Unique Rainwater harvesting by Australian farmer

Hi all,
can we do something like this in India , and what modifications to this will be needed.
benefits are large amount of water in small catchment area, no need of well , bore-well.
http: //www.climatekelpie.com.au/farmers-managing-risk/farmer-case-studies/mark-a-andrea-hannemann


You have shared a part of it.

Attached the actual setup.

My 2 cents;

A)Though the tyres on top of the pond liner seems innovative, cost needs to be compared with other methods available
B)Unless you cover the slope and collect it there’s no meaning to such setup. “Slope” Please remember
C)How many of us can sacrifice such a large area for catchment?



Hi Saravana,
thanks for giving it a thought,
also requesting other seniors to comment.

my idea to use this in Indian context is like below,
this is theoretical as of now , so please share your valuable opinion about it’s viability.

let’s take a case of 3 acre dry land with average seasonal(June-Aug) rainfall of 450mm.

  1. have contour map of your field.
  2. create a farm pond with 15-20 lac liter capacity(depends on owns water requirement) at the lowest point of field.
  3. select 1 acre (4000 sq.m.) out of these 3 , having good slope towards lowest point/farm pond.
  4. in this 1 acre ,create ridges from highest to lowest point, with 9 feet spacing in between them.
  5. get 30 micron mulching sheet rolls of 10 feet width for the size of 4000 sq.m.
  6. properly lay this sheet along the ridges and cover it up with soil of ridges at both edges.
  7. activities 4,5,6 to be done just a week before monsoon start may be June first week.

Maths: 4000 sq.m. x 0.45 m (for 450mm) = 1800 cubic meter = 18 lac liter.  ==>
consider losses of 20 % ==> 18 x 0.8 = 14.4 lac liters ==> good enough for irrigating 3 acre.

farm pond might fill completely in Aug or by mid Sept. depending on rain of particular year,
once farm pond 90/95% filled , remove mulching sheet.
so this 1 acre is covered for 3-3.5 months and usable for 8.5-9 months.
farm pond capacity shall be such that water lasts till July of next year.

sounds bit of a work , but if it works this can convert dry land to irrigated one with lower costs
as compared to
a. dug well ,in some areas like mine, this can cost roughly 5 lac Rs for 80-100 feet deep well , moreover it can dry out by Jan.
b. bore well can cost up to 1.25 lac if ground water is very deep 800-1000 feet.
and first bore well may fail so 2 or even 3 attempts might be needed. that too can dry out starting Jan/Feb.

in summer water availability is generally lower ,so relatively lower supply of some produce, better prices can be realized if there is water.

farm pond is anyways needed even if you have dug well/bore-well etc.
4000 sq.m. mulching sheet can cost 16000-18000, making ridges+ laying cover shall cost roughly 2000/3000 Rs.
mulching sheet can be stored for use in next 2/3 years or can be used same year for mulching crops by cutting it into half or 1/3 width.
effective cost per year comes to nearly 5000 Rs.

this will benefit especially those having dry land and want to avoid initial cost for making it irrigated.
please share your views about economics,practicality,sustainability etc…

pdipak…Just brilliant.

this is good thinking. what needs to now be added is the opportunity cost of that one acre. thank you for highlighting this simple but effective method.