“Live with the water nature gives you,” is a refrain of John Fleck, former environmental reporter and University of Mexico professor. In RAINWATER HARVESTING FOR DRYLANDS AND BEYOND, Brad Lancaster helps people achieve that balance through an integrated approach to water. Often overlooked until it’s not clean or readily available, Lancaster shifts the readers’ perspectives to initiate a water ethic that values and considers its dearness. In this way, RAINWATER HARVESTING FOR DRYLANDS AND BEYOND channels people’s natural affinity for water and greenery to their homes, thereby creating an essential first step towards a healthier, more sustainable society.
Lancaster’s book seamlessly incorporates basic hydrology with simple water harvesting practices and techniques. Split into an introduction, five explanatory and how-to chapters, and a series of nine appendices that offer tools necessary to plan and establish rainwater harvesting projects, the book’s goal is to encourage “rainwater farming” on any property by utilizing low-cost benefits of healthy soils, earthworks, vegetation and other methods. The Eight Principles of Rainwater Harvesting start with thoughtful observation of the property, working from the high point on down, spreading and infiltrating the flow of water, and growing healthy vegetation to retain water. These principles are useful for naturally greening up one’s lawn and garden in every climate type, from arid to humid. The idea is to get readers’ to realize that they contain a mini-watershed on their own property. With intention and some work, on-site water resources that fall as rain or are collected and reused as greywater from drains and appliances, can satisfy most outdoor needs. Not only does such harvesting save water and money–as water utility use and bills shrink–the outdoor plant life provides an attractive setting that acts as a wildlife habitat and pollution reducer that lightens the environmental footprint of the home and yard. The inclusion of full-color drawings, diagrams and photos pair well with pithy language to make the book accessible for homeowners.
Brad Lancaster’s accessible RAINWATER HARVESTING FOR DRYLANDS AND BEYOND seamlessly incorporates basic hydrology with simple water harvesting practices and techniques, replete with full-color drawings, diagrams and photos.
~Kai Olson-Sawyer for IndieReader