How to Harvest and Store Water for Laundry, Cooking, Drinking & Irrigation

Kirsten Dirksen
Friday, 24th March 2017

Brad Lancaster and his family live in Tucson, Arizona receives just 11 inches of rainwater per year, but Brad argues this is enough. In this video he shows how he harvests water for cooking, drinking and laundry as well as showering. He also has extensive irrigation for his garden and reuses domestic greywater.

This inspiring video shows you how he does this all. It is highly informative.

With climate change, most of are going to experience drought to greater or lesser degree so don't wait until it is a crisis, plan your harvesting right now with these intelligent strategies developed by Brad Lancaster.

If you like the look of the water filtering device shown in the video check out our Gravity Water Filter, tried and tested by us for years.

More about Brad Lancaster

Brad calls the 1/8th of an acre site he shares with his brother’s family, his “living laboratory”. Here he plants around the greywater from his outdoor shower, bathtub and washing machine. He captures 100,000 gallons of rainwater per year on their property and surrounding public right-of-way. He cooks with a solar oven and heats his water using 2 salvaged, conventional gas heaters stripped of insulation, painted black, and put in an insulated box with glass facing south to collect the sun’s rays.

Lancaster converted the old garage on the property into his 200-square-foot “garottage” (garage + cottage) or “shondo” (shed + condo). Nearly all the wood and materials are salvaged. The garage’s original cinder block walls weren’t insulated so he added 2 inches of foam insulation on the exterior to create “ex-sulation”. Lancaster relies mostly on passive solar to heat and cool his home, though he uses an evaporative cooler (swamp cooler) on hotter evenings. His kitchen is outside: a rainwater-plumbed sink, a hacked chest-freezer-turned-refrigerator and a propane camping stove.

His toilet is another experiment. “You can currently get a compost toilet that is manufactured and NSF-approved, but it costs $3000 or more. So we wanted to try making some site-built models that only cost $300 for which we got experimental permits.” His models include a urine-diverting barrel-style compost toilet (the urine is diluted to water plants and the fecal matter sits and composts for a year or more before being used as fertilizer) and a water-less standing urinal.

Brad’s website:

Useful links

Watch: Creating a rainwater harvesting system


a.rebecca |
Fri, 31/03/2017 - 15:37

I am hotel owner, Austin irrigation repair mechanics helps maintaining beautiful landscape created artificially. Our small garden is actually the most popular part of the hotel, and most of the guests like sitting there during evenings, and we organise small parties to entertain them occasionally.