Talk:Rainwater harvesting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Environment / Sustainability  (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This environment-related article is part of the WikiProject Environment to improve Wikipedia's coverage of the environment. The aim is to write neutral and well-referenced articles on environment-related topics, as well as to ensure that environment articles are properly categorized.
Read Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ and leave any messages at the project talk page.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Sustainability task force.
WikiProject International development  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject International development, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of international development, including such areas as appropriate technology, microfinance and social issues, on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.

In Western countries?[edit]

"I'm not happy with the information in this paragraph. Yes I guess the last few sentences are true but for a technique that is primarily meant as a means to provide some of the most desperate people in the world with an adeque means of water, it's quite unebelivable that western Britain.. ? is mentioned along with consumer... water bills, resevoirs and scarce space.

I'm sorry to sound annoyed, it's just I expect if you do a quick search on the net you will find that most of the places where this form of civil engineering is being applied are developing countries where there is no other means."

Contrary to the above opinion,rainwater harvesting is now being promoted in developed countries not because of shortage but because it has been found that harvested rainwater is environmental friendly and the safest source of water for any use considering its short path to the end user. Treating it also involves a simpler process than that of water from conventional sources.

Its other advantages are (1) Its zero hardness (free of minerals) prevents scaling of appliances (2)Harvesting rainwater mitigates urban flooding and reduces load on storm water drains (3)It reduces pollution of water courses by storm water discharge.

For the above reasons, an estimated 100,000 residential rainwater harvesting systems (RWHSs)are in use in USA and its territories (see Lye D.,Journal of The American Water Resources Association, 2002 edition). the state of Texas has even gone ahead and published "The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting" now in its 3rd edition.

Stockholm Water Prize[edit]

I just saw that cse - a strong RWH proponent - got the Stockholm Water Prize 2005. Benkeboy 16:18, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Rainwater harvesting now compulsory in cities in Himachal Pradesh[edit]

I just came across this report.

INDIA: Himachal Pradesh makes rainwater harvesting in cities compulsory

The Himachal Government is following the example of Karnataka, New Delhi and Chennai making a rainwater-harvesting structure compulsory in all new buildings within the municipal council limits to check the wastage of water. Mr Kartar Jaiswal, Executive Officer, Local Municipal Council, issued a public notice saying that while constructing buildings 20 litres per square metre rooftop area need to be included for rainwater harvesting. If this is not the case, permission to build will be rejected.

Web site: -Legislation on Rainwater Harvesting

--Singkong2005 a.k.a. Chriswaterguy 16:25, 30 April 2006 (UTC)


the section on ´´methods´´ should be expanded to include the ways in which the harvesting and dsitribution is done via roofs, johads, viaducts etc Benkeboy 15:51, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm very interested in low-cost storage methods. I was told about a project in Nepal, where adobe or mudbrick was used to construct tanks. About 10% of the water was lost through the walls, but this had the benefit of wetting the soil and providing a place for food plants to grow (maybe fruit trees). --Singkong2005 ‘‘a.k.a. Chriswaterguy’’15:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


Interesting info on harvesting methods from a radio program, Thirsty Communities - Harvesting the Rains in Rajasthan:

"the structures that harvest rain in India this way go by different names. There are talabs, beris, tankas, nadis, and many more, made out of brick, dung, earth - or today - concrete, all were designed to suit different locations and terrains."

"here in the Thar desert we’ve come up to one of the many types of water harvesting devices in this region. This is actually quite an old one, it was built about 50 or 60 years ago by the local community here. And in effect, it’s a large dug out depression in the earth. It’s probably a couple of hundred metres in diameter. The idea is that it captures the rain, and people can walk down the stairs that are just to one side and take water from this, which effectively looks like a big pond."

"as well as providing drinking water it’s allowing them to grow trees and a fruit orchard on their parched lands."

