Kothamangalam in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu faces a scarcity of water and residents have to travel at least 1 km daily to fetch water.

M Veeramani’s wife Vanitha urged him to look for a solution for their water woes.

On a rainy day, the 36-year-old decided to store the rainwater in all the buckets and pots they had to save it. This was sufficient to meet their needs for the next two to three days.

He then started working on building a rainwater harvesting system in early 2018. It took him several attempts over three months and cost Rs 1.5 lakh.

He restored a well in his house and devised a system where the rainwater landing on the roof would get collected in the well through pipes.

He did this by opening the well and digging down 15 feet and adding a concrete frame.

He designed channels on either side of the roof from where the water flows into the pipes and empties into the well, which has a capacity of 18,000 litres.

The water is used for irrigation on his four-acre farm and household purposes.

During the Gaja Cyclone in November 2018, the entire town of Kothamangalam used the water from the well.

Inspired by him, several other households have started harvesting rainwater as Pudukkottai faces a lot of water shortages.

Borewells too have dried up and it would cost farmers Rs 10 lakhs to dig deeper.

“I hope more people in my village practice rainwater harvesting. They will have an abundance of water if each one sets up this system at home. We wouldn’t have to depend on municipal water, which is erratic in its supply,” says Veeramani.