This Is My Job – October 2014

This Is My Job: Rainwater Harvester

Brad Lancaster GJ

By Jack Burden

Living in the desert presents many challenges when it comes to growing things and staying cool, but Brad Lancaster has been doing it successfully for more than twenty years, using strategies that sustain the health and wealth of the environment and people living in it.

Lancaster was first exposed to water harvesting through a permaculture design class that he took in 1993.  While the subject matter fascinated him, the class left him with more questions, so he set out on a journey of self-education in search of the answers.  Now, through lots of experiments, traveling to learn from other water harvesters, and seeking out obscure reports and publications, Lancaster has written an award-winning series of books entitled Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, and finds himself in a position to share his knowledge with others.  Lancaster’s work includes creating and maintaining working demonstration sites, leading hands-on trainings, giving public presentations, helping cities change/create new policy (that promotes water-harvesting and other practices), consulting with individuals, non-profits, businesses, and governments, creating videos, and writing articles, blogs, and books.

Lancaster will be speaking and teaching in Gallup at the Work in Beauty 2014 Conversations on Local Agriculture on Saturday, October 18 at UNM-Gallup.  During this free event from 11 am to 4 pm, a Three Sisters potluck will be shared and Lancaster will present on “Harnessing Free Water from Streets, Dirt Roads, and Driveways to Grow Abundance” and “Water Harvesting for Food Production.”  His knowledge comes from experiences living and thriving in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.  While some of his sustaining strategies may present new and different approaches to problem solving, the best part of his job is knowing that he is helping to make the world a better place for all.

• Experience – “I live this.”
• Passion
• Critical thinking skills
• Must be articulate, diplomatic, down-to-earth, kind, humble, observant

For more information about Brad Lancaster’s work or the Work in Beauty 2014 Conversations on Local Agriculture, visit and

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