The program describes a taanka which harvests rainwater, with an artificial catchment constructed by the people. It's a "big round structure raised up above the ground, but dug deep cylindrically into the depths of the earth, and the catchment is sort of a raised earth around it." Wells for India have adapted this traditional method:

  • adding silt catchers (a "little depression on the side" - I guess this means the rain has to collect in a shallow depression and run over into the storage, so that silt collects in the depression); and
  • paving the surface to increase runoff.

Links to various sites, and organizations such as Wells for India are given at the end of the page[1]. --Singkong2005 ‘‘a.k.a. Chriswaterguy’’15:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Does storage info belong in this article?[edit]

Or should the article just link to Water tank?

Once that is decided, Rainwater tank should be made either a redirect or a disambig page. --Singkong2005 ‘‘a.k.a. Chriswaterguy’’(t - c - WPID) 04:58, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it should. Rainwater tanks can be quite different in construction from regular tanks, mainly because one looks for the most cost effective solution in the developing world, which may involve constructing the sides out of clay and digging the tank into the ground.

My concern is say this were used for a course at wikiversity, those needing to know about tanks used for harvesting rainwater do not need to know about water tanks in general. JHJPDJKDKHI! 20:26, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Methods and Calcs[edit]

I'm going to try to get around to expanding the section on 'systems' because IMHO it's sorely deficient now. Additios on calcs (x inches / 1000sq = x litres) is easily researched and mandatory when considering a catchment system. Useful materials for construction would be useful as well. I realize most of this sort of info (and more) is likely obtainable by following some of the external links at the bottom of the page, but as I'm understanding this to be an intended self-sufficient article (rather than a direction to outside resources) there's still *lots* to be added to the page regarding the practicalities of building a catchment system --—Preceding unsigned comment added by Dirtyharry2 (talkcontribs) 13 September 2006

Good, but see comment below, re putting "how-to" info at Appropedia. --Chriswaterguy talk 02:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

No they shoul be seperte I have my reasons...

latest additions[edit]

Cheers for the additions. There are alot of references there. JHJPDJKDKHI! 01:35, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

A lot of good stuff there. However, I'm concerned that it's looking a bit like a how-to, and some of it might get deleted due to the WP:NOT policy:
Wikipedia articles should not include instructions or advice (legal, medical, or otherwise), suggestions, or contain "how-to"s. This includes tutorials, walk-throughs, instruction manuals, video game guides, and recipes.
The idea is that how-tos can go elsewhere, which is fair enough, e.g. Wikibooks or Appropedia. I believe Appropedia: Rainwater harvesting is the best place (disclosure: [[Appropedia: User:Chriswaterguy|I’m an Appropedia admin).
Anyway, deciding which bits are okay to stay here and which should get transwikied to Appropedia looks like a fairly subtle task which will take a bit of work. --Chriswaterguy talk 02:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

In England[edit]

I added a line about the use of water butts for the collection of rain. This is becoming more popular with the prevelance of hose-pipe bans. Probably it's true outside of England too - but I don't have any sources... My new-build house comes with a water butt included in the deal... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Picture added[edit]

I added a schematic picture (

A domestic rainwater harvesting system

) Please do not remove as it provides extra info with the article.


KVDP (talk) 06:18, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I suggest you fix the white point so that the background is flat white. That will make the diagrams look a lot more professional. -- (talk) 22:57, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Wow, these photos look unbelievably unprofessional. (talk) 06:25, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Merge Rainwater tank and Rainwater harvesting?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No consensus = no merge. -- P 1 9 9 • TALK 14:46, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

I am suggesting a merge of these two articles, you can't have one with out the other. The article Rainwater tank is contains a lot about the how (Rainwater harvesting) and the how contains a lot about the with (Rainwater tank). Jeepday (talk) 00:58, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

They're both reasonably long articles about well defined areas. Rainwater harvesting does not require rainwater tanks (other reservoirs are also used), and rainwater tanks are only one part of harvesting. Why the need to merge the articles? There is some overlap, but it's acceptable. —Pengo 04:43, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't make sense to me, why merge an activity with a device used to do it, it would be like merging digging with shovel --UltraMagnus (talk) 21:10, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I too support the merging of these two articles.- Shouvik Ganguly

you have not even written the meanig of rain water harvesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:09, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

