Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

October 16, 2021

Resources for Passive & Active Water Harvesting, Greywater Harvesting, and Site-Built Compost Toilets

Compiled by Brad Lancaster

The following resources were compiled as part of a workshop presented at the 2021 Rocky Mountain Natural Building Conference.


Passive Water Harvesting – plant the rain

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 3rd Edition, by Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition, by Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com




Active Rainwater Harvesting – tank the rain


Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 3rd Edition, by Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com



Greywater Harvesting
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition, by Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com. See chapter 12 and Appendix 3 for greywater harvesting and dark greywater (kitchen sink drainwater) harvesting


www.OasisDesign.net – books by Art Ludwig, innovations, works to change codes

Database of greywater harvesting laws by state

Greywater Action – workshops, policy, guidance, works to change codes

How greywater harvesting was legalized and simplified in Utah

How Safe, Effective, and Accessible Residential Greywater Harvesting was legalized in Arizona – see Chapter 12 of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition

Greywater harvesting stub-outs


Site-Built Composting Toilets


The Humanure Handbook – A Guide to Composting Human Manure, 4th edition,
by Joseph Jenkins, 2019. A very informative, exhaustively researched, and entertaining book that will have you turning turds into tomatoes in no time.

A wonderful website highlighting the ongoing exploration of some practical aspects of simple, land-integrated living. David and Pearl offer the best dryland composting toilet information and workshops I’ve come across. Two of their inexpensive site-built composting toilet designs are now legal and can be permitted in the state of Arizona.
How to Build a Composting-Toilet Barrel System, video with David Omick
How to Use and Maintain a Composting-Toilet Barrel System, video with David Omick

This site shows you how to permit, build, and maintain site-built compost toilets in Arizona

This is a wonderful site documenting Ole and Maitri Ersson’s experiments with composting toilets, rainwater harvesting systems, small houses and more. They have fully permitted “loveable loo” bucket composting toilet system and urine capture and fertilization in Portland, Oregon. Search their website for more details on these efforts.
Here’s a great video on some of the Kailash Ecovillage compost toilet, agriculture, and de-paving work

OAEC compost toilet project in California

Rich Earth Institute Brattleboro, VT – NGO making/teaching fertilizer from urine

Workshops, education, policy work

Companies with compost toilet services for events – great alternative to stinky, chemical-based porta-johns
– Natural Event in Australia https://www.naturalevent.com.au/
– Compost toilet services for events in Utah http://www.greatoutdoorstoilets.com/

Service in Haiti that picks up and processes bucket toilets off site, then returns clean empty buckets

Compost toilet laws in Australia



Groups working to change codes for less expensive and more sustainable options




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THE UMBRELLA: A catch-all of resources, events, media, and more from Brad Lancaster In this time of Covid-19 and spending more time at home to be safe, I’ve been grateful for the solace, inspiration, and bountiful sustenance my water-harvesting gardens, landscape, and neighborhood forest has provided me, my family, friends, and neighbors. Record summer heat […]

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