Discover how to utilize your natural water resources in your space for self-sufficiency!

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Water Harvesting in Depth:
Understanding landscapes and implementing rainwater, grey water, and many other water harvesting systems.
(Your Online Resource for Self-Sufficiency)

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Water Harvesting in Depth

Join Permaculture Designers Don Titmus & Greg Peterson for an eye-opening course delving into the benefits and various methods of water harvesting as a way to improve your yard and community. Together they will bring decades of experience in reading landscapes and implementing rainwater, greywater and many other water harvesting systems.

Given our interesting times we have pivoted to doing this as an online course; rather than delivering all this information in an overwhelming full-day online, we are breaking it up over SIX classes.

Meet the permaculture experts below!

Greg Peterson

Greg Peterson

Urban Farmer and Permaculture Educator

Teaching from The Urban Farm

Greg is the founder of The Urban Farm right in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona and it serves as his home as well as his classroom. For more than thirty years, Greg has studied and taught regenerative agriculture practices at Arizona State University as well as permaculture design courses through Urban Farm U. Greg is passionate about using natural landscapes to leverage efficiency in your space and has designed his property to utilize as many water resources as possible. Using permaculture design on a micro level, Greg captures water from places you wouldn't think would be viable sources and has implemented various systems that also act with multiple benefits for his landscape. Greg co-founded the Phoenix Permaculture Guild in 2003.

Don Titmus

Don Titmus

Permaculture Designer and Educator

Teaching from
The Bee Oasis Learning Living Center

Don specializes in horticulture and permaculture design which he began studying in the mid 1970's. Initially studying horticulture as an apprentice in London, he worked on landscaping projects for several years until he moved across the Atlantic landing in Phoenix, Arizona. He specialized in xeriscape gardening and eventually became introduced to the world of permaculture when he signed up for a course recommended by a friend. From there, Don found his calling and this led him to take advanced teacher training courses in permaculture design. Don co-founded the Phoenix Permaculture Guild in 2003 and later began teaching permaculture design courses so he can live out his passion of educating others about the world of permaculture.

What you will learn:

Why waste resources when you could be saving them? Through our six modules, you will understand the importance of water harvesting combined with aspects of permaculture, various harvesting methods, real examples of harvesting systems from Don and Greg's properties, and the basics of earthworks design transitioning from micro to macro levels.

We will help you identify what you need to maximize your efforts from beginning to end so that by the end of the course you will walk away knowing the right steps to take to be on your way to water self-sufficiency.


Introduction to Water Harvesting:

By the end of this module, you will be thinking like a permaculturist as you will be able to know where the optimal locations are in your space for collecting water. You will be introduced to the basics of water harvesting, various types of collection systems, water harvesting ROI, and review in-depth details on installation methods for a water harvesting cistern.


A Tour of The Bee Oasis and Don's Water Harvesting Systems:

The layout of The Bee Oasis incorporates many different plants that support a bee's ecosystem, which is only possible through harvesting the rain! By the end of this tour, you will know the key elements of collecting natural rainwater in your space. There are many surprising sources and methods to collect water, this module includes:

  • Roof runoff and guttering,
  • Basic structure of harvesting from an urban building,
  • Storing rainwater in the earth with micro basins,
  • Implementation of 55 gallon storage drums & large water tanks for storage,
  • Basic structure of cisterns, and proper site placement,
  • A hybrid French drain water relocation system able to run water up hill


Harvesting Water in Urban Landscapes:

Having the ability to harvest all the water that falls on your property is the ultimate goal. Diving deeper into harvesting concepts, some big takeaways from this module will be understanding urban watersheds, learning how to conduct a sector analysis of your property, and integrating permaculture design on your property through harvesting strategies. This module was a live course and also features a Q&A intermission with Don so you may have some questions answered before the end of the class!


Permaculture Hacks, Tips, and Tricks:

We're back at The Bee Oasis with Don where he shares a multitude of permaculture hacks that are creative and out of the box. There is no 'one size fits all' solution when it comes to permaculture, therefore Don is going to share a range of concepts that will allow you to identify what works best for your space such as Re-inventing, Re-purposing, Keeping it Low-Tech, and Mimicking Nature. Some highlights you will take from this module include:

  • Wicking Bed concepts for planters,
  • Chlorine filters in an irrigation system,
  • Creating an outdoor shower,
  • The Bucket Brigade and a Mosquito Trap,
  • BONUS: Non-water-harvesting permaculture techniques like a composting toilet, chicken tractor, and cycling a garden 


Water Harvesting Tour at The Urban Farm:

Greg Peterson gives a tour of The Urban Farm where you get to explore the water harvesting components on his property while sharing in-depth knowledge along the way. Get an insight on proper placement for harvesting systems as well as the multiple benefits that can be realized from using the flow of natural resources in your space. This module covers topics on:

  • Grey water applications both indoor and outdoor;
  • The epic tale of two rainwater harvesting systems, the expensive and the effective;
  • The benefits of an outdoor shower;
  • Plus learn the best place to store your collected water!


Basics of Earthworks and Landforms:

The recorded modules in the course end with a final exploration of the importance behind understanding natural ecosystem flows on a macro level. The content in this module is perfect for water harvesting projects on a larger scale landscape such as farms, ranches, or large properties. The topics covered here will be focused on:

  • Broad-scale/acreage methods
  • Applying the micro to the macro methods
  • Understanding topography of the land
  • Types of machinery and equipment
  • Earthworks and landforms strategies
  • Storing water in soil and containers
  • In-depth evaluation of several examples

Who is Water Harvesting For?

