American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA 2006 Professional Awards
ASLA Home  | ASLA Honors and Awards  |  Call for Entries  |  Awards Jury  | Awards Press Release  |  News Room & Publications

<< back to main page

Cover of Book: The Saguaro was chosen as it is the ultimate water harvester-sucking up as much water as possible when it rains. Its ribs expand to hold the collected water then contract as the water is used during drier times (Photograph by author).

Page x Foreword: Written by Craig Childs, a well known author that has produced multiple books for Arizona Highways as well as The Secret of Water. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Chapter Divider Page: All chapter divider pages and the cover are printed in color. All other photographs are printed in black and white. All but a few photographs in the book were taken by the author. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Chapter Two First Page: Typical chapter introduction page. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Residential Detail: Two overall rainwater harvesting system concept details are provided, one for residential and one for commercial. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Click here for printer-friendly version


Forgotten Rain: Rediscovering Rainwater Harvesting, Phoenix, AZ
Heather Kinkade-Levario, ASLA, Phoenix, AZ

"This is a strong piece of work on a very valuable subject. A must-read for landscape architects and other designers."

— 2006 Professional Awards Jury Comments

Intended purpose
The purpose of this book is to help educate the public on how to do rainwater harvesting, to show the components of a system, and to eliminate the idea that the process is complex. The author has had multiple requests for information, requests for presentations, and requests for providing class materials, which demonstrated a need to get the information into one document and out to the public for education purposes. Several state manuals and international books exist for the subject, but no one book/document is as comprehensive with history, component information, case studies, details, and references.

The audience for this book ranges from a beginner looking to collect information for a school project or a future rainwater harvesting project to a more knowledgeable owner of a rainwater harvesting system. An excellent reference and resource section is provided for a reader to expand the knowledge provided in the book to allow the advance rainwater harvester to gain even additional information.

The message of the book is that it is time to wake up and realize we have a natural resource that is slowly being depleted-freshwater-and unless we start to take care of it and the natural cycles that maintain it, we will experience a lack of freshwater like other part of the world are currently experiencing. A second underlying message is that designers-specifically landscape architects-should be designing all projects to incorporate passive techniques to collect and infiltrate rainwater/stormwater.

Publishing this book is the first step, along with the other manuals that are being produced in the United States, to help the urban environments in the United States to be designed with a sustainable hydrological cycle. The process is a service that is and can be offered by landscape architects and should be a part of every site design, whether requested by a client or not. It is what landscape architects can offer to help reduce our usage of groundwater and purified municipal water supplies. Stormwater and rainwater catchment and reuse of this water has been proven to help reduce municipal water usage without greatly impacting watershed base flows and has already been a municipally requested design component in parts of Arizona (Cochise County, Arizona) as well as in other states. This book will help the professionals implementing these mandates.

Impact and effectiveness
Forgotten Rain Rediscovering Rainwater Harvesting has made a great impact over the last year. The book has already been requested for patrons at the University of Arizona Main Library, Scottsdale Public Libraries (5), University of Virginia book store, and from national as well as international individuals. The City of Phoenix Libraries has inquired about purchases for their libraries as well. The book has been purchased by several local professional Landscape Architects and Architects and is currently helping to guide Arizona governmental and private efforts involving stormwater and rainwater catchment. Prior to this book being published, only a few pamphlet-like manuals existed in the United States. Now publishers are looking for rainwater harvesting books to represent/offer. A second Forgotten Rain book has been requested by a Canadian Publisher-New Society Publishers a second manuscript has been initiated.

Distribution Method (commercial bookstores, magazine, Internet, etc.)
Forgotten Rain Rediscovering Rainwater Harvesting can be purchased from the Publisher-Granite Canyon Publications-or be found at, under resources. This is a web page set up by the author to expanded potential learning about rainwater harvesting. The web page provides an abbreviated text of the book-no details. Articles on rainwater harvesting and rainwater harvesting links are provided, most are found in the book. The author also personally sells and distributes the books at speaking engagements and other professional events.

Circulation/distribution (number)
Only a small number of books were published (500 - 129 pages) as the author had to use her own money to pay for printing. Sales from the first printing were to pay for a larger quantity in the second printing. However, now the Canadian Publisher will take over the second printing.

Other Issues as Appropriate
The Landscape Architect involved in the project was the author of the book and was the driving force behind the text subject matter, photos, and selected case studies. The author created all the details, researched all the maintenance and care recommendations, and collected all the references. The author also coordinated with the editor and graphic designer taking on the role of the client. This book is unique in that it is a collection of data from all over the world and is a non-biased approach to the subject. It includes information for both passive and active collection where most manuals and international books focus on one type of collection or highlight various equipment suppliers.

The author felt so strongly about rainwater harvesting as being a way Landscape Architects could help the world through their efforts, she put her own time and money into producing the book in a manner she felt was the most appropriate for learning the process. Several publishers wanted to change the content, photograph locations (all in the center instead of with the text it was related to) and case studies. Eventually a publisher was located that believed the book was appropriate just as written. Now several publishers have requested the right to publish a second version. It took showing the example of how it should be done to catch the attention of the publishing world.

Project Resources


Final Copy Editor:
Kim Shetter

Art Director:
Mike Levario


Granite Canyon Publications



Page 12 Concepts of a System: Typical page combining photographs, text, and charts to explain a concept to allow all forms of communication to be used in an effort to provide readers the full learning opportunity/benefit. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Page 31 Water Balance Analysis: The water balance analysis is fully explained and sample budget forms are provided. A case project is provided with an explanation on how to bring the example into balance with water collected and water used for a landscape irrigation system. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Typical Information Page for a Case Study: Each case study begins with the system owner, location, and system specifics. Multiple photographs and descriptive text follow each information page. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Typical Information Page in the Detail Appendix: The detail appendix is broken into sections based on the components of a system. Each section begins with a short introduction then continues with information on care and maintenance of that specific system component. Multiple details are provided for each section. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

Typical Detail Page: All details were designed by the author. Typical photographs are provided to give real life examples and applications of the detail. (photo: Heather Kinkade-Levario)

ASLA Home  | ASLA Honors and Awards  |  Call for Entries  |  Awards Jury  | Awards Press Release  |  News Room & Publications