Reviving Rivers California - March 30th in San Rafael
With Dr. Rajendra Singh - the Waterman of India
In the driest part of India, Dr. Rajendra Singh has helped bring water back to 250,000 wells, revived 13 rivers, increased the number of harvests possible in a year, and decreased the temperature in the region by 2 degrees. Over 35 years Rajendra, through his organization Tarun Bharat Sangh, has brought water back to thousands of villages throughout Rajasthan. This was done through the process of Community Driven, Decentralized Water Management. Through simple techniques of creating earthen water bodies called Johads and check dams, rivers in the driest part of India were revived.
If there has ever been a time for this approach to spread, it is now - and if there has ever been a place that needs it, it’s California. Our first events with Rajendra sold out in just a few days. So due to popular demand we’ve added another evening talk on March 30th as part of the Reviving Rivers California Tour!
Thursday, March 30th, 2023
Doors open at 6:30pm, Event starts at 7pm
in San Rafael, California at the Angelico Concert Hall
This evening will include a screening of the award winning film Reviving Rivers, followed by a presentation from Rajendra. Then there will be a brief panel discussion with Rajendra and regional experts, followed by questions from the audience.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Choose action and come join us at the Angelico Concert Hall in San Rafael to learn how to revitalize and heal landscapes through community-driven decentralized water retention.
Humans can also be a creative, constructive force within Earth’s ecosystems. By creating decentralized water retention landscapes we act as keystone species, reviving the health of our land and water. Join the Water Stories community to learn how, and for the original unwatermarked versions and tons of other water restoration related content.
Humans as Keystone Species
This shift takes place by transforming the water-sheds that have been created, back into water-catchments. Community driven, decentralized water retention projects rehydrate landscapes and restore the health and vitality of ecosystems and communities. When we act for water, it creates positive ripple effects through the web of life.
How Do We Do It?
It starts with a newfound respect for water and nature - changing our relationship from one of control, to one of cooperation and symbiosis. Reforesting, revegetating, terracing landscapes, and creating water bodies, all helps the land receive the seasonal rains. Decentralized Water Retention Landscapes help distribute and balance the availability of this vital resource. Reconnecting waterways with their floodplains, and providing space for water to gather and infiltrate during flood events, further increases the seasonal recharge. Treating the catchment area by reestablishing forests, diverse vegetation and consistent groundcover improves the health of the soil, and the infiltration and retention of rains.
What Are the Results?
Storing the seasonal rains within the earth-body ensures abundant and healthy water supplies throughout the year, and into the future. Rehydrating the landscape gives ecosystems the change to rebound to a state of health. Fresh water from the oceans is recharged back into the earth, replenishing groundwater and aquifers. Springs come back to life, and the streams and rivers become full of fish and wildlife once again. With abundant water, vegetation photosynthesizes for longer throughout the year, cooling the air and regulating the temperature - the heat dissipates. Hygroscopic microorganisms growing within the forests drift into the atmosphere, again seeding water vapor into clouds and then rain. The forests trap heat as they convert water from a liquid to a gas, for that heat to then be released higher in the atmosphere when the gas re-condenses back into a liquid. The low pressure systems created by this process draw in more humidity from the coast. This forms a feedback loop. In this way The Full Water Cycle can be restored, and with it a balanced and productive climate.
How long does it take?
When working with water, people see the results of their efforts after the first rainy season. Year after year the landscape stays green for longer and is more productive. As the ecosystem develops interconnectedness and complexity, productivity continues to increase. These actions make sense for a human time scale as they provide us feedback with each passing rain. Huge transformations are possible within a decade, and people clearly see the results of their actions quickly, empowering them to gain confidence and community to expand their work.
Want to learn more?
Participate here! Join the discussions, watch our videos, and share with your friends, family, and community. Without people around the world implementing these solutions, the potential impact cannot be realized. This revolution is by the people, and for the people and planet.
Watch Reviving Rivers, A Renatured Life, or Desert or Rainforest to see real life examples. Join the Core Course to learn how to do this for yourself and to become a Water Restoration Practitioner.
Hi there, just wanted to post the next video in the series. The Watershed Death Spiral. This video details how human impact has deeply disturbed the water cycle, how that has affected our climate extremes, and where we are at now.
