Chennai: While the state had faced one of its worst water crises this year, Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami on Thursday (August 8) appealed to people and urged them to save rainwater. He also reminded the people of the "grand" rainwater harvesting (RWH) scheme guided in by former Tamil Nadu chief minister late J Jayalalithaa in 2001.

Palaniswami said the former chief minister had introduced the rainwater harvesting scheme as she placed great importance on natural resources to meet water requirements.

In a video message, he pointed out that saint-poet Thiruvalluvar had stressed on the importance of water in his "Thirukkural", a collection of 1,330 couplets dealing with various aspects of life, saying the world cannot function without water.

Also watch: Tamil Nadu CM drops IT minister Manikandan from Cabinet 

"The credit for enacting a law to save rainwater goes to Amma (J Jayalalithaa)," he said.

"I request every individual to volunteer to implement this grand scheme of Amma to ensure copious availability of water for the betterment of themselves and help Tamil Nadu remain a prosperous state," the chief minister said in the video.

Tamil Nadu, especially capital Chennai, experienced one of its worst water crises this summer, with a weak northeast monsoon in 2018 failing to fill up the reservoirs feeding the city.

Tankers have been pressed to quench citizens' thirst, even as rains of late have brought some respite, though all eyes lie on the ensuing northeast monsoon (October-December) that brings the bulk of rainfall to the state.

Jayalalithaa launched the RWH scheme while she was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in the year 2001 following a similar dry patch then wherein she made it mandatory for homes and other buildings to set up the necessary infrastructure for rainwater collected on building tops to be let into the soil directly, to recharge groundwater.

The aim then was to enhance both the quality and quantity of groundwater.