Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

Volume 1, 2nd Edition

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Volume 1 E2 cover 1301

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain Into Your Life and Landscape

Selected Content, Including Appendix 6 Resources

Praise for Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands & Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd edition

Additional Testimonials

Book Reviews

Book Awards

Book Specs

Press Release

Turn water scarcity into water abundance! Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, is the best-selling, award-winning guide on how to conceptualize, design, and implement life-enhancing water-, sun-, wind-, and shade-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. This book enables you to assess your on-site resources, gives you a diverse array of strategies to maximize their potential, and empowers you with guiding principles to create an integrated, multi-functional plan specific to your site and needs.

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain Into Your Life and Landscape

Clearly written with more than 280 illustrations, this volume helps transform your site from a consumer of resources to a producer of resources; reduce your cost of living; endow you with skills of self-reliance; and create community-building, living, air-conditioning vegetation that grows beauty, food, carbon-sequestration, flood-control, and wildlife habitat. Stories of people who are successfully welcoming rain, sun, wind, and shade into their life and landscape will invite you to do the same!

This new 2nd Edition
• Adds over 120 new images, revisions of over 40 illustrations, for a total of over 280 images within this book
• Updates the real-life case studies to show their ongoing evolution (chapters 1 and 5)
• Adds more tools for integrating the harvest and enhancement of multiple free, on-site resources—such as wind, sun, and shade—in addition to water (chapter 4)
• Completely renovates the approach to seeing, understanding, and responding to flows of water and sediment (appendix 1)
• Dramatically expands a tool for tracking the seasonally changing path of the sun and its shadow, anytime and anywhere on earth (appendix 7).

In addition, this 2nd Edition provides the following new resources:
• One-Page Place Assessments, a tool to deepen your awareness of—and connection with—the place where you live, and to help amplify its regenerative potential (chapter 2)
• A harvest calendar of regional native, wild, and cultivated foods that can be used as a template for your area (appendix 4)
• An appendix to help you see, understand, and respond to the flow of wind and what comes with it, including soil, snow, heat, cold, fire, etc (appendix 8)
• An appendix describing the Water-Energy-Carbon Nexus, the myriad connections between these inputs and outputs, and how you can determine your lowest-energy-consuming, -water-consuming, and -carbon-emitting sources of water, energy, and more (appendix 9).

Harvesting and cycling water and sun.
Illustration by Joe Marshall.

Selected Content

Praise for Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd edition

“This wonderful book overflows with effective ways to beneficially cycle and enhance local water supplies, while maximizing power from the sun. It provides much-needed guidance and ideas on how to meet our resource needs, increase household and community potential, and protect the ecosystems upon which we all depend.”

— Sandra Postel, founding director, Global Water Policy Project; Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society; author of Last Oasis

“In an age of enormous, industrial questions about resources, this book is an antidote. In these pages are solutions on a human scale, taking water not from massive reservoirs or river diversions but straight from the sky.”

—Craig Childs, author of The Secret Knowledge of Water

“Though a bizarre irony, rainwater in the arid west is typically deflected away from water-starved land and shunted off to storm drains at great expense. Not so in Brad Lancaster’s universe. He welcomes rainwater into the landscape with creativity, intelligence, and humor, and puts it to use growing and enhancing all kinds of resources, while reducing flooding and erosion, and enlivening the urban environment. In this new edition of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, he welcomes us to join him in exercising the radical common sense of harvesting rainwater melded with the harvests of sun, wind, carbon, and more.”

— Ann Audrey, Environmental Consultant for integrating rainwater harvesting, habitat restoration, and edible trees

“This applies twice as much to the second edition: Buy this book now. If you live in a dry place, buy it. If you live somewhere subject to droughts (which is everywhere), buy it. The simple techniques (and the principles behind them) can help you save bundles of money, and make the landscape around you more productive and beautiful, with less work and upkeep than you can imagine. Lend it to your neighbors, and you’ll benefit as well. (Heck—buy them each a copy.) This how-to manual has enough stories, illustrations, and simple ideas to inspire even the most unhandy among us (such as myself). Buy it, try a couple of projects in your backyard, and in a few years be sure to send Brad and me a thank you note!”

— Kevin Dahl, former Executive Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH, and author of Wild Foods of the Sonoran Desert and Native Harvest: Gardening with Authentic Southwestern Crops

Book awards (2nd edition)

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, was selected as a pick for the 2013 Southwest Book of the Year by the Pima County Public Library. www.library.pima.gov/books/swboy/2013/broyles.php

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, was selected by Kirkus as one of the Best Indie Books of 2013 in the Nonfiction category.

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, won the 2013 USA Best Book award in the General Home book category. www.usabooknews.com/2013awardannouncement.html

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, is a Foreword Reviews’ 2013 Book of the Year Award Finalist. botya.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2013/home-and-garden

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, is a 2014 Nautilus Book Award Silver winner.  www.nautilusbookawards.com/2014_SILVER_Winners.html

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, is a 2014 Living Now Book Awards Bronze Medal Winner in the Gardening/Farming/Landscaping category.

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, is a 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist.

