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Stormwater Harvesting and Management

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September 15, 2017 @ 9:00 am
September 17, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
Event Category:
$400 – $500
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Sponsoring Organization

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(707) 824-0836



This hands-on workshop will encompass site assessment, design and full installation of a cistern storage system plus integrated swales and rain gardens to harvest overflow. Participants will gain the skills to critically think through a multifaceted approach to reading topography, assessing sites and designing systems, including calculating runoff and storage potential compared against water use to select and size appropriate water harvesting systems from the many options available. Through the hands-on installation we’ll cover CA building codes, roofing material considerations, gutters, filtration systems, tanks, tank foundations, plumbing basics and the construction of a diversity of water harvesting earthworks. Everything we do will be nested in a larger framework of conservation hydrology – a watershed-based approach of ecological emulation, which offers the tools to fundamentally transform how we think about and manage our water resources, to shift from a paradigm of scarcity to one of abundance. We’ll explore policy opportunities and funding sources to support the scaling of rainwater harvesting solutions, as well as tour existing systems, large and small, which offer a tangible glimpse into the “new normal” of water management in the West. The future is already here – it’s just not evenly spread out yet!

Leave with the ability to:

  • Critically think through designing water management strategies that increase the life supporting capacity and resilience of landscapes and communities.
  • Conduct a site assessment and calculate water harvesting potential compared against onsite water requirements.
  • Design and construct properly sized passive water harvesting systems, which include pre-filtration, tanks, and integrated earthworks to harvest overflow.
  • Assess your sites’ location within the larger geographical, political and economic watersheds to assess existing and emerging opportunities for rainwater harvesting.


Erik Ohlsen is the Executive Director of the Permaculture Skills Center, a
vocational training institute which offers advanced courses in ecological design,
landscaping, farming and land stewardship. He is also the Founder/Principal at
Permaculture Artisans, a 10 year old fully licensed contracting firm specializing
in the design and installation of ecological landscapes and farms throughout
California. Erik and the Permaculture Artisans have worked on hundreds of
innovative water harvesting projects ranging in size from urban backyards
to broadacre landscapes.

Brock Dolman is an internationally renown permaculture educator and designer.
He is the Director of Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s WATER Institute and
Permaculture Design Program, and he co-directs OAEC’s Wildlands Biodiversity
Program. He co-instructs Basins of Relations and permaculture-related courses.
Living up to his specialized generalist nature, and rekindling the dwindling
art of the peripatetic natural historian, his experience ranges from the study
of wildlife biology, native California botany and watershed ecology, to the
practice of habitat restoration, education about regenerative human settlement
design, ethno-ecology,and ecological literacy activism towards societal

Early Bird (First 10 sign-ups): $400
Regular Tuition: $500

Please pre-purchase tickets as seating is limited to 40 people per session.
For more information, visit our website at www.permacultureskillscenter.org or email Lee@permacultureskillscenter.org