Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

Rainsource Press

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Rainsource Press is Brad Lancaster’s self-publishing endeavor. The purpose of Rainsource Press is to spread information that can help readers become beneficial stewards of the land and communities where they live. This information has been learned from living it, and through direct observation, hands-on experience, and studying the good work of others.

Our publications:

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands: Volume 3
More info >> More info >> More info >> More info >>

The Process

Our water-harvesting books have evolved over an 11-year period. Their production has been largely self-financed through my work teaching, speaking, consulting, and designing; book sales; and my having a very low cost of living. Many of the strategies discussed in our books have made this possible. As described in Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, I live and work in a small house on a small urban lot that my brother, his family, and I renovated and developed. All were very rundown and cheap when we got the property, and we set out from the beginning to make sure the cost of living there would also be cheap. We harvest about 100,000 gallons of rainwater per year on our property and adjoining right-of-way. Water-harvesting earthworks support a landscape that helps passively cool the buildings in summer and heat them in winter. Solar panels on the roof provide us with our electricity and generate surplus that goes back into the grid for our adjoining neighbors. A solar water heater heats the water. And much of our food is produced on site (irrigated with rainwater and/or greywater) or gleaned within the community. I have sought to support my community directly by primarily hiring other self-employed people and using locally-owned businesses in my community to help produce these books. This cycles money in the local economy, much the way I promote cycling water within the landscape. Knowledge is also cycled since everyone working on the project has also shared their own knowledge of striving to live more sustainably in their own way—a bonus in addition to their great skills in editing, design, and illustrations.

Desert Harvesters and the Downtown Harvesters collaborated to publish Eat Mesquite!, a cookbook on how to harvest, process, and enjoy staple perennial native plant foods. The cookbook is also a how-to guide on how to plant rain, native perennial food plants, and on-site mulch at home and throughout our communities so that a greater diversity of local food can be grown and enjoyed in a way that deepens our connection and contribution to place while enhancing the health of our community and its watershed ecology.

If we want clean water we must have clean air and soil. For this reason Rainsource Press prints on 100% post-consumer recycled paper in order to reduce the destruction of forests and the watersheds they protect. The only Rainsource Press vehicle is an Xtracycle, which produces just a fraction of the pollutants generated by motorized vehicles. The bike riding also works great to clear my head, while negating the need to ever have a gym membership.

And finally, we have contracted with Chelsea Green Publishing Company to distribute our books in North America because they also strive to spread the seeds that can create a better world by living it.

Rainsource Press
813 N 9th Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85705

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Upcoming Events

  1. 2021 Rocky Mountain Natural Building Conference

    October 14 - October 16
  2. Water Harvesting Design Certification: Fall 2021

    November 8 - November 20
  3. Water Harvesting Design Certification: Spring 2020

    February 28, 2022 - March 12, 2022

Umbrella Newsletter

The Umbrella: Summer 2020

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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