Think Water, think life!

Conserving it not only means groundwater resources for our future generations but also reduced risk of flooding and better irrigation systems. Traditional rainwater harvesting techniques have been doing this for ages and there's plenty to learn from them. Here are a few:

Kuhls - Diversion channels which have carried water from glaciers to villages in the Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh for a long time. Where the terrain is muddy, these are lined with rocks to keep it from becoming clogged.

Kuis - Kachcha structures (10-12 m) dug near tanks dug near tanks to collect seepage; usually covered with planks of wood. Mouth of the pit is narrow and gets wider as it goes deeper. These can also be used to harvest rainwater in areas with meagre rainfall. Found in Bikaner and Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Ahar Pynes - Indigenous to south Bihar, this irrigation system leverages the natural marked slope of the terrain. It is embanked on the remaining three sides. Pynes are diversion channels made to utilise river water in agricultural fields.Starting out from the river, they run through fields to end up in an ahar.

Zabo - Literally meaning 'impounding run-off', the system is practiced in Nagaland. It consists of a protected forestland towards the top of the hill, water harvesting tanks in the middle, and cattle yards and paddy fields at the lower sides thus combining water conservation with forestry, agriculture and animal care.

Panam Keni -
A native to Wayanad district of Kerala, panam kenis are special wells. Made by soaking the stems of toddy palms in water for a long time so that the core rots away until only the hard outer layer remains. These cylinders are then immersed in groundwater springs in fields and forests. A source of abundant water even in the hottest summer months.

Ramtek Model - Named after the water harvesting structures in Ramtek, Maharashtra. An intricate
network of groundwater and surface water bodies, this system consists of tanks forming a chain from the foothills to the plains. Once the tanks located in the hills are filled to capacity, the water flows down to fill successive tanks, generally ending in a small waterhole which stores the residual run-off as well.

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