How is it possible to live off grid and achieve water security in a desert without a water or sewer connection? Learn how urban homestead harvests water and other resources to achieve food security and abundance under extremely dry conditions.

Brad Lancaster lives in Tucson Arizona, on one of the most amazing 1/8th of an acre anywhere! In an area with a metro population of nearly 1 million people, Brad has applied low tech, low cost solutions to create an off-grid life, while surrounded by grids and people leading typical lifestyles for this time. Brad harvests rainwater, collect solar power, and much more. Brad’s is an inspiring property, and in this video, Brad talks about some of the ideas behind the project and the strategies used to make it happen.

Buy Brad’s books at deep discount directly from him at his web shop:


NB Coming soon, Brad takes you on a video tour of his amazing urban homestead
• Part 1 (Jan 15)
• Part 2 (Jan 22)
• Part 3 (Jan 29)

Click on the time to jump to specific topics of interest

6:21 Scarcity and Abundance; the solution is harvesting
10:02 Water security: diversion vs harvesting
14:48 Integrated systems
21:02 Doing Water harvesting on their property
25:23 Harvesting more than water alone
28:48 Greywater harvesting
31:17 Solar power and sun harvesting
32:35 Getting the domino effect working for you
38:17 The problem can be the solution
42:55 We helped shift City policy!
45:29 The chains that held me back
47:20 For more info

Central Arizona Project
(Water diversion from the Colorado river to Phoenix and Tucson)


Links to Brad’s sites and books

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond: Volume 1 and 2

Eat Mesquite and more:

Urban Homestead, Permaculture Homestead, Abundance, Food Security, Water Security, Peak Phosphorus, Peak Oil, Desertification, Grow your own food, composting toilets, grey water design, solar cooking, passive solar design

About Rob Avis and Verge Permaculture:
In less than 10 years, Rob & Michelle Avis left Calgary’s oil fields and retooled his engineering career to help clients and students design integrated systems for shelter, energy, water, waste and food, all while supporting local economy and regenerating the land. He’s now leading the next wave of permaculture education, teaching career-changing professionals to become eco-entrepreneurs with successful regenerative businesses. Learn more and connect with Rob & Michelle at

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Live off grid in urban desert – Tips from Brad Lancaster, Tucson Arizona

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