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Water is a crucial resource increasingly under stress. Yet rainfall, even in arid climates, can make up a sizable portion of any home, acreage, or farm’s water requirements if harvested and utilized with care. The key is high-quality site-specific design and sensible maintenance.

Essential Rainwater Harvesting is a comprehensive manual for designing, building, and maintaining water harvesting systems for the warm and cold climates of the world.

Presenting design considerations and approaches for the most common household rainwater supply scenarios – primary, supplemental, and off-grid supply – this step-by-step approach covers:

  • Planning for full-property water security
  • Guidance on navigating regulatory requirements
  • Templates for building your own spreadsheet-based calculation tool
  • Site-specific planning and spatial layout
  • Materials and component design and selection
  • System maintenance and upkeep.
  • Accurate, precise, and detailed…buy one for yourself and it will be useful for all future generations.

    Geoff Lawton
    Geoff Lawton Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher
  • Go to it! Become a rainwater harvester! Embrace your downpipes and filtration systems! And all the while with this brilliant book stuffed into your back pocket.

    Rob Hopkins
    Rob Hopkins Transition Network
  • A science-based approach that should help get your system set up and educate policymakers with the most recent research.

    Dave Boehnlein
    Dave Boehnlein Author Practical Permaculture: for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth
  • A crucial reference for design work. Accessible and quick to reference yet as thorough as one could ever need on the subject.

    Ben Falk
    Ben Falk Author, The Resilient Farm & Homestead
  • Unique, with all the tools being provided for the calculations and explained clearly as well as fantastic advice on best location, materials selection, and plumbing connections.

    Rod Wiese
    Rod Wiese Managing Director & Principal Engineer of Storm Consulting
  • With it's most up to date information and clarity of presentation, this book can help anyone become an effective water designer. Homeowners, professionals, and activists will all find it an essential companion to assist them as they begin to catch volumes of unappreciated water, and convert it instead into endless abundance.
    Mark Lakeman Founder of communitecture, and the City Repair Project 

Incorporating the latest independent research, this practical resource provides DIYers, trades, and rainwater practitioners with the essential tools, methods, and technical know-how to design, confidently build, and maintain rainwater harvesting systems that produce quality water without necessarily needing end-of-line disinfection or sterilization.

ORDER YOUR HARDCOPY

If you are in Canada or the US, please buy our book direct from our publisher, New Society Publishers. Not only do they have fantastic customer service, their mandate is to contribute towards a broad social transformation towards sustainability. Buying direct also contributes to a healthier publishing industry by cycling a significantly larger percentage back to the publisher and to us, the authors.

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US and Canadian Customers

Other Countries

PREVIEW THE BOOK HERE

PURCHASE THE E-BOOK & SPREADSHEET TOOL

Purchase the e-book, or the Essential Rainwater Harvesting spreadsheet tool, directly from us, right here:

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THE ESSENTIAL RAINWATER HARVESTING TOOLKIT

The Essential Rainwater Harvesting toolkit, is an online companion to both the Essential Rainwater Harvesting book and the spreadsheet tool. Containing additional information in multiple formats (text, pdf downloads, videos, etc), this digital library is an ever-expanding treasure-trove for rainwater harvesters and practitioners. Subscribe below and you’ll gain immediate access.

Get Instant Access to:

  • Video tutorials
  • Sizing examples
  • Rainfall data
  • Links to relevant research
  • Book excerpts & infographics
  • Questions from readers (and answers from us!)

ACCESS THE TOOLKIT HERE

By subscribing to the Essential Rainwater Harvesting Toolkit you get immediate access to the free resources provided and we’ll send you a notification when resources are added / updated. You’ll also receive occasional emails about special offers, the latest rainwater research, projects and interesting information (estimated ~2 emails per month, max). You can unsubscribe at any time, and we’ll never spam, sell, or otherwise abuse your information. That’s a promise! (and you can view our full privacy policy here).