Book awards (1st edition)

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, won Best How-To Book in the 2009 DIY Book Festival, which honors independent and self-published books. www.diyreporter.com/news/news2.asp?news2_id=436

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1,
awarded Best Gardening/Agriculture Book and Best First Book in the 2007 Arizona/Glyph Book Awards. azbookpub.com/onews/2007-arizona-book-award-winners/

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, has been awarded the Silver Medal in the 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards Home and Garden category. www.independentpublisher.com/article/php?page=1157

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, selected as a pick for the 2006 Southwest Book of the Year by the Pima County Public Library. www.tppl.org/books/swboy/2006/gilbert.php

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, has been selected as a finalist in Foreword Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year Awards. www.forewordmagazine.com/botya/search2k6.aspx?srchtype=category&srchval=26

Book specifications (2nd edition)

  • ISBN 978-0-9772464-3-4
  • Published by Rainsource Press
  • Distributed in North America by Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1 (800) 639-4099
  • $29.95
  • Paperback
  • 8.5″ X 11″
  • 304 pages
  • Over 280 illustrations; index; bibliography; six appendices including patterns of water and sediment flow, water-harvesting traditions, calculations, plant lists, worksheets, sun paths and angles, wind harvesting, water-energy-carbon nexus, and resource lists.
  • Foreword by Gary Paul Nabhan
  • Printed in the U.S.A. on 100% post consumer recycled paper, processed chlorine free
  • Categories: water harvesting, landscape design, passive solar design, ecology, sustainable strategies
  • Release date: June 2013

Press Release

Download Volume 1 2nd Edition Press Release in PDF format

Contact: Brad Lancaster, author

********************** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **********************

New Book Offers Ingeniously Simple Strategies
To Catch and Upcycle
Free Water from the Rain, Street, and Drain…

While Also Harvesting Winter Sun & Summer Shade,
Enlivening Neighborhoods, and Building Community

The world’s dwindling water resources, droughts, and storms of growing severity have been identified as a global crisis in the making. Despite this context, the average U.S. household uses 30–50 percent of its annual drinking water (imported from off-site) exclusively for landscape irrigation. Yet homeowners, neighborhoods, schools, and businesses can replace nearly all of that with water derived from three free, sustainable on-site sources: rainwater, stormwater runoff, and greywater. Using these sources, water scarcity can be turned into water abundance, floods into harvests, and temperature extremes can be mitigated while saving—or even earning—us money.

The newly revised and expanded 2nd edition of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape, shows you how with myriad tools, illustrations, stories, and examples. The book enables you to see and realize the bountiful potential of your site’s free on-site resources—beginning with the planting of the rain within simple earthworks or “rain gardens.”

“It costs as little as the price of a shovel to change the topography of your yard and public right-of-way in a way that generates more life by harvesting resources rather than draining them,” says Lancaster. “The idea is to create bowl-like earthworks—simple landforms such as basins and contour berms—that catch all free, on-site waters (including air conditioner condensate). That water then infiltrates into the soil, rather than running down the storm and sewer drains. Likewise,” Lancaster goes on to note, “we can capture fallen leaves and mulched yard trimmings in these same earthworks—rather than getting rid of this nutrient-rich organic matter—to further build the soil’s fertility, water-holding capacity, and ability to filter pollutants and sequester carbon.”

Lancaster’s book explains how water and fertility, harvested in the basin-like rain gardens, are in turn accessed by “living pumps” of vegetation in the landscape. Such “pumps” include strategically placed food-bearing trees, which help to shade buildings and streets in summer and let in light and heat in winter. This helps to reduce the “heat-island” effect in cities, decreases the energy needed to heat and cool buildings, and provides home-grown food and community feasts—all while helping replenish and clean local waters and air. Furthermore, the book shows how these rain-irrigated trees can be placed to deflect cold winter winds, while augmenting cooling summer breezes.

Step inside your home or building as you read the book, and you’ll learn how window and door choices, placement, retrofits, and sizing, along with roof overhang or awning design and the orientation of the building or its add-on can further enhance the free seasonal harvest or deflection of wind, sun, and shade for dramatic utility savings and greater comfort.

Example stories and strategies include:
• How neighbors are coming together to plant their streetscapes with food-bearing native shade trees irrigated with stormwater runoff harvested from the streets. This has reduced summer temperatures by 10? F (5.5? C), enabled two dozen previously absent species of native songbirds to repopulate the neighborhood, and supported the growth of naturally-sweet mesquite pods that neighbors make $25 per hour harvesting, milling, and selling as delicious flour at the community’s annual mesquite fiesta and chow down.

• How a one-car garage was retrofitted into a naturally/freely heated and cooled cottage, or garottage, simply by designing the placement and size of windows, roof overhang, awning, and landscape to passively harvest winter sun, summer shade, and cooling breezes in a way that simultaneously enabled the neighbors to do likewise.

• How an African farmer figured out how to turn an eroded wasteland into an oasis, then taught thousands of others to do the likewise simply by planting the rain.

• How you can do the same and more.

“This how-to manual has enough stories, illustrations and simple ideas to inspire even the most unhandy among us.”
—Kevin Dahl, Executive Director, Native Seeds/SEARCH

“This book is where to start with environmental restoration… the lessons are universal and useful wherever you live.”
—John Todd, Ph.D., President, Ocean Arks International

Videos of Brad’s work:
Free Water

American Oasis

Sun & Shade Harvesting Awning and Roof Overhang

Brad’s other award-winning, best-selling book:
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2: Water-Harvesting Earthworks

More information at www.HarvestingRainwater.com

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The Umbrella: Winter 2015–16

A catch-all of resources,
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Winter 2015–16
What more meaningful way to celebrate the approaching SOLSTICE (Winter Solstice is December 21 this year in Tucson) than by engaging with, noticing, and highlighting the 23.44º tilt of the Earth? After all, this tilt is what gives us our seasonally changing sun […]

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