Some of the traditional water harvesting systems are discussed below:
1. Rajasthan-Based Paar:
Paar was a harvesting practice used in the desert areas of Rajasthan. This involved collecting rainwater from the catchment to let it percolate into the soil. The water in the soil was then accessed by masonry construction of dugs (kuis) in the storage area. The kuis are about 5 m to 12 m deep.
These have been popular since the days of the kings. Talaabs are reservoirs—natural (as in Bundelkhand) or man-made (as in Udaipur). These reservoirs were used to meet irrigation and drinking water requirements. These constructions lasted only as long as the monsoon. Post-monsoon, the beds of these water bodies were cultivated with rice.
3. Saza kuva:
These wells were initiated on a partnership basis. With multiple users, these saza kuvas were primarily used for irrigation. A group of farmers usually had one made amongst themselves.
These are earthen check dams that were meant to collect rainwater. Because of their earthen nature, water percolated easily into these systems. They resulted in tremendous rise of the groundwater levels.
The pats of the Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh are irrigation panels. These irrigation panels are fed using water that is diverted from fast moving hill streams.