India Placeholder

Drought mitigation

About the Implementing organization

Name: GRAVIS - Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti

Country: India

Year of establishment: 1983

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status / Community enterprise or business / Women’s association or organization / Indigenous group or organization / Ethnic minority group or association / Youth group or association


Indigenous Technology for Drought Mitigation:

Taanka (drinking water storage tanks)- This method for collecting water consists of a covered cylindrical tank with the capacity to store between 18,000 and 20,000 L of water. Water is gathered in one of two ways: either a rooftop catchment which pipes water into the unit, or a groundwater catchment area where water pours in through a grate on the side. One taanka can support a family of 10 for 4-6 months of the year.

Beri (percolation wells)- These large underground water storage percolators are covered with a concrete top and gather ground water during monsoon season. These wells can store up to 500,000 L of water and do not require a pump, making them easy for villagers to fix and maintain. This traditional method of water gathering uses no artificial catchment and holds enough water to sustain a family of 10 all year round. To date, GRAVIS has built 563 beris.

Naadi (village ponds)- These village ponds are natural collections of rainwater which provide an open source of water to entire villages. In order to remove silt and debris, they have been building short loose rock structures in the water pathway to the naadi to keep gravel, sand, and other material from entering the pond. These rocky borders also help to replenish the soil outside the naadi with moisture and fertile topsoil. Natural vegetation grows easily in these areas and helps to further reduce soil erosion and silting of the naadi.

Nature Element


Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Water security / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

It is very difficult to summarize all the impacts of making local village life sustainable. By preventing displacement from drought, and forced migration - every aspect of a family and communities' life is effected by these actions. Children are able to maintain access to education, gender equity is within reach for women, and generations of families have increased choices about livelihood and civic engagement.

Sustainable Development Impacts

By using indigenous technology for water collection and retention, bore welling is avoided and water tables can be maintained for generations. Families are able to maintain life in the desert, even as temperatures fluctuate dangerously due to climate change. And finally, local economies are built and maintained for generations.


GRAVIS now serves over 1.2 million people, through 1300 local communities. These methodologies could be used in any community, regardless of topography or demographics.


GRAVIS has replicated its own models hundreds of times. Additionally, it has been training organizations in East Africa, West Africa, and other parts of Asia over the last decade.

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