  • Those that want to learn how to be more self-sufficient by enabling access to an independent water source.
  • Those who are seeking alternative ways to reduce their water and energy bills, especially during peak demand.  
  • Those who want to create a positive environmental impact by reducing the amount of water treated and pumped to your home... thus meeting better standards of water and energy efficiency and reducing water service costs!  
  • Those that want a clean source of water for plants and landscapes free from fluoride, sodium, and chlorine.
  • Those looking to make a difference in their pocketbook and their community by reducing long-term municipal water development needs.  
  • Those who want to reduce contaminated storm water runoff of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and metals to nearby rivers, streams, and groundwater sources.
  • Those who instead of being tethered to a municipal water system, wish to take advantage of untapped resources in their community!

Does Harvesting Water Really Make A Difference? Why Now is More Important Than Ever...

Take Advantage of Free Resources...
Our water resources are overallocated and as our population grows with continued economic expansion, this puts our water sources at further risk. The process of treating and pumping municipal water also costs money and energy which is reflected in our utilities. Water harvesting reduces this expense by tapping into a free resource. Harvesting water can be a sustainable water supply strategy for communities, especially ones that can't access acceptable water sources.  

Grow Healthier Gardens and Landscapes...
Treated municipal water supply usually contains elements such as fluorides, chlorines, sodium, and potassium which disrupts the balance of minerals and nutrients in the soil. Regions that require water softening will have large amounts of sodium present in the water. Supplying your garden with captured water sources will allow you to rest easy knowing that you are using a water source that won't be detrimental to your plants health.  

Inspire Your Community...
Water harvesting techniques can educate you and your community on recognizing household water usage and can be a tool to inspire others to conserve water. Explore the various water harvesting equipment available whether it is for your property or an urban building, the possibilities are endless!  

Captured Water Minimizes Impacts and Enables Self-Sufficiency...
Why rely on a water source that costs money, energy and is overallocated? In addition, your health and the health of your landscape is not benefiting from the unnatural processes of our water system. Did you know that the costs associated with water are increasing? Groundwater is becoming harder to find and extract, water management and conservation is a rising concern as more homes and buildings are built, stretching water further into scarcity. Captured water reduces the impacts from municipal water demand, decreases erosion and contamination from storm water runoff, and enables self-sufficiency by creating an independent water source free of chemicals and of charge.

What You Get:

  •  Six 1 to 1.5-hour online water harvesting classes ($397 value) Prerecorded and always there so you can attend at your leisure.
  • Access to the prerequisite course 100: Introduction to Permaculture ($67 value)
  • Worksheets and handouts for each class ($47 value)
  • Access to the private, member-only Urban Farm Facebook group
    Get your questions answered by water harvesting experts! Plus, meet fellow permaculture designers, receive guidance, and feel supported and inspired by others going through the same journey. 
  • Tons of extra content and resources
    Extra bonus videos, DIY pages for building and installing equipment, and lists of the best books, websites, and organizations for further learning and inspiration. 

Plus, these FREE bonuses:

  • Bonus Class: Ways to Water Your Garden ($47 value)
    - Greg's favorite ways to water his space while keeping it simple and inexpensive
  • Bonus Class : Drip Tape Step-By-Step ($47 Value)
    - Everything you need to about drip tape and why it's a game-changer in the garden
  • Bonus Class: Humanure ($47 Value)
    - Don's hack on how to add sustainability to your garden
  • Bonus Class: Sheet Mulching ($47 Value)
    - A smart way to mulch your garden using free resources
  • Step-by-step cistern installation instructions ($47 value)
    - Learn how to install your own cistern and start harvesting water like a pro
  • 10 more Bonus Classes from the Water Harvesting Summit ($297 value) on topics including efficient irrigation systems, greywater, subsurface irrigation, and more. INCLUDING 2 high-level water harvesting classes Brad Lancaster recorded exclusively for Urban Farm U.
  • Additional links and resources for harvesting barrels, tanks, and grey water systems

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will this course take?

We have 6 online classes to offer, and each module is 1 to 1.5 hours. Plus, you'll get loads of extra content that you may work through as you like (worksheets, extra resources, bonus videos, etc.). Everything is pre-recorded and will always be there, so you may take your time and work through it at your own pace.

Do I need to have a certain level of permaculture knowledge already?

Anyone with little-to-no experience in permaculture can take this course and easily begin their water harvesting journey by the end of the first module. However, our water harvesting strategies are based on aspects of permaculture which entail observing your space to use the natural resource flow of ecosystems. The prerequisite course 100: Introduction to Permaculture is included for free when you enroll. Having an understanding of basic permaculture concepts can leverage your ability to strategize and implement an ideal water harvesting system catered to your space that will reap the most benefits.  

How much support will be available to me?

In addition to the course modules, you can reach out to your fellow Urban Farm U community for advice and inspiration via the private member-only Facebook group. Plus, we'll send you emails to check in on how you're doing, which you can always reply to with any questions or concerns you have. We also offer strategically scheduled Q&A sessions to cover water harvesting specifically.

Are there other benefits to harvesting water?

An inch of rain that falls on 1000 square feet of roof can yield roughly 600 gallons of water! Don and Greg, who live in the Sonoran Desert, a region that only gets about 7" of annual precipitation, are collecting anywhere from 8,000 to 34,000 gallons per year! That's more than a 2 year water supply for your garden and it's free! Many cities are also offering water harvesting rebate or voucher programs. For example, Tucson, AZ offers two levels of financial incentives for installing passive and active rain collection systems. Check with your city to see what kind of rebates are offered in your area!

I'm Ready to Harvest Water!

Get smart with your resources! Water is precious, save it.  

Don't wait... enrollment period is limited.