MEET THE AUTHORS

  • Rob & Michelle Avis
    Rob & Michelle Avis

    Rob Avis, P.Eng and Michelle Avis, P.Eng are the co-owners and operators of Adaptive Habitat, a leading edge property design firm for resilient homes, acreages, and farms and Verge Permaculture, a globally recognized award-winning education business. They have over 20 years of combined experience in project management, ecological design, and sustainable technologies. Read their full bio here.

WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING…

  • I wish this book and the others in The Sustainable Building Essentials Series had been available when we built our home years ago. Michelle and Rob do a great job presenting not only rainwater harvesting, but how it fits into a whole systems approach for increased resiliency. They back up their recommendations with the latest research on safe rainwater utilization.

    Laurie Neverman
    Laurie Neverman Common Sense Home
  • With growing populations, fast-depleting aquifers, and climatic instability the information in Essential Rainwater Harvesting will only get more valuable as we move into the future. The science-based approach that Rob & Michelle Avis take should help not only to get your system set up, but also educate policymakers with the most recent research.

    Dave Boehnlein
    Dave Boehnlein Author Practical Permaculture: for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth
  • This book is essential for anyone intending to live a healthy sustainable lifestyle. Rob and Michelle Avis are brilliant permaculture designers of the highest caliber worldwide, their work is always accurate, precise and detailed. Essential Rainwater Harvesting is exactly that and will probably be in print for the next century. Buy one for yourself and it will be useful for all future generations.

    Geoff Lawton
    Geoff Lawton Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher
  • As the world warms, and water becomes more and more insecure in many parts of the world, knowing how to safely capture and store water is fast becoming a key skill for anyone wanting to make their lives more resilient. This fine tome tells you everything you need to know in an accessible and inspiring way. Go to it! Become a rainwater harvester! Embrace your downpipes and filtration systems! And all the while with this brilliant book stuffed into your back pocket.

    Rob Hopkins
    Rob Hopkins Transition Network
  • This is going on my shelf as a crucial reference for design work. Accessible and quick to reference yet as thorough as one could ever need on the subject. A fantastic design tool.

    Ben Falk
    Ben Falk Author, The Resilient Farm & Homestead
  • Inspired to save your own rainwater for garden and home? Essential RWH is bursting with personal, practical and precise information to get gardeners saving water right now. In this comprehensive look at a complex subject I discovered everyone benefits from a little extra water sense so dive in now and start saving water today.

    Donna Balzer
    Donna Balzer Horticulturalist and author, No Guff Vegetable Gardening
  • A great book that appeals to a great variety of audience from the inexperienced to the professional covering all aspects of roofwater harvesting from planning to commissioning. It is well-structured allowing the reader to pick up and implement the basics or alternatively delve in the detail with complex analysis on feasibility and optimisation. This book is unique with all the tools being provided for the calculations and explained clearly as well as fantastic advice on best location, materials selection and plumbing connections. Well done Rob and Michelle; this book certainly compliments the Sustainable Building Essentials Series.

    Rod Wiese
    Rod Wiese Managing Director & Principal Engineer of Storm Consulting
  • As an ancient yet nearly-lost activity in most industrialized areas, rainwater capture and use (harvesting) is really a necessary component to site-based sustainability practices. Essential Rainwater Harvesting outlines the 'how-to's' and 'what-for's' of the critical aspects of RWH systems in simple yet detailed language, and includes a well-thought-through design process that really works! Kudos to the Avis team for sifting through the myriad reports, practices and options to create a nicely articulated formula for success. Can't wait to see what's next.

    Ken Nentwig
    Ken Nentwig Governor and Lead Trainer, Canadian Association for Rainwater Management, BC Chapter
  • Rapid and massive climate change in the decades ahead will strain water resources in unprecedented ways throughout the world. You owe it to your family to follow the prescriptions in this book and be prepared for droughts and shortages through rainwater harvesting. You'll learn everything you need to know to make it happen by following "the Avis method"

    Jerry Yudelson
    Jerry Yudelson Called "The Godfather of Green" by Wired magazine
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