Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

Rainwater & Permaculture Handouts

Eight Water-Harvesting Principles

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The Eight Rainwater-Harvesting Principles appear in greater detail of both volumes of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, but can be downloaded here to get you started.

Calculating Rainfall Volumes

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Calculating Rainfall Volumes, from Volume 1, provides instructions and examples of how to determine how much rain, in English or metric units, falls on a catchment area in a given rainfall or an average year.

Calculating Runoff Volumes

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You can get a ballpark estimate of runoff volume from any sloped surface by multiplying the volume of rain that falls on that surface by its “runoff coefficient” — the average percentage of rainwater that runs off that type of surface. For example, a rooftop with a runoff coefficient of 0.95 estimates that 95% of the rain falling on that roof will run off. The runoff coefficient for any given surface depends on what the surface is composed of. Rainfall intensity, soil type, and vegetation density also affect the coefficient. Calculating Runoff Volumes, also from Volume 1, lists the runoff coefficients for several types of catchment surfaces and gives examples of how to use this number when calculating runoff volumes in metric or English units.

Sizing Water Tanks

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What Size Water Tank Do I Need – Student Version
This exercise was developed by Kendall Dunnigan at (OAEC) Occidental Arts and Ecology Center to help students design an integrated approach to water harvesting.

What Size Water Tank Do I Need – Teacher Version
This exercise was developed by Kendall Dunnigan at (OAEC) Occidental Arts and Ecology Center to help students design an integrated approach to water harvesting.

Permaculture Ethics and Design Principles

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This version of the Permaculture Ethics and Design Principles was compiled by the Permaculture Drylands Institute and the Sonoran Permaculture Guild.

Designer’s Site Assessment Checklist

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A four-page annotated checklist, the Designer’s Site Assessment Checklist guides you through the basics of a site assessment, from General Information, Site Observation, Site Information, to the Human Factor, describing each section and its components in relatively detailed paragraphs.

Brad’s PowerPoint Presentations

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Currently unavailable—sorry!

General Water-Harvesting Presentation: “Turning Drains Into Sponges & Water Scarcity Into Water Abundance” — PDF & PPT versions
Greywater-Harvesting Presentation: “Turning ‘Wastes’ Into Resources with the Integrated Harvest of Greywater, Rainwater, and more” — PDF & PPT versions
Water Harvesting for Food Production Presentation — PDF & PPT versions

Using Open-Source Tools to Create a Site Assessment Report in Context

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These instructions are intended to guide you through Google Earth and Google Maps to select and compile images, which, when enhanced with text and other resources, form the basis of a site assessment report with multiple layers and levels of context. Additionally, use these instructions to delineate catchment surfaces, label various features, and calculate the areas and rainfall income of these catchment surfaces, using the common Word and Excel applications. Click to download: Instructions for Site Assessment in Context (PDF file, 2.7 MB)

Download a sample report here, created using these instructions: Site Assessment Report in Context (PDF, 10 MB)

Download this sample report’s Appendix A: 813 Catchment Area Spreadsheet (Customizable Excel file, 41 KB)

This sample report was created using the instructions above, and while accurate,  is intended only as a representation of the techniques described, not necessarily as a complete site report. Not counting any time required to learn the techniques, it took about 15-20 hours to compile.  Note that formatting on the Microsoft Office files may not be preserved through the download process. Contact us if you’d like a different file type of any of these files emailed to you.

Commission a Site Report & Catchment Area Spreadsheet for Your Site

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If you are interested in having us create a site report and catchment area spreadsheet for your site, this service is available for a fee. The hourly rate for this is $25 per hour. To give you a general sense of what you would get and what it would cost, take a look at the two files below, which together took 3-4 hours to create, and the two files in the section above, which together took 15-20 hours to complete. Your report can be made more or less detailed, according to your specifications, can include specific resources or a request to conduct relevant research, and can focus in on specific areas and aspects of your site, or be more comprehensive. For more information, send an email to admin@harvestingrainwater.com.

Journey School Site Report (PDF file, 2.4 MB)
Journey School Catchment Area Spreadsheet (PDF file, 45 KB)


For more handouts, click:
Greywater Handouts
Water-Energy-Carbon Nexus

Drops in a Bucket Blog

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Upcoming Events

Also see the full list of upcoming events.



Umbrella Newsletter

The Umbrella: December 2014

News, media, and events from Brad Lancaster.

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