Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

Audio Gallery



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Click each title to listen:

  • 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.
  • Spadefoot Puddles, an episode of Petey Mesquitey’s Growing Native podcast, celebrating the monsoon-rain-loving spadefoot toads and their love song.
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 (or songs) to contribute? If so, please send it to admin@HarvestingRainwater.com.

Interviews, Stories, & Podcasts

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KXCI’s Weekly Green: Harvest Time, an interview with Brad Lancaster
Dan Laut interviews Brad about the potential of new agricultural systems using wild plants that thrive off rainwater alone. (May 17, 2016)

Interview with Brad Lancaster (Episode 9)
The Earth Friendly Homeowner is a new sustainability-oriented podcast by Diane Downey and Sheri Menelli. They will cover topics such as organic gardening, edible landscaping, rainwater harvesting, saving water, recycling, compost, removing toxins inside your home, alternative energy, sustainable living and much more. The link above will take you to the podcast on iTunes—look for episode 9. You can also find it on Stitcher and the Earth Friendly Homeowner website (where you’ll also find the show notes for the interview). (January 21, 2016)

Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann: Desert Harvesters with Brad Lancaster
Scott invited Brad back to talk about Desert Harvesters, an organization in Tucson, Arizona, that encourages neighborhood planting of wild food-bearing Sonoran Desert-plants irrigated with harvested urban rainwater runoff, and revives desert culture through community educational and celebrational events. Scott and Brad spend much of their conversation discussing the history and actions of this organization, before turning to how these ideas are spreading to other cities and towns. During the closing Brad shares some of the current research on using street runoff to irrigate roadside plants, as well as four water assessment suggestions that he uses to evaluate every site. (December 3, 2015)

Dining in the Desert: Wild Foods of the Chihuahuan Desert with Brad Lancaster
West Texas Talk host Tom Michael of Marfa Public Radio (KRTS) talks with Brad about the wild foods of Far West Texas, including mesquite, prickly pear, barrel cactus, nopal, and more. Brad lives in Arizona, where he is a leader of Desert Harvesters, a native foods organization he co-founded. He was previously a guest on this program, discussing rainwater harvesting. (September 17, 2015)

Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann: Water Harvesting with Brad Lancaster
In this episode Brad and Scott discuss the value of infiltrating water into the soil so that it becomes a resource that we invest during water rich times and withdraw from that bank only when needed during dry times. As Brad’s work includes more than just drylands the conversation also includes ideas for storing water in rich areas. Along the way we also look at several listener questions including fog harvesting, using living systems to hand wet basements, and observing to find the right match for plants suitable to wet clay soils.  (January 14, 2015)

“Water Values” Podcast: Planting the Rain with Brad Lancaster
Brad Lancaster joins the Water Values to discuss permaculture and rainwater harvesting. Brad tells us how he got involved in the permaculture community and harvesting rainwater and greywater. Brad also goes into great detail about the method he uses to “plant the rain,” which is used in his rain gardens to irrigate soil, plants, and trees. He also explains how the soil helps filter out toxins from greywater to keep us safe and healthy, but also transforms those toxins in the greywater into a valuable fertilizing resource for the plants. Brad talks about how other communities across the country are adopting the use of greywater and rainwater harvesting and how he’s working with them to create a more sustainable future. Tune into this week’s episode for fascinating insights on planting the rain! (December 9, 2014)

KZYX Water Wise series: Rainwater Harvesting interview with Brad Lancaster
Mendocino County Public Broadcasting aired a locally produced a weekly “Water Wise” series during the month of August 2014. These programs focused on ways to adapt to low-water conditions with strategies for home and landowners to make the best use of every drop and help mitigate the effects of drought in their home and landscape. The series was hosted by Linda MacElwee from the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District and Mary Aigner. Brad’s live interview with call-in questions was aired on August 26, 2014.

Wise Water Practices
A pre-recorded presentation by Brad Lancaster with Q&A, part of the Live Activation Call series presented in partnership with Whole Earth Summit and Ashevillage Institute, April 30, 2014
Note that when you click the link above, and then click the subsequent link to listen to the program, you might see a message saying “Information: Program has concluded.” Ignore this message—the audio file should load fine and begin to play.
This audio file will be available for free streaming through June 24, 2014

For the Love of Water: Local Actions That Matter
A conversation with Brad Lancaster, Brock Dolman, and Laura Allen, hosted by Renée Soule, May 23, 2014
This interview is part of the Spring of Sustainability, a global tele-series where you can learn from innovators, visionaries, green pioneers and change agents who offer skills training, inspiration and powerful solutions for our global sustainability issues. For more information, please visit springofsustainability.com

Brad Lancaster, Rain Harvester – KNPR, Nevada Public Radio interview with Brad on July 2, 2013

Future Primitive Interview – Joanna Harcourt-Smith’s in-depth podcast/interview with Brad from April 2, 2010

Tucson Man Harvests Rainwater – NPR’s Morning Edition story on Brad Lancaster, September 17, 2008

Sustainable World Radio interview with Brad Lancaster
Join Jill Cloutier of Sustainable World Radio for a September 2008 interview with Brad Lancaster permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and the author of the award winning Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain Into Your Life and Landscape and Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond,Volume 2: Water-Harvesting Earthworks (www.HarvestingRainwater.com). Water has been identified as a global crisis in the making. Southern California has one of the most-piped landscapes ever designed, relying on water from far away that may not be available in the future. Also joining the interview will be Wesley Roe of Santa Barbara Permaculture Network.

Harvesting Rainwater By Not Letting It Go To Waste – NPR’s Morning Edition interview with Brad Lancaster, January 10, 2008

Dancing in the Rain – New Dimensions Media interview with Brad Lancaster, October 20, 2006. Program #3175. New Dimensions now charges a small fee to download archived interviews.

Turning Water Scarcity into Water Abundance – An audio podcast of Brad Lancaster’s presentation, Turning Water Scarcity Into Water Abundance.
In the presentation Brad explains tools & techniques for implementing sustainable water systems for your home, landscape, and community, using onsite resources. His newly published book shares strategies to create integrated water-sustainable landscape plans with examples from around the world, some ancient, some new, including the inspirational story of Mr Phiri, water farmer from Zimbabwe. For more on the story of Mr. Phiri, other water harvesters, and how you can harvest water, see Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Volume 1: Guiding Principles to Welcome the Rain Into Your Life and Landscape.

Other Audio Resources

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Cottonwood Goes Gray – A KNAU radio story by Laurel Morales on greywater harvesting in Cottonwood, Arizona. October 18, 2007
Growing Native – A wonderful KXCI mini-program featuring the adventures of Petey Mesquitey as he celebrates the flora and fauna of southern Arizona


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The Umbrella: Spring Equinox 2017

A catch-all of resources,
events, media, and more
from Brad Lancaster
Spring Equinox 2017
Around here we like to rhyme with the seasons whenever possible. In this case, that means welcoming the fast-approaching beginning of SPRING (the Vernal Equinox (in the northern hemisphere) is March 20 this year in Tucson, and marks one of only two […]

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