INDIA, July 15, 2016 (The Better India): We all know water is essential, but too many of us think it's unlimited. In reality, fresh water is a finite resource that is rapidly becoming scarce. In India, a warming climate is drying up lakes and rivers, while rapid urbanization and water pollution are putting enormous pressure on the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater. The country's fragile agricultural system still depends primarily on rainfall and a bad monsoon season can wreck havoc on the national economy. Water conservation is a key element of any strategy that aims to alleviate the water scarcity crisis in India. With rainfall patterns changing almost every year, the Indian government has started looking at means to revive the traditional systems of water harvesting in the country. Given that these methods are simple and eco-friendly for the most part, they are not just highly effective for the people who rely on them but they are also good for the environment.
History tells us that both floods and droughts were a regular occurrence in ancient India. Perhaps this is why every region in the country has its own traditional water harvesting techniques that reflect the geographical peculiarities and cultural uniqueness of the regions. The basic concept underlying all these techniques is that rain should be harvested whenever and wherever it falls. Archaeological evidence shows that the practice of water conservation is deep rooted in the science of ancient India. Excavations show that the cities of the Indus Valley Civilization had excellent systems of water harvesting and drainage. Drawing upon centuries of experience, Indians continued to build structures to catch, hold and store monsoon rainwater for the dry seasons to come. These traditional techniques, though less popular today, are still in use and efficient.
For a brief account of the unique water conservation systems prevalent in India, see "source" above.