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Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition

Water-Harvesting Earthworks


Foreword by Andy Lipkis

Rainwater Harvesting for
 Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2
 is a how-to guide enabling you to “plant the rain” by creating water-harvesting “earthworks”
or “rain gardens.” Earthworks
 are simple, inexpensive strategies and landforms that passively harvest multiple sources of free on-site water including rainfall, stormwater runoff, air conditioning condensate, and greywater within “living tanks” of soil and vegetation. The plants then pump the water back out
 in the form of beauty, food, shelter, wildlife habitat, timber and forage, while controlling erosion, reducing down-stream flooding, dropping utility costs, increasing soil fertility, and improving water and air quality.

This revised and expanded full-color second edition builds on the information in Volume 1 by showing you how to turn your yard, school, business, park, and neighborhood into lively, regenerative producers of resources. Conditions at home will improve as you simultaneously enrich the ecosystem and inspire the surrounding community.

Learn to select, place, size, construct, and plant your chosen earthworks. All is made easier and more effective by the illustrations of natural patterns of water and sediment flow with which you can collaborate or mimic. Detailed step-by-step instructions with over 460 images show you how to do it, and plentiful stories of success motivate you so you will do it!

Reviews and Praise

  • “Brad Lancaster has written the definitive how-to guide for harvesting rainwater. Much of this information has been near impossible to find, and we owe Brad a huge debt for assembling it so lucidly. These universal principles work not just in drylands, but in wetter climates too. This is by far the best resource for designing and building Earth-friendly, low-cost solutions to help us save our most precious resource: water.”–Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture


More Reviews and Praise


  • “Everyone wants to ‘go green’ lately and, usually, the expression is followed by a plug for a new product. Brad offers a shovel instead, and directs you, literally, not figuratively, to your own back yard. We’ve tried some of the methods explained in this book, and they work. Even if you’re a lazy, mediocre, vagabond gardener, like we are, they still work. And if you don’t take the time to understand every technical detail so thoroughly outlined in this bible of rainwater– these methods still will work.”–Shay Salomon and Nigel Valdez, author and photographer, Little House on a Small Planet

  • “Get out your shovels and dance in the rain! That is what Brad Lancaster’s second volume in his trilogy on rainwater harvesting, will make you want to do. This outstanding book provides an abundance of well-documented ideas and tools for sustainable living in your watershed. You don’t have to let wasteful, polluting large-scale water systems get you down! Get out, get wet, and become a positive part of the hydrological cycle!”–David A. Cleveland, U of California, Santa Barbara (www.es.ucsb.edu/faculty/cleveland) and Center for People, Food and Environment; co-author of Food from Dryland Gardens

  • “Harvesting rainwater was once a worldwide technology, but was replaced by pipes, canals, and sprinklers: an inefficient and wasteful strategy that results in running dry. In Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2 Brad uses the concept of ‘planting water’ as a guiding principle in designing landscapes that passively harvest resources to grow more resources. Such brilliant, low-tech, regenerative systems are vital to hydrating the land and maximizing the benefit that water brings to plants, animals and people. Thus, this book is an excellent and comprehensive tool for all bucket and shovel ‘engineers’ to maximize the hydrological resource, reduce energy use and transform their once erosive landscapes into ones of stability, botanical diversity, and abundance.” - Arty Mangan, Bioneers Food and Farming Program Director

  • “This volume should be on the bookshelf of every conscientious homeowner in the desert Southwest. Rainfall truly becomes something to celebrate when we can use it to fill up the soil banks in our property instead of watching it rush down the street into a storm sewer.” - Nancy R. Laney, Executive Director, Tucson Botanical Gardens

  • “The cheapest and sanest way to meet our growing need for water is to squeeze more out of the water we already have, especially rainwater and used household water. Lancaster approaches these unsung streams as a farmer might, cultivating them in order to nourish dry landscapes. He has produced a water-farming guide that will inspire both the casual gardener and the card-carrying permaculturalist. With step-by-step instructions and clear illustrations, he guides the reader through simple techniques -berms, curbcuts, greywater plumbing – which in turn guide water into your soil and landscape. Lancaster is clearly determined to save the world. And he’s determined to make it easy for the rest of us to help.” - Hannah Holmes author of Suburban Safari: A Year on the Lawn

  • “Brad’s book is a treasure. It brings much-needed clarity to a timely subject and what’s more it inspires, motivates, and lifts the spirit. It’s a resource that no steward of the land should ignore.” - Owen Dell, landscape architect and contractor, author and educator

  • “The level of detail that Brad provides is unmatched in the water-harvesting industry. This is one of the seminal books of our time.” - Nate Downey, author of Harvest the Rain and Rooftop Water Harvesting in New Mexico



About The Author


About Brad Lancaster

Brad Lancaster is a dynamic teacher, consultant, and designer of regenerative systems. He’s taught throughout North America, Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia; worked with the City of Tucson and other municipalities to legalize, incentivize, and provide guidance on water-harvesting systems, demonstration sites, and policy; and designed edible rain-irrigated landscapes doubling as flood control and community-building strategies for housing developments and neighborhoods. Brad’s aim is always to boost communities’ true health and wealth by using simple overlapping strategies to augment the region’s hydrology, ecosystems, and economies—living systems upon which we depend.

Brad lives his talk on an oasis-like demonstration site he created with his brother’s family in downtown Tucson, Arizona. On this eighth of an acre and surrounding public right-of-way, they harvest 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year where just 11 inches per year fall from the sky. Brad is motivated in his work by the tens of thousands of people he has helped inspire to do likewise, go further, and continue our collective evolution.

Books By Brad Lancaster

Pages:432 pages
Book Art:Full-color photographs and illustrations throughout
Size: 8.5 x 11 inch
Publisher:Rainsource Press
Pub. Date: November 15, 2018
Paperback: 9780977246441

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 432 pages, $39.95

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