A rural community at Gendathur village in H.D. Kote taluk has shown the way forward in handling water scarcity in the district by installing the rainwater harvesting (RWH) system.

Supported by the Mysore Zilla Panchayat in consultation with MYRADA, an NGO, and U.N. Ravikumar, environmentalist, the village began experimenting in 2003 when 20 houses installed the RWH system.

On perceiving its immediate benefits, the number of houses with RWH went up to 137 in 2005 and further increased to 157 in 2009. With large storage tanks, majority of the households in the village meet their basic needs through rainwater harvesting alone.

With 10 to 15 fillings, each household harvests almost 60,000 litres that lasts them throughout the year, said Mr. Ravikumar. He said that the project was implemented on cost-sharing basis.

Though located close to the Kabini backwaters, the water here used to be muddy and women had to walk long distances to fetch water. Now water is available throughout the year and the drudgery associated with collecting water has been removed, he said.

Installing RWH has made the community self-sufficient and there is reduced dependence on water from outside, he added.