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Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster; a Review

Updated on March 22, 2015
LillyGrillzit profile image

Libraries saved her. As a child she sought the protection of words and pages. Superhero librarians fed her brain and imagination.

Prepare Your Life for Sustainability, Save and Seed Your Water

Today, almost everyone is feeling the urgency to be better stewards of our Earth. Like any good Farmer, Fisherman or Landscaper they realize their survival comes from the Earth, Air and Ocean.

The people who depend on the earth for income and survival pay attention to what goes on around them. The Farmer rises early, gets his coffee, and heads out to check over all that is under is control. He is usually connected by generational ties, and loves the land.

The Fisherman loves his boat, his crew and his waters. They can read the Ocean. They can usually predict the weather over the course of time, and minute biological changes are noticed by those whose livelihood is the Sea.

A Landscaper, must know something about land, weather, rainfall, and solar paths.

The commonality of these three, is they learned from the generations before them, "how" to read the land, sea and weather.In our modern times, we haven't had the pleasure of being instructed on how to make optimum use of the water that rains down in our little part of the world.

We don't have the time, money or desire to go to agricultural school. "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond", gives easy to follow instructions on how to read your land, your rainfall, how much sun is needed and how you can know these things as well as the farmer who has been planting and sowing for his entire life.

An available solution to our increasing water crisis

Volume 2 - Water-Harvesting Earthworks
Volume 2 - Water-Harvesting Earthworks | Source

Learn Your Water - Basics (1) Brad Lancaster - Dry Lands Solution

When is the Best Time to Get Started? Now

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, can help you convert your land into a green Eco-system, magnifying the water on any property, no matter how dead and dry it is to start with.

What makes Mr. Lancaster's work unique is that water is "seeded" and stored in the earth primarily, with water tanks or barrels being secondary.

Water is bulky and extremely heavy. There is only so much that can be contained safely. The important aspect of Rainwater Harvesting is to put all of the water to use that is diverted to streets and gutters, and instead; bring it back into the earth.

1). Start a Journal of your land.

2). Buy a rain gauge, and start a daily journal of your rainfall amounts.

3). At least every couple of days, walk around your property. In the morning, see where the Sun goes, throughout the day, find your most solar places, and in the evening, find out how the Sun is shining on your property.

4). If you are in the city, you probably have curbs and drainage. Watch how much water "goes down the drain" to be lost until the next hydrological cycle brings it back. This could be years, or never.

5). Do research on plants that are native to your area. When you landscape with native flowers, fruits, vegetables, nuts, cacti and so on, you have already increased your water budget.

6). Consider a WaterSense™ or slate portion to the roof, that will increase the rainwater flow into your holding tank, or landscaped system.

7). Periodically check Brad Lancaster's site for seminars and classes they are teaching all over the world. A link will be provided below. The costs are often free, or very affordable.G

8). As you are compiling your journal, begin to purchase hand tools.

9). Get a vision of what you want your property to look like. When you are able to purchase this book (1 & 2), all of the technical information you need for the planning, measuring and planting is included. Some of it has serious mathematics, but there are plenty of drawings, and support from the Lancaster's organization.

10). Change your world, and make you spot fertile, green, pedestrian and fruitful. Purchasing Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Vol. 1 & 2, are the best money I have ever spent.

Brad Lancaster travels the world, teaching simple wisdom for water uses. He is bringing this long lost culture, that uses all of the water that falls on a given site, back to us. This book is simple enough, that an intelligent child could adapt the principles detailed within these recycled paper pages. Happy Water to You.

2012 Garden Design Using Ideas from Rainwater Harvesting by Brad Lancaster

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Circle garden design/ drought tolerantCircle garden design/ drought tolerantCircle garden design/ drought tolerantThe design is fine, we cannot do much about the triple digit heat the past few weeks,  I have added new topsoil to the berms, hopefully to save our garden.
Circle garden design/ drought tolerant
Circle garden design/ drought tolerant | Source
Circle garden design/ drought tolerant
Circle garden design/ drought tolerant | Source
Circle garden design/ drought tolerant
Circle garden design/ drought tolerant | Source
The design is fine, we cannot do much about the triple digit heat the past few weeks,  I have added new topsoil to the berms, hopefully to save our garden.
The design is fine, we cannot do much about the triple digit heat the past few weeks, I have added new topsoil to the berms, hopefully to save our garden. | Source

Land and Water, Basics (2) Brad Lancaster - Dry Lands Solutions

Our Poor Garden

The summer of 2012, was one of the hottest on record, and although our circular garden design was low water, drought resistant, we could never foresee the drought, and loss of water table that occurred in Faulkner County, AR in 2012.

The circular garden design was in the shade 1/3 of the day, the water used in the non-pesticide, non-GMO garden, trickled back down into the well that we were dependent on for the house, and garden.

In the middle of July, it was over, everything burned up, and we were forced to leave our home, because there was no longer water available on that property, and we were outside the city limits, and could not get water piped in.

In 2014, we are having a record cool summer, and rainfall like I have never seen in the 40+ years I have lived in Arkansas.

Water is an important element for life on planet Earth.

Fishermen Know The Sea

Fishermen know the sea, so do boat pilots, and submarine operators
Fishermen know the sea, so do boat pilots, and submarine operators | Source

Thanks to Drop In A Bucket Organization

Many thanks goes out to all of those who have a vision of providing clean, and usable water for every person on the planet.

There are many organizations who do wonderful things, but so many of them get locked into the need for financing, and fiscal growth, I am so lucky to have learned about "Rainwater Harvesting In Drylands and Beyond," by Brad Lancaster, and for sharing his vision for the world, to go back to more ancient ways when we respected our elements, and were more careful with Earth.

Henry Rollins In South Sudan with Organization: Drops in a Bucket

citation: Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands & Beyond™

© 2010 Lori J Latimer


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    • LillyGrillzit profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori J Latimer 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

      @RunAbstract, Thank you for reading and commenting on this Hub. I will come and read you up! :0) I almost did allow comments, but I learned from an on-line university, that publishes professional papers, that it is best to not allow comments where there is going to be a lot of anger and people fighting. The topic is volatile and I try to keep peace. Thank you for commenting on the Resources Hub! :0)

    • RunAbstract profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      I am going to have to read this book!


      I remember you having issues this past summer with staying cool, especially at night. Well... I found something directed at just that kind of problem, and passed the info along in a recent Hub. I hope you come see me and check it out. It's something I'm sure going to try to save energy and money!

      P.S. I wish I could have commented on your article about the cross jewelry! I'm with you! I would NEVER wear a cross! (Or a tiny gem encrusted electric chair!)

    • LillyGrillzit profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori J Latimer 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thank you Ms. Katie, I have followed Brad and his group for a long time. He continues to do amazing work around the globe. The more he does, the more money he makes, the less he charges for his services. It is necessary to save water above ground, what I love about this is the seeding the water to be stored and used optimally in the ground. :0) We need to do everything possible to assure a fresh water supply. Wisdom speaks. Thank you for leaving a wonderful comment. :0)

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      9 years ago from Westerville

      I have a rain barrel on my back deck, I'm thinking I may get another this spring. I find I'm able to utilize this water easily and it's very easy. I save a great deal on water bills year round. Enjoyed learning from your book review, rainwater harvesting for drylands and beyond by Brad Lancaster


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