It certainly seems like there is disconnect between the concepts of "rainwater harvesting" and "rain tanks" certainly not a philosophical issue sensu: "digging and shovel", but more an issue of semantics. Since both articles contain unique and complementary information I support merging the articles or building a stronger link between the two.Liquidjungle (talk) 19:18, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Rain barrels are generally small rainwater tanks, which are definitely cisterns, but these are a single specific example of rain harvesting technology. I would not merge an encyclopedia article about Jazz with one about music, and I don't agree with this merger. They need to be well linked, not merged. I believe Rainwater harvesting is a category of system that rain tanks belong to.

A storage pond is not often considered to be a tank, yet may be used to make rainwater available for irrigation. Another example of water harvesting in arid locations is to selectively clear plants that waste water from a hillside, expose rocks as mulch to minimize evapotranspiration, and grow vegetables in the receiving low area. Still the term rainwater harvesting appears to most commonly refer to water collection from rain for use as drinking water. These systems often involve rejection of the initial dirty rinse of rain water, and subsequently filter the water.

Rain barrels in the USA are more complex than buckets in that they often screen out mosquitoes and debris, but anything that filters water to where people may safely drink it is referred to as a rain harvesting system. The semantics of these terms is evolving, yet meaningful distinctions appear to already exist between these terms.--Brian Ashman (talk) 02:48, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

As said in the first paragraph you cannot have one without the other. To put it simply a Rainwater_tank is a only a component of Rainwater_harvesting.--Felipekovacic (talk) 01:09, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


The pictures on top of the article arent really good. The stepwell can remain, but I suggest changing the johad to a picture of a rooftop rainwater harvesting system. The johad can be placed in the section with groundwater recharge.

Rainwater harvesting system with hydraulic ram[edit]

I recently became aware of Heron's fountain. After some research, I noticed that the Hydraulic_ram operates similarly. I was thinking about whether it would be possible to use a hydraulic ram pump, together with a main water reservoir on a roof (for height) i order to make a continuous (self-pumping, without electricity) system for supplying water.

Yes, but it will waste more water than it pumps. If the wasted water goes to good cleaning and irrigation uses, than one may get a smaller volume of pressurized water to store at a higher elevation, or immediately force through filters, spray emitters, or more convenient spigots. In this way energy not needed for a low pressure application, can theoretically be transferred to enable a higher pressure application.--Brian Ashman (talk) 03:20, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Re-insert images[edit]

Pressurized rooftop rainwater harvester

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Please re-insert my images and recommendations (grafity-fed systems, ...) I added the commercial products simply to demonstrate cost-saving features used by them. Categories are removed aswell.

Another schematic I have found of a system is the following: (it includes 2 pumps)


This should be worked out better. A example of a selfpurifying rainwater filter is avialable at —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Try again[edit]

I reverted to a better older version. Re-examine the new info added since then and improve from old version. Leave pictures or make better ones. I put in allot of work, its better article, so start again. Thanks, (talk) 19:26, 6 February 2009 (UTC)


I heard on NPR that it was illegal to collect your rainwater and snow in the state of Colorado. Does anybody know if that's right? -- (talk) 03:18, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Correct. It is still basically illegal for residents of Colorado to collect rainwater. To collect rainwater, you have to have an existing well permit, and your residence may not be connected to a city water supply. The interpretation by water board lists all 6 requirements you must meet in order to legally harvest rainwater in Colorado. Statute as passed. The hurdles are set high enough to keep it illegal in Colorado for more than 90% of the people living here. Tangurena (talk) 03:11, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Sorry I didn't log in Friday. I found this article [2] from a Colorado Springs newspaper. Apparently it's less illegal than it used to be, but "don't install a barrel under your gutter spout just yet." Is this noteworthy enough to include in the article? Do other states do this? -W0lfie (talk) 17:10, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Good to include this in Talk:Rainwater harvesting, but too local to include such depth in this article except as a topic of legal aspects. Long articles load too slow. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BrianAsh (talkcontribs) 04:05, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Recent story: Gary Harrington, Oregon Resident, Sentenced To Jail For Stockpiling Rainwater --George100 (talk) 06:48, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Seems, harvesting was illegal in Utah too: [ Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water] by Mike Adams (Editor of July 26, 2010; Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Utah? (blog, May 30, 2009). There is also some survey here: State Rainwater Harvesting Statues, Programs and Legislation, NCSL 2012 `a5b (talk) 03:27, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Last edit[edit]

