regenerative design

The essentials of rainwater harvesting with co-author Rob Avis from Verge Permaculture: 102


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In keeping with the theme of water regeneration this month I spoke to Rob Avis, the co-author along with Michelle Avis of their book in the New Society Essentials series called Rain Water Harvesting.

Rob and Michelle founded Verge Permaculture, an award-winning design, consulting and education company in Calgary, Alberta after years of international training in renewable energy and regenerative design. Since its founding, Verge has helped more than 1000 students and clients to design and create integrated systems for shelter, energy, water, waste, and food, all while supporting their local economy and regenerating the land. Through their design and consulting they create havens that produce their own energy and food, harvest water, cycle nutrients, and restore the surrounding ecosystems, enabling property owners to thrive no matter what. With such a broad range of knowledge, experience, and expertise, we focused mainly on rain water harvesting techniques and systems in this episode as an entry into the larger concept of watershed regeneration and revival.

In this session Rob explains some of the key components of rain water harvesting systems and the ways that you can treat and filter the water for various uses. We talk at length about why expensive filters and disinfectants are often unnecessary, even for most potable water uses, and the different ways you can keep your stored rainwater clean. Rob also speaks about how rainwater harvesting systems fit into a larger system aimed toward water resilience in multiple living contexts from urban to rural applications. I’ve been a big fan of Verge Permaculture and all their great work for some time now and I’m intending to create a larger series of in depth talks with Rob and Michelle in the future so if you enjoy this episode and have further questions that you’d like to hear us cover in future talks, then by all means send your questions and feedback to me at or in the comments in the show notes on the website.


Buy the book “Essentials: Rainwater Harvesting”

Verge Permaculture Website

Verge Youtube channel

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