Water Conservation: Traditional Rain Water Harvesting Systems in Rajasthan

  IJETT-book-cover  International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT)          
© 2017 by IJETT Journal
Volume-52 Number-2
Year of Publication : 2017
Authors : Dhruv Saxena
DOI :  10.14445/22315381/IJETT-V52P215


Dhruv Saxena "Water Conservation: Traditional Rain Water Harvesting Systems in Rajasthan", International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT), V52(2),91-98 October 2017. ISSN:2231-5381. www.ijettjournal.org. published by seventh sense research group

Water is a critical factor for development planning in Rajasthan. Despite heavy investments in water resources, the people of Rajasthan are suffering from water scarcity. Water resource management is largely exploitative rather than conservationist. Tradition methods of water conservation have been neglected. Annual rainfall in Rajasthan is highly variable and scanty. The important task before us is to harvests this seasonal and natural precipitation. The north western desert tract gradually improves from an arid desert in the far west to a comparatively habitable and fertile tract towards and the northwest. Cultivation in the desert region is poor and precarious, though some tracts have better soils and are more productivity. The arid parts of Rajasthan are a near rainless desert. In some areas, rainfall scarcely averages more than 120 mm. irrigation is limited by the scarcity of water in the west of the desert and has traditionally been restricted to deep wells and rain water harvesting systems. By and large, land use in the Thar is dependent on rainfall. In good rainfall years, large areas cropped, cattle thrive on extensive pastures and substantial amounts of hay are stored for future use. Rain water is stored in ponds and underground tanks. Small earthen embankments were constructed by the number of cultivators to enclose as much land as they could and surround it with thorns to keep animals away. Most villages in the desert tract had small ponds, and in a good season there was sufficient water to drink for seven to eight months. If rainfall failed, water was available for only four to six months otherwise the villagers had to bring water from other villages 20- 30 km away. In some of the villages had tankas or circular holes in the ground, lined with fine polished chuna (lime) in water was collected during rainfall and used when other supplies failed. In Rajasthan, there are vaious traditional water resources systems – nadi, talab, jojad, bandha, sagar, samand and sarovar, just to name a few. Traditional methods of harnessing surface water may provide some alternatives to meet the problem of water demand. A systematic study of similar traditional water harnessing methods is needed to make policy-makers aware of these alternative sources.

[1] Dhru, R.D. et. al The Hydrology of Rajasthan desert. In: Proc. Symp. Rajputana Desert, Nat. Inst sci. Ind.
[2] Government of Rajasthan, August 1989, Report of Panel on Water Resources of Rajasthan.
[3] Khan M.A. et. al. 1989 Upgraded village pond-nadi to ensure improved water supplies in arid zone. Water and Irrigation Review, Israel.
[4] Mehta H.S. et. al. 1970 Water Potential of Rajasthan. In: A search for Water, Sarjana Prakashan Publication, Jaipur.
[5] Handbook on Rainwater Harvesting – Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission.
[6] Government of India: National Water Policy, Ministry of Water Resources, New Delhi.
[7] 2003. “Water Harvesting Management - Improving Land Management in Rajasthan, India”. Inter-Cooperation/ Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation.

Water, Conservation, Rajasthan, harvesting, systems, rain, aravalli, thar desert.