The last edit had interesting information. However it belongs in a different article. This was about water harvesting before it reaches the aquifer recharge zone. The inserted text was about helping the aquifer recharge. I think it belongs in an aquifer related article. Sidelight12 Talk 16:25, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Techniques in Africa[edit]

Hi, I can't find information about water harvesting techniques in Africa, how come? Nakalema (talk) 07:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

missing references[edit]

HI? There seems to be little said about harvesting techniques in Africa.How can we improve on this?Onyangoachieng (talk) 07:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

missing references[edit]

Hello, when I read the article I noticed it misses some references. How can we improve on this?Nakalema (talk) 07:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

missing reality[edit]

Hello when i read through your article i noticed that Kitakapeter (talk) 07:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Hallo, i noticed the article misses some references, how can i improve on this?Lvceepkenya (talk) 07:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Techniques in Africa[edit]

Hi, I go through the article and I did not find techniques in Africa. How can we improve this? Mwasiti.rashid (talk) 08:13, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Additional RWH How-to section[edit]

Hi, I'm a new editor to Wikiversity, and have recently put up about 40 pages of best practices on how to do rainwater harvesting. I wanted to include links to my pages on this page in Wikipedia, but so far have no found a good place for them. Since there are so many pages, I was trying to put links, but Wikipedia moderators do not like long link lists. So they suggested I start the topic here, so see if anyone had any ideas. It feels like important information, because there is no "how-to" info on this page so far, so it could really expand the topic to a whole new level of usefulness for users. Here is the main page in Wikiversity: Does anyone have any ideas, maybe longer term editors, what do you think? I wanted to create a section called "How to do Rainwater Harvesting", but it would mainly consist of links to these already built pages, so I'm trying to think of a way to avoid that. Any ideas? Thanks. --Winona (talk) 03:37, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

@Winona: Per WP:NOTGUIDE, you can't add "how-to" content to Wikipedia. But, you could link mentions of topics covered in the Wikiversity page, e.g., "Rainwater can be collected from rivers or roofs". Some sentences might have to be re-worded/added to let you do that, and you can do that without sources if the content is obviously true (to everyone), like the example before. Also, I've added a {{sister project links}} box which contains a link to the Wikiversity article. EdwardH (talk) 10:09, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you @Edward! The sister project is a good idea, although the one you put on there is at the bottom of the page and it's not clear that it's going directly to the Rainwater Harvesting page in Wikiversity, so I fear users will not think to click there. Would it be okay to put a more specific box in the intro paragraph? Since this is where the general rainwater harvesting information is based. I.e. since the reference to the page in Wikiversity is also a general reference to a lot more information on the topic. We could specifically mention the word "rainwater harvesting" in the sister pages box, so people understand it is very much related. Currently I have edited the first paragraph to include some key words to some of the Wikiversity pages, that was a good idea too. I hope this is okay. I edited the paragraph a bit as well, since the grammar was not quite right and some repetitions existed. Thanks again for your help. --Winona (talk) 00:38, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
@Winona: Good work on the edits. I'm afraid the sister link boxes can only go at the bottom article. Also, the sister pages already mentions rainwater harvesting: at the top it says "Find more about Rainwater harvesting" which heavily implies the Wikiversity link will go to a page on Rainwater harvesting. So I don't think there's anything we need to do about the link box. EdwardH (talk) 15:27, 13 August 2015 (UTC)