Ojihi will be present in elements of Nagaland, notably the Angami village of Kigwema the place the Meiji River flows. An extended channel named Chiyo-ozhi is manufactured from bamboo and is related by a number of sub-channels that carry the circulation of water from the river to the terraces the place farming is finished. Whereas ozhi means water, chio means one who is accountable for constructing and laying the 8 to 10 km lengthy channel alongside its sub-branches. Many of the terraces in Kigwema and surrounding villages are irrigated utilizing the Cheo-Ozihi channels.


Kolavai Lake is the place Chengalpattu Eri is situated. Supply

A standard water administration system in South India, the Erie tank system is especially practiced in elements of Tamil Nadu. About one-third of the overall irrigated space of ​​the state is irrigated by Eri tanks.

One of many oldest water administration programs in India, it serves as a flood management system that forestalls soil erosion and runoff water wastage, particularly throughout heavy rainfall, which is a recurring phenomenon in current instances. Is. Moreover, Eris additionally recharges groundwater.

There are basically two kinds of eris, one is the system eri, which is fed by channels to divert river water, or the opposite is the non-system one which is fed solely by rain. All these tanks are interconnected and allow water entry to distant villages, thus sustaining water degree stability in case of extra provide by means of floods. This technique permits a sustainable resolution to make use of river water for farming and with out it, paddy cultivation within the state would have been not possible.

From the Indus Valley Civilization, Chanakya’s Arthashastra mentions a water harvesting system on the Grand Anicut of Kallanai constructed throughout the Kaveri river by the Chola king Karikala – there are numerous profitable examples of water conservation strategies throughout the pages of historical past. One solely must take the initiative, look again, be taught and create sustainable options for the long run.

Edited by Yoshita Rao

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