Ahar pynes should be built in areas which have high water table/recurring flood problem.
Ahars are reservoirs with embankments on three sides while pynes are diversion channels laid from the river or catchment area for impounding water in the Ahars.
Thus, an ahar resembles a rectangular catchment basin with only three embankments, and the fourth side left open for the drainage water to enter the catchment basin following the natural gradient of the area.
Water supply for an ahar comes either from natural drainage after rainfall (rainfed ahars) or through pynes where necessary diversion works are carried out.
Water for irrigation is drawn out by opening outlets made at different heights in the embankment.
Setting up Ahar pynes requires thorough assesment at the pre-construct stage. Geological investigations will need to be done for an assessment of the line of drainage and natural gradient of the area.
Appropriate regulatory mechanisms for water sharing need to be followed. Most common system of water distribution is that the water first goes to the upper reach field which is closest to the irrigation channel and then goes to the next field. As pynes served many villages, each village had its fixed turn of days and hours to have the water.
Community participation is needed for maintenance and upkeep of Ahar-pyne system. The routine upkeep work involves cleaning and desilting of ahar and pyne and maintaining the water conveyance network, while the system is in operation. Hence, these ordinary maintenance activities, such as the periodic clearance of silt, the repair of small branches of the ahars and field channels is taken up by the cultivators themselves.