Turn water scarcity into water abundance! These books show you how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-, sun-, wind-, and shade-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. They enable you to access your on-site resources (rainwater, greywater, topsoil, sun, plants, and more), give you a diverse array of strategies to maximize their potential, and empower you with guiding principles to create an integrated, multi-functional resource-harvesting and -enhancing landscape plan specific to your site and needs. These books will help bring your site to life, reduce your cost of living, endow yourself and your community with skills of self-reliance and cooperation, generate renewable on-site power, and create living air conditioners of vegetation that grow beauty, food, flood-control, and wildlife habitat. Stories of people who are successfully welcoming rain into their life and landscape will invite you to do the same!
|The wasteful path to scarcity. The site rapidly dehydrates itself by erosively draining rainwater and runoff away to flood downslope areas and contaminate surface water with sediment. Greywater is lost to the sewer. Costly municipal or well water is pumped in to replace the free water that was drained away. Leaf drop/mulch is also drained away further depleting fertility and water-holding capacity. This leads to a depletion of resources and feeling scared in the city due to the resulting scarcity.||The stewardship path to abundance. This site passively hydrates itself by harvesting and infiltrating rainwater, runoff, and greywater on site, reducing downslope flooding and overall water consumption and contamination. The need to pump in water is greatly reduced or eliminated. Leaf drop/mulch is also harvested and cycled back into the soil and plants further increasing fertility and water-holding capacity. This leads to an enhancement of resources and a bun dance of celebration due to the resulting abundance.|
For more related videos, visit:
• This website’s video page
• The Brad Lancaster – Harvesting Rainwater channel on YouTube
• www.DesertHarvesters.org for info (in English and Spanish) on the harvesting and processing of mesquite, palo verde, desert ironwood, and prickly pear
• The DesertHarvesters YouTube channel to view videos (in English and Spanish) on the harvesting and processing of mesquite, palo verde, and desert ironwood
This rainwater-harvesting segment on AZ Illustrated Nature features the work of and interviews with landscape designer Logan Byers (Local Design + Build) and rainwater-harvesting expert Brad Lancaster.
Click to download Fighting Water with Water: Behavioral Change Versus Climate Change (PDF format, ~435 KB). Reprinted from Journal AWWA, Vol. 103, No. 6 (June 2011), by permission. Copyright © 2011, American Water Works Association. Permission to reproduce this document is granted for informational purposes only and does not represent or imply approval or endorsement by AWWA of any particular product or service.
Click to hear:
Rainwater Song, by Leith Kahl, a.k.a. Desert Rat, Brad’s favorite banjo-playin’, story-tellin’ activist
Sing Back the River, a beautiful, bittersweet song by Petey Mesquitey about southern Arizona’s Santa Cruz River which used to flow year-round near downtown Tucson. To hear Petey’s introductory story to the song click here.
Dry River, by Dave Alvin. This video link enables you to hear one version of the song, but I think his best version is Dry River (Live) from his album Interstate City (Live) which he recorded as Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men. The river in the song is the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles, California.
We need more songs to build a smokin’-hot soundtrack to help motivate and lubricate the regenerative movement of working with our neighbors and ecosystems to enhance life and its potential within our communities and throughout our planet. Do you have a song(s) to contribute? If so, please send it to admin@HarvestingRainwater.com. Click here for more songs; we’ll be adding new ones as they come in.
List of incentives and rebates for Tucson Water’s residential and commercial users, including rebates for rainwater harvesting, greywater harvesting, and high-efficiency toilets.
Rainwater-harvesting rebate, which can pay you up to $2,000 for water-harvesting earthworks or rain gardens (passive strategies), gutters, cisterns or tanks (active rainwater-harvesting systems), and even consulting and design.
Greywater-harvesting rebate, which can pay you up to $1,000 for a greywater-harvesting system installation.
A Green Streets policy requiring new and reconstructed roadways be designed to harvest the first 1/2 inch (13 mm) of rainfall in order to grow street side and median vegetation. The policy is technically the Tucson Department of Transportation’s “Active Practice Guidelines.” This is a dramatic 180º shift in how our streets and adjoining rights-of-ways are designed and built. In the past, lifeless grey infrastructure of asphalt and concrete drained nearly 100% of the rainfall while generating higher summer temperatures due to the heat-island effect from all the exposed hardscape. Now living green infrastructure is being built and planted along and within the streets to harvest and reinvest nearly all the rainfall and street runoff from a typical storm to generate and grow living air conditioners and water/air/soil filters of beautiful, shading vegetation. Note: The next time this policy is reviewed, I’d like to see if it would be possible to revise the Performance Goal (under section D) which states that “Green Infrastructure basins are designed to accept a maximum final pooling depth of 8 inches,” to allow for deeper, higher-capacity pooling depths to increase capacity.
Use these to make signs of your Tucson neighborhood’s watershed(s).
See an example of such a sign, made of the Dunbar/Spring Washes and Watersheds.
Check out my blog post, Watershed Maps Are Community Maps.
And take a look at John Wesley Powell’s map of the western United States as he proposed the region be delineated by natural watershed boundaries—not by arbitrary political boundary lines.
Click here and here for different versions of the United Watersheds of America map.
Click here to send us a message with corrections, broken-link alerts, requests or suggestions for additions, or other web-content-related correspondence.
Also, please do email us with inquiries about hiring Brad in any capacity; requests for interviews with Brad for print, radio, television, or digital media; paid web-link requests; or other matters which we’re able to prioritize given our current pile of projects—we will respond promptly to discuss the possibility.
However, please know that, given our need to conserve our various resources, we are unlikely to respond to requests for advice, referrals, or pro-bono work. We hope you are able to find helpful advice or referrals on this information-dense website and in Brad’s books. Explore the menus on the left sides of the pages, or try out the search function (below the site menu and in the upper right corner of each page). Or, reach out to and engage your own local experts or community leaders working in integrated sustainable design.
Also see the full list of upcoming events.
A catch-all of resources,
events, media, and more
from Brad Lancaster
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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