Rain Water Harvesting

Fact: The Jaisalmer region has India's lowest average annual rainfall - 250mm – but the highest human population density and a substantial cattle density in comparison to other desert areas. Securing the availability of water through traditional water conservation practices has been the main reason for such a phenomenon. Local water conservation takes three major forms:

Rainwater falling in the catchment area is collected in village ponds (Madi) and tanks. The water collected is locally referred to as PalarPani.

The natural percolation of rainwater is accessed through traditional wells, called Beri. The locals refer to this water asRejaniPani.

Paar is a common water harvesting practice in the western Rajasthan region, a collective method of maximizing the catchment of water percolating into the sandy soil. In order to access the RejaniPani (percolated water) beri's, normally 5-12 meters deep, are dug in the agar (catchment area), constructed with traditional masonry technology. A typical Paar consists of six to ten such Beris, rising to as many as 20 in the Jaisalmer district, depending on the agar.