- Paperback: 162 pages
- Publisher: Humboldt State University Press; 1 edition (January 23, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781947112049
- ISBN-13: 978-1947112049
- ASIN: 194711204X
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,786,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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To Catch the Rain: Inspiring stories of communities coming together to harvest their own rain, and how you can do it too Paperback – January 23, 2018
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"Not just sensible how tos, but also uplifting case studies, to catch our world's most precious resource - the rain."
"Lonny is a force of nature, and his work is incredibly important. I'm delighted that he is finally sharing his wisdom, creativity, and experience with the world. This book is for anyone who wants to really understand how communities can come together to solve real problems."
"Rainwater catchment provides one of the many business solutions to poverty. To Catch the Rain is a manual to make that happen."
"It is both touching and empowering to see people helping one another by sharing what works for providing rain water for practical engineered use like the simple act of drinking a clean cup of water. This is a must read for anyone that is being denied that simple pleasure."
About the Author
Lonny Grafman is an Instructor at Humboldt State University; the founder of the Practivistas summer abroad, full immersion, resilient community technology program; the project manager of the epi-apocalyptic city art project Swale; the Chief Product Officer of Nexi; and the President of the Appropedia Foundation, sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives. Lonny has developed courses at universities in many countries and facilitated engagements around the world. He has worked, and led teams, on hundreds of domestic and international projects across a broad spectrum of sustainable design and entrepreneurship – from solar energy to improved cookstoves, from micro-hydro power to rainwater catchment, from earthen construction to plastic bottle schoolrooms. Throughout all these technology implementations, he has found the most vital component to be community. His first book, To Catch the Rain, covers inspiring stories of communities coming together to catch their own rain, and how you can do it too.
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Unlike drier engineering books, this book understands the human element involved in any such community project. For both the reader and end-user (who may be one and the same after reading this!), the book shares lessons learned over years of field experience, both the technical (how a first-flush filter can prevent air pollution from contaminating the water) and the social (just how exactly did students and community leaders from two different cultures work together to design a system that is culturally, economically, and materially appropriate?).
A mixture of inspirational stories, part-by-part component breakdowns, nitty-gritty formulas, and helpful illustrations, this book can be skimmed through on a first read for a "Maybe I can do this myself" feel, re-read in more detail during an eventual design phase ("These are the factors and components I have to consider...") and then referred to as a quick-reference and due-diligence material before construction begins ("Did I make sure the math is right?").
I would recommend starting from chapter 5 (the stories), going back to the first half of the book (the "how it works"), and then only going over the formulas and calculations at the end if and when you're ready to actually design and build a system of your own, whether for your own home or at a village scale.
For readers in the developed world with ready access to clean water, this could be anything from an intriguing coffee-table title to a weekend warrior backyard project -- as well as a reminder to not take safe, potable water for granted. But it is also intended for readers all across the world, with a Creative Commons license allowing it to be copied and shared, and translations into multiple languages forthcoming. It is a labor of love and hope, one author's contribution to the monumental challenges of climate change and water inequality around the globe. One page, one project, one person at a time, it dares the reader to reimagine the pitter-patter of a first rain into the building applause of a community celebration.
Disclosure: I have worked with the author, Lonny, on Appropedia (the sustainability knowledge sharing website he founded). Years ago we hung out in California, where I got to see in person his wisdom, passion and work.