Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster covers the theory and techniques for harvesting rainwater. Volume 1 covers the guiding principles to understanding the land and how it influences and interacts with the rain. Volume 2 covers specific techniques that can be used to shape the land to maximize the usage and benefits of the rain.
This is the bible for rainwater harvesting! Volume 1 will probably be a bit of review for people already familiar with permaculture but it is still filled with great information and informative illustrations. The book was really good with helping me visualize why we want to do what we do.
Volume 2 is a book I find myself referencing more than any other when working on catchment problems. It just has so much pertinent info combined into one useful reference, I love it. The only thing I wish was different about the book was it would be great to have color photos and illustrations but I'm sure that the price would have been too much with color printing...
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir
These books I think deserve 9 out of 10 acorns, because vol2 repeats all important things from vol1. Separate I would say 8 out of 10 for vol1 and 10 out of 10 for vol2. That said, they're both fantastic books to have. I read both books after reading Bill Mollison's manual and doing an online PDC with Geoff Lawton, which already gave a very complete picture on earthworks. Burt Lancaster however gives a whole new fresh look on earthworks in these books, which taught me to look at them with different eyes again. For example I never realized that in very dry climates with only occasional heavy rains you could plant the swales instead of the mounts and reserve the swale mount as your walkway. He also manages to create a very complete picture of how exactly earthworks can be setup to function together. The writing is very understandable and the illustrations help to get a very clear picture. Even for people in wet climates it would be a good help in understanding how to manage water in the landscape. A must read I think!
Brad's also such a great guy, I watch his vids on Youtube and he's just a great personality to watch and laugh and learn from. I also noticed his book Vol 3 (for the cisterns) has been taken down from Amazon, is that right? Haven't seen too many resources on the cistern/barrel avenue for rainwater catchment.