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Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond (Vol. 1): Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain Into Your Life and Landscape

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  413 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Turn water scarcity into water abundance!

"Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 3rd Edition" is the best-selling, award-winning guide on how to conceptualize, design, and implement life-enhancing water-, sun-, wind-, and shade-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. This book enables you to assess your on-site resources, gives you a d
Paperback, 183 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Rainsource Press
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Dave Riley
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening, ecology
After reading a lot of literature on permaculture and rainwater harvesting I think this manual is the best I've read on this specific subject .Much of the new ecological gardening and house design literature is schematic even etherial. Lancaster, in contrast, is absolutely concrete and considerate of likely practical issues. He knows his stuff and is so very generous is sharing his experience and knowledge with the reader.

In fact, I consider that on the subject of design and earthworks he is an
Al Kutil
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book should be applied no matter if you have a lot of rainwater or a tiny amount. Whether rain forest, prairie or desert, these principles can equalize the water wars that have already started. Helping your neighbor, community or city has not been outlawed, so I don't understand why a rain barrel is considered against the law. Work WITH your local government, or work around their lack of knowledge and help them overcome inertia. This book will certainly help in that endeavor.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recalled twice now from the library. In-demand book in Tucson! I will buy this for myself one day but just haven't yet. Paradigm-shifting, altering how one even sees landscape.

Updated: Still to-be-finished for me, but in the meantime I am bringing a hard copy to leave with a passionate grower-teacher in each rural sub-office I visit: check Chad, Nigeria, Uganda so far.
Hans Huth
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given the miracle of modern infrastructure, it's easy to become complacent about water sustainability and the needs of future generations. For me, that complacency was completely shattered in the first chapter of this book. Through carefully selected anecdotes highlighting the wonderful gift of desert rainfall, it became clear to me I was missing out!

Ironically, my home was graded to shed rainwater off my property as quickly as possible- what a waste! In contrast, this book details simple earth
Ryan Wood
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Volume 1 first edition in 2008 really opened my mind to how I use our valuable water and energy resources in a desert community of over 4 million people. Learning and following the 8 principles of successful rainwater harvesting I made simple changes to transform a water intensive grass yard into a water harvesting system that slows the water, allowing time for it to spread and soak into our soil that is covered with wood chip mulch and plants ...more
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Vol I & II by Brad Lancaster is a must-have for those who understand the scarcity of clean, available water today, and want to make a difference on how they use water now. The need for water smarts was true in 2006 when I first found out about Brad and his organization, and it is true today.

These books are for a home library of people who are living as homesteaders, for those interested in a Permaculture, or sustainable future. It would benefit citie
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have used Mr. Lancaster's books for years at my farm and in the ecology courses I teach. These books are by far the most informative water management guides for home and neighborhood level. The latest edition with color images and photos is even easier to read and apply. The step by step installation photos reveals how doable these water conserving methods are. A must-have for all ecological designers.
Cristian Sarabia
This is the 3rd edition of this book and it was well worth buying this upgrade. This book is for anyone looking into understanding natural system patterns, rainwater harvesting, greywater systems and design methods for sustainability, and so much more. There is no other book like this out there with enough detail for the professional but written in a form that the novice can understand. This new edition has more color in the diagrams and newer examples of current project implementations. I use t ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't often find both good news and common sense in the same book these days. But this book has both in abundance! The author clearly walks his talk, practicing rainwater harvesting and sustainable design at his home and in his community. Based on all the examples, you don't need to be in a climate where it rains a lot to make it worthwhile to harvest rainwater. You can do it anywhere. I loved the chapter about the "Man who farms water" in a dry part of Africa. There is a lot to learn here, an ...more
Catlow Shipek
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Glad to see the updates in version 3 especially the detailed instructions for folks to be able to develop water resource budgets and calculate plant water demands wherever they live. This is critical for future water sustainability! We use this book in our (Watershed Management Group) 7-day Water Harvesting Design Certification course and will recommend students use the 3rd edition if they are not already.
Billy Kniffen
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 3rd Edition of an already excellent how-to book on managing Earth's most precious resource is great. Knowledge Brad has learned over time helps solidify practical ways we can all can apply to managing water where ever we live. This book is simple to understand and sketches are well presented. I appreciate Brad as one who lives what he believes and this book is a testament to him and his belief.
William Wilkening
If they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, then a color picture must be worth a million. The use of colored pictures in this 3rd edition helps to better illustrate and explain the many concepts/methods of harvesting rainwater. This book is continues to be on my recommendation list to all of the people that attend any of my classes.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been extremely helpful for me to understand the possibilities of an integrated site. I especially like the clear drawings and practical strategies for on-site observation. It provides incredible detail for measuring water, sun, wind, and other energies on site. I have learned so much from reading this book and look forward to checking out Volume 2!
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent technical manual for people serious about harvesting rainwater in a variety of ways. Graphs, calculations, explanations... this is a rainwater textbook. Along with its other volumes, it is a treasure.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read it through in one sitting and now am re-reading it, This is so very much exactly what I was looking for in terms of idea's on HOW to set things up, what kind of storage you need ideas on how to protect the storage units from the sun, etc. man do I have work to do, ordered volume 2 already.
Laura Allen
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book and must-read for anyone interested in working with water. The full-color version more clearly shows how water moves through the landscape and how each water harvesting strategies function.
Jude Hobbs
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brad Lancaster’s revised editions Volume 1 and 2 of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond are a must have for any newcomer or experienced person who wishes to harvest rainwater in multiple ways.
The pages light up with the new full color graphics and photos. I especially appreciate the updates on real-life case studies, tracking the time-tested experience of Mr. Lancaster’s, and others, work. I have successfully utilized both volumes in learning the most effective ways of capturing rainwa
Andrew Gordon-Kirsch
Brad Lancaster's Rainwater Harvesting Volume 1 gives an in depth background of living in the drylands and relating to water. This book breaks down the construct of humans utilizing mama earth, and instead shows how humans can live in a harmonic relationship with the earth - even when it comes to water resources in drylands! The writing is easy to read and builds on information in a clear and well thought out way, leaving the reader feeling full and educated, not drowning in new information. The ...more
Theresa Foley
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Indigenous peoples have long used earthworks and containers to harvest rainwater for drinking and irrigation. But these ancient techniques were largely forgotten in the age of the machine, when Hoover Dam and a vast system of pipes bought Colorado River water to the deserts of Arizona, California, Nevada and four other states. Now that rising temperatures and drought are reducing the supply of Colorado River water, people have returned to the ancient art of rainwater harvesting. In this lavishly ...more
Valeria Galindo
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book Planning on doing some active and passive rainwater harvesting at my parents home who live in an area where there is no organization/company to help establish these systems. This was neatly organized, covering the basics with-easy-to-follow information accompanied by pictures and graphics to help you visualize the design process and some of the fundamentals of how these designs work very clearly. Enjoyed and appreciated the sections towards the end about solar energy and wind har ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you only read one book on the rainwater harvesting aspects of permaculture and other regenerative methods of landscaping, this should be it.
It's exceptionally clear and solution based, suitable for beginners, class rooms and old pros.
I've been doing this kind of thing for nearly 20 years and I am relearning, refining and expanding on the techniques I use.
It's even got a game plan, step by step instructions and check lists.
I highly recommend you get a copy for your self and one to loan out. I
Nicholas Burtner
After using Lancaster's books for many years for both reference material and recommended reading to my students, I was pleased to obtain both volume 1 and volume 2 of the revised editions. As you can see from the photo almost all the images are in color which make them much easier to understand. Some of the images and sections have been rearranged for coherence from my point of view. And new information has been added

I would recommend this book along with volume 2 for anyone serious about water
Jeff Rhody
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We have forgotten more than we know on how to work with our environment. This book reminds us of lessons from our ancestors’ relationships with nature and how we live today that is counter to those lessons. It’s a very complicated system to pump water across Arizona to provide for the desert dwellers that live here but there is a simpler way; it’s very complicated to engineer a climate control system to maintain a comfortable temperature in our homes but there is a simpler way. This book opens t ...more
John Deboer
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This volume provides many examples of how to use water more productively. The variety of techniques can be mixed and matched to best suit your individual needs. For those who are more visual learners, the pictures do a great job at demonstrating these concepts. The book gives important details but is by no means overly technical. This first volume provides a solid foundation for volume two. One of the best parts is that you will not only conserve water, but also save money!
Jon C
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic rainwater harvesting resource from the amateur to the professional. The information covers the three "C's" - clear, concise, and comprehensive. But don't let all those "C's" make you think this book is just satisfactory. We reference this book (and volume 2) frequently in our office to help guide the design of stormwater harvesting projects within the city of Tucson. I have also gotten great use of the book on a personal level with "at-home" water harvesting projects.
Christine Kenney
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Bucket list-- tour Brad's Tucson property, but he's kinda busy to do tours (hopefully writing vol 3 of this series), so I settled for checking his books out of the library instead. Based on what I read in Cadillac Desert about California's depredation on Arizona's claims to Colorado River water, this guy must be a water-harvesting Jedi for making it work under such arid conditions.

If you've only got 20 mins, check out his TedX or If you've got an afternoon, paging throu
Angela Greynolds
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: green
Completely changed my perspective on landscaping and storm water management. Filled with practical information on how to better manage and use the rain that falls on your property. I need to get my own copy of the book for reference and am eagerly awaiting the next rain storm so that I can start to put it into use.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a professor in Environment and Society at Utah State University, I have found this book an invaluable resource. This newly revised edition includes very helpful updated information, graphics, and colored photographs. The book is well researched, credible and applicable and I plan to use it every time I teach about onsite water harvesting and permaculture design.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gardening
Quite a well-rounded overview of rain harvesting. It is a bit high level for my needs, but will due if I can't find a better book. I think the other books in the series will be more useful to me and I will try to get my hands on one
David M
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brad Lancaster is one of the leading experts on rainwater harvesting. We have always used his books in our permaculture courses, and somehow he has made this already awesome resource even more comprehensive. I could not recommend this book any higher!
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Brad Lancaster has taught, designed, and consulted on regenerative-design systems of permaculture and integrated water-harvesting systems in seven countries since 1993. He created and lives on a thriving solar-powered 1/8th-acre (0.05-ha) urban oasis in downtown Tucson, Arizona, which harvests 100,000 gallons (378,000 liters) of rainwater a year where just 12 inches (280 mm) falls from the sky. Br ...more

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