A Taanka is a community and individual based traditional rainwater harvesting technique indigenous to the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. The taanka takes the form of a covered, underground water-tank, generally made of stone, brick or concrete. Once constructed, it collects and stores rainwater (primarily received during the monsoon season), either from roof rainwater harvesting structures (link) or from artificially prepared catchments that surround the tank.
Once completely filled, the water stored in a taanka can last throughout the dry season, and is enough for a family of 5-6 members. Most taankas have a capacity of around 21,000 litres, but larger ones can be constructed where resources are available.
The taankas we build with our partner organisations in Rajasthan save families – and particularly women and girls – from the everyday drudgery of fetching water from distant, often unreliable and potentially contaminated sources of water.