Historical evidences show that villagers were involved in various functions such as construction, repair work and maintenance of rainwater harvesting structures. They were directly involved in land transactions, distribution of water, collection of cess, maintenance of records, dispute settlement related to water and to maintain cordial relationship with rulers. Village temples were also involved in the construction and maintenance of water tanks.
The tradition of water harvesting in India shows the reverence people had for water. Water was worshiped, saved and stored for use but never exploited.
(The writer is a Professor of Geology in Department of Civil Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology and can be contacted at [email protected])