Rainwater Harvesting with Gord Baird LIVE 2023


April 20, 2023 - June 8, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

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Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

The global water shortage and many local restrictions are becoming all too common. What was once an unimaginable situation, is now a common occurrence for countries, regions, cities and people - not enough water to live on.
Rainwater harvesting is a viable and now practiced trade that anyone can learn to apply at the personal, professional, municipal or institute level, if you have the right information and instructor.
Gord Baird is an American Rain Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) Accredited Professional ASSE  Certified International Rainwater Designer and Installer and has actively designed and installed dozens of rainwater harvesting systems for potable and irrigation use at all scales of application.
This course is for anyone who sees that learning how to safety harvest, store and use rainwater is a valuable skill for their professional or livelihood.
Session 1: Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting
  • Why Rainwater Harvesting?
  • Scarcity
  • Climatic influences and considerations
  • Resiliency in a time of scarcity
  • Rainwater Harvesting for fire mitigation
  • Governmental influence on regulations
Session 2: Rain 101
  • What’s in our rain?  Myths and Realities
  • Classification of rain systems (rooftop collection, stormwater)
  • Types of end uses for Rainwater Harvesting
  • The Canadian and USA standards for design
  • Understanding risk assessment when considering the end-use
Session 3: System Components
  • Collection
  • Conveyance
  • Storage
  • Supply
  • Detention/Retention considerations
Session 4: Design Steps
  • Site assessment for suitability for desired end use
  • Water budget
  • Precipitation
  • Collection potential
  • storage sizing
  • Treatment requirements
  • pump sizing
Session 5: Non-potable and Potable
  • 3 tiers of end-use
  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 3
  • Irrigation - more detail
  • Standards, Regulations, Gorvernance
  • Materials
  • Treatment
  • Water testing - What to test and frequency (raw, treated)
  • Commissioning a system
  • Documenting operations and maintenance
  • Residential vs multi-connection
Session 6: Alternative Storage and Responsible Strategies
  • Water Impoundments: Ponds
  • Soil
  • Microbes
Rainwater Harvesting Challenges
  • costs
  • responsibility to manage
  • expanded development
Open Class Discussion - Personal Rainwater Harvesting Scenarios
WHO THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR-- Anyone faced with dwindling or limited water sources
-- Regulators that are seeking to learn more about alternative waste management trends
-- Professionals working remotely who've moved to their summer cottages and now need to address their lack of water,
-- Home Builders/contractors (timberframe, loghome, natural builders) working on remote islands,
-- Engineers,
-- Homeowners who are thinking about building,
-- Tiny homes on wheels seeking to ensure their systems are mobile
-- Temporary camps seeking a responsible method to deal with otherwise harmful wastes,
-- Architects - Water Designers, professional associations seeking course to meet annual training needs
-- People with water issues and a lack of water and want to decrease their water usage,
-- Permaculture designers and educators,

NOTE - No previous knowledge of rainwater harvesting is required for this workshop.


Gord Baird
Gord Baird’s background and experiences stem from building the Eco-Sense homestead, a Living Building Challenge project that includes net zero water and waste systems, located in the District of Highlands on Vancouver Island. Addressing sustainable building, waste and water systems in the context of conventional codes and standards spawned an interest to change policy. Gord Baird is an American Rain Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) Accredited Professional and has actively designed and installed dozens of rainwater harvesting systems for potable and irrigation use at all scales of application.  An unexpected career developed from the passion to stir the pot of sustainable water stewardship, compost toilets, policy and governance.  Gord’s policy work includes being a technical editor the Province of BC’s regulations on compost toilets and greywater, consulting for municipal and regional governments on rainwater harvesting for potable use and developing non-potable water reuse guidebook for commercial and multi-family residential building for a regional government. He sits as an elected municipal councillor, is the 4 year vice-chair for the CRD Regional Water Supply Commission, and is an 8 year commissioner for the Juan de Fuca Water distribution Commission.  Hands on work include co-authoring the Essential Composting Toilets  book, designing and installing over 30 residential potable rainwater systems,  strata small water systems, and is an ASSE internationally certified rainwater harvesting designer and installer.

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