A. Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting
  • Recharging through an Existing Borewell.
  • Recharging through an Injection Borewell.
  • Recharging through an Existing Dug well.

Know More...

B. Stormwater (surface runoff) Harvesting
  • Recharging through Shallow Trench.
  • Recharging through an Existing Borewell.
  • Recharging through an Injection Borewell.
  • Recharging through an Existing Dug well.

Know More...

C. Basement Seepage Water Harvesting
  • Recharging of Basement Seepage through an Existing Borewell.
  • Recharging of Shallow Basement Seepage through an Injection Borewell.

Know More...

D. Roadside Rainwater Harvesting
  • Footpath Rainwater Recharge.

Know More...

E. Storage of Harvested Rainwater
  • Over the Surface Tanks.
  • Below the Surface Tanks.

Know More...


Bhujal Abhiyan is a registered non-profit trust under Maharashtra Public Trust Act 1950. It works in the groundwater sector of Maharashtra, with a focus on urban areas.


To make all round efforts to maintain sustainability of groundwater resources. Bhujal Abhiyan is a mission spearheaded by a diverse group of technical experts, including hydrologists, geo-hydrologists, social workers, doctors, IT specialists, and others.


Enhance the ability of individuals and entities in urban areas to effectively manage groundwater resources by implementing strategies for governance, aquifer mapping, and Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as well as utilizing monitoring tools.

This mission collaborates with other organizations that share similar objectives, with the aim of promoting the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of urban groundwater resources.

Bhujal Abhiyan conducts awareness campaigns aimed at various stakeholders, which include Urban Local Bodies, Industry Associations, Academia, Institutions, and the public.

Bhujal Abhiyan is promoting scientific groundwater recharge along with Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, PMRDA (Pune Metropolitan and Regional Development Authority), MIDC, GSDA (Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency, Government of Maharashtra), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, Nagar Parishads, and many educational institutions.

Bhujal Abhiyan actively participates in the formation of policies and governance strategies for the groundwater sector. Bhujal Abhiyan stays connected with society through a YouTube channel as well as other social media, for dissemination of authentic technical knowledge and advice, related to groundwater management.


What is groundwater?

Water stored in underground porous rocks is groundwater. Groundwater occupies the pores inside the rock, as well as cracks and gaps in the rocks. The upper surface of this zone is termed as the water table (water level). The layers of porous (pervious) rocks that can store, and yield water are known as an “aquifer” or water carriers. Aquifers are a source of groundwater for wells, borewells, tubewells and natural springs.

Rainfall is the primary source of groundwater. Rainwater travels through the layers of soil to reach the aquifers and is stored there. However, they may come to the surface through springs and rivers and return to the atmosphere sooner or later. This is the Earth’s water cycle. Of the total freshwater available on Earth, 99% is from groundwater.

Bhujal Abhiyan has documented the artificial groundwater recharging methods for the benefit for the community. Rainwater Harvesting is preferable for Deccan trap/basaltic aquifer systems, the methods were grouped according to the source of the recharge water. For example, rooftop water, direct rainwater falling on footpaths, and stormwater flowing over the surface are the three different techniques for harvesting rainwater. The fourth technique involves the use of basement seepage water (springs present at the basements) for deep aquifer recharge. Last but not least, is the direct storage of rainwater either over the ground or below the ground. Drawings useful for execution are enclosed for ready reference.

In the last decade, the urban population has mainly been dependent on groundwater. The water supply from dams and lakes is already utilised. Groundwater is under the threat of over-exploitation because groundwater is limited. The primary reason for over-exploitation is the increasing number of borewells owing to their low-cost construction. Additionally, the water supply through tankers is also responsible for stress. The natural recharge of groundwater is affected by the cement roads, concrete buildings, and concrete footpaths. Underground parking in large buildings destroys aquifers completely. Consequently, groundwater levels are constantly decreasing in urban areas. Hence, groundwater requires artificial recharging by rainwater harvesting.

Approximately 90% of rural India’s drinking water comes from groundwater, 75% of agriculture is groundwater based and 50% of the water supply in urban India is groundwater based. Rainfall is a major source of groundwater recharge. Other sources, such as water conservation measures, canals, irrigated fields, surface water bodies are indirect measures and direct measures of artificial recharge, such as Recharge Shafts, are also sources of groundwater recharge.

We hope that the handbook will be useful for all engineers and all other stakeholders who are undertaking rainwater harvesting. The designs conformed to the IS standards and practices recommended by the GoI and GoM.

Founder’s Note

Science behind Rainwater Harvesting

In Maharashtra, the predominant aquifer is Deccan Trap (i.e. weathered vesicular or fractured, jointed massive Basalt). Mostly unconfined and annually replenishable aquifer is predominant and can be made sustainable through Managed Aquifer Recharge. Hence, Dug Wells are the most reliable source for groundwater withdrawal.

Due to technological advancements instead of dug wells the drilling of borewells is preferred in urban areas. But the yield of the borewells is not sustainable, as the deep aquifers are not that much productive and sustainable, like shallow & annually replenishable aquifers. Hence, they go dry after a few years. So, construction and use of dug wells in urban areas is the most dependable option.

The groundwater is a most reliable resource for drinking, domestic, irrigation and industrial uses in India. The increasing domestic demand of the Urban areas is being met through groundwater only. Because of excessive use of groundwater there is a threat of over-exploitation in urban areas. Over the years the groundwater level trend is declining. It warrants immediate need for Rainwater Harvesting in urban habitations to achieve sustainability of groundwater.

In urban areas the properties are mostly individually owned, or society owned, or industry/company owned. Amenity spaces or ULB owned open spaces/properties or Govt. owned spaces/properties are very limited. So, the ULBs have limitations for implementation of measures for artificial groundwater recharge in public owned properties. Hence, Individual level Rainwater Harvesting is the principal option for the artificial groundwater recharge in ULBs. This needs to be promoted by the ULBs.

Rainwater harvesting in urban areas is a simple but technical strategy by which rainwater falling over the city establishments is gathered and recharged underground or stored.

The body science and groundwater science are very similar. Hence, like a doctor, it is inevitable to take the scientific advice of a hydrogeologist.

The science of Hydrology & Hydrogeology plays a very vital role in Rainwater Harvesting. The methods included in the handbook are designed for specific capacity of rainfall-runoff & the hydrological properties of the aquifer/s. These two parameters are very important in deciding the type and dimensions of the RWH recharge structures. The drawings and designs need to be modified based on the availability of point runoff and water acceptability of the aquifer/s.

With Best Wishes,

Shashank Deshpande
Principal Author
MTech, (Hydrology), IIT Roorkee, M.Sc. (Tech) Applied Geology
Trustee - Bhujal Abhiyan Trust

Bhujal Abhiyan

Our Team

Bhujal Abhiyan Trust - Board of Trustees

Dr Himanshu Kulkarni

Shashank Deshpande

Dr Vishram Rajhans

Vaishali Patkar

Ravindra Sinha


We acknowledge the contributions of the following towards the content and drafting of the handbook:

Project support Wipro Foundation
Technical support Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM), Pune
Civil Engineering Interns from MIT Academy of Engineering, Alandi, Pune Ajay Borade
Shubham Aghav
Vijay Aghav
Pankaj Yadav
ACWADAM, Pune Dr. Himanshu Kulkarni
Mritunjay Vichare
Pratik Korde
Jairaj Rajguru
Bhujal Abhiyan Trust, Pune Shashank Deshpande
Dr. Vishram Rajhans
Design Consultant- Graphias Solutions Pvt Ltd, Pune Dr. Shrikant Gabale
Ar. Rutuja Shitole
We acknowledge the suggestions received from Vaishali Patkar, Pushkar Kulkarni and Swapnil Potdar.
Handbook layout design and website design of missiongroundwater.org is courtesy of TechPose supported by Social Innovation Lab - Pune International Centre.
The content of this publication can be used with proper attribution to the source. Any form of reproduction, storage, or transmission, including retrieval systems, requires prior written consent from the publisher. The handbook can be freely downloaded from our website.
Published by: Bhujal Abhiyan Trust, Baner Pashan Link Road, Pune 411 021.


Recommended Readings

  • Ground Water, C.F. Tolman, McGraw-Hill Book Company

  • Manual on Artificial Recharge of Groundwater, Central Groundwater Board, MoWR, GoI

  • Rainwater Harvesting Techniques to Augment Groundwater, Central Groundwater Board, MoWR, GoI

  • Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Guidelines, IS 15797: 2008,

  • Water Conservation Manual, Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency, MoDW, GoM

  • Recharge Priority Maps of Maharashtra, Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency, MoDW, GoM



Bhujal Abhiyan Trust, Baner Pashan Link Road, Pune 411 021