Harvesting Rainwater for a Greener Future

Episode #3

Show Highlights

  • Why is the water (hydrological) cycle out of balance and the problems in the world that are linked to lack of water?
  • Getting started with water harvesting using passive water harvesting basins
  • Harvesting water from not only rainwater, but household greywater, and air conditioner condensate to create integrated living systems
  • How to simultaneously reduce flooding and solve drought
  • Rain tanks and cisterns are secondary considerations after passive water harvesting earthworks
  • How harvesting rainwater and increasing plant systems can reverse the excess carbon that is leading to climate change 
  • Allowing water harvesting solutions to present themselves
  • How rainwater harvesting systems were illegal and are now mandated in Arizona in other locations

About Brad Lancaster

Brad Lancaster is a dynamic teacher, consultant, and designer of regenerative systems that sustainably enhance local resources and our global potential. He is the author of the award-winning, best-selling book series "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond;" and Brad has just released new, full-color, revised & expanded editions of these books in both print and ebook formats available at deep discount direct from Brad via his website HarvestingRainwater.com. Brad is also a co-founder of Desert Harvesters, which strives to repopulate Tucson’s urban core with rain-irrigated indigenous food plants.

Brad has taught throughout North America as well as in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. His hometown projects have included working with the City of Tucson and other municipalities to legalize, incentivize, and provide guidance on water-harvesting systems, demonstration sites, and policy. He has likewise collaborated with state agencies to promote practices that transform costly local “wastes” into free local resources. 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 and continually improves with his brother’s family and neighbors 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. But it doesn’t end there. The potential of that water is then integrated with the simultaneous harvest of sun, wind, shade, and fertility. 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.


Brad's books and website store:

Videos of Brad's work and others:

Street-Runoff Harvesting

Greywater Harvesting

Sun & Shade Harvesting

Brad's Drops in a Bucket blog