Human activity has disturbed the Full Water Cycle, resulting in the increasingly common and severe Flood, Drought, and Fire we are experiencing; as well as rising global temperatures and extreme climate.
Greg Martin wrote:The stream and all the associated forest and land texture surrounding it that I played in and loved as a kid is completely gone....trees trucked off and land form flattened so that a house and grass could take its place. I asked my dad how they could do something like this to a stream like that and he said the stream dried up years ago when a larger lot was developed into elderly housing (yeah, that lot was completely destroyed too....decimation looks great in comparison). I just can't come to terms with what our society values and what it's blind to. Thank you so much for the work you're doing. Maybe someone else's stream will be saved. Maybe someday people will reverse the damage we've done to watersheds, and we'll demand that our landscapes around our homes are functioning complex ecosystems.
It's exactly stories like yours that have made us want to do something about this water cycle disturbance. We have unfortunately heard many that are similar.
We do believe that it is possible to reverse the damage done to watersheds, because we have seen that work done by others and with projects we've done as well, which is why it is ultimately our goal to teach others how to restore them so we can have this kind of decentralized watershed restoration all over the world!
I am just bumping this because we are gearing up to have registration open for the next round of the course. I will post back on here when it is open for registration but yeah just wanted to make a note here first!
Hi lovely permies, I just wanted to share some amazing animations that our team made to explain the water cycle and all of it's iterations. The Full Water Cycle, (how the water cycle functioned before humans were involved and how it worked in a balanced and interconnected way), The Watershed Death Spiral, (the state of things now, after many many years of humans disturbing this cycle), and The Revived Water Cycle, (a way for humans to act as keystone species, reviving the health of our land and water).
SO, a while back we released them on our Water Stories Community, which you can join for free, but we decided to also release them on Youtube so that they are more shareable. However, the youtube versions do have a watermark on them so if you want the higher quality non watermarked version you can always go to our community for that. But anyway! Below is The Full Water Cycle and I will update this thread as we release the others on Youtube.
Most of us have been taught an over simplified story of the water cycle. The full water cycle is much more complicated and interconnected than what we learned in school. Here, we tell the whole story.
The Core Course is designed to guide you down a path of growth, towards being an effective steward of water and nature. Through a series of 12 modules you'll move through phases of Discovery, Experience, Advocation, and Practice. You'll gain new abilities in reading the landscape, understanding the water cycle, and how to take actions with long term positive impacts, while becoming an advocate for water and nature. This course will equip you with the education and tools you need to take meaningful action for the health of the earth, and for water.
An Example of What is Possible with the Knowledge the Course Provides
Working with Water - Incredible Land Transformation 5 Years Of Water In The Ground - These Are The Results
Over 5 years, Tabula Rasa Farms enlisted Zach Weiss to restore water supplies and ecological function across their land. So far, they’re succeeding far beyond what they imagined. This video shows what is possible when land owners, farmers, and water stewards come together to bring water back to their landscapes.
We hope to share with you the amazing stories of all of all of these Water Heroes, and show you that no matter where you are, or what your circumstance, you have the power to make a positive impact on your local water cycle.
Just me again, just wanted to reach out to tell you about a webinar we’re doing next week with the world-renowned agroecologist, soil restoration expert, and author: Nicole Masters.
Over the last 2 decades, Nicole’s work has helped restore healthy soils with clients across 1.3 million acres. In this webinar, we’re going to dive into how healthy soils can rehydrate landscapes, and repair the local water cycle.
How Healthy Soil Restores Landscapes and the Water Cycle
When healthy soils are restored, stormwater is captured, infiltrated, and stored in the landscape, which stays green for longer. Storms become an asset, plants stay healthy, and the threat of droughts and wildfire are mitigated.
For a farmer or rancher, this leads to a stronger livelihood with fewer expenses and more profits. For the rest of us, this leads to healthier ecosystems.
Nicole will be sharing some incredible case studies of soil restoration and rehydration, as well as actionable steps you can take to restore your soil, and as a result, rehydrate your landscape.
This will be a great webinar, followed by a Q&A afