Good Morning BEST community,


Harvesting rainwater is not a trendy, new concept started by hardware stores to sell more 50 gallon drums at a premium price.  Rainwater harvesting is a technology which dates back to ancient times, but, unfortunately has become close to forgotten within the last century.  Prior to finding and accessing immense quantities of clean fresh water in deep underground aquifers, rainwater was relied on by farms and households often as a primary source of water.  Landscapes were used to collect water with recessed basins and plated trees to retain the water.  According to Brad Lancaster, an expert rain harvester from Tucson Arizona, the fruits from the trees was one way to withdraw the water by people.  In fact, according to Lancaster, all that is needed to start harvesting rainwater "is a shovel to move some dirt" (Robbins 2008).  Unfortunately, since the advent of deep underground water piping systems supplying the majority of our water needs, landscapes have been designed to move water off of properties and roads quickly rather than catch it.  As we continue with this pump and drain mentality, our landscapes will only continue to become more parched.


I’ve included Brad Lancaster’s rain harvesting website and the 2008 NPR Morning Edition radio show featuring Brad Lancaster.  When thinking of rain harvesting, remember Brad Lancaster’s motto, “slow it, spread it, and sink it” (Robbins 2008)


Lancaster, Brad. (2016). Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond. http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/ Web. Feb. 20, 2016

Robbins, Ted. (2008). Tucson man harvests rainwater. NPR Morning Edition. Sep. 17, 2008. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94699114 Web. Feb. 20, 2016

Shane Philhower
Undergraduate Supervised Study
2015 BioEnergy & Sustainability School
Soil and Water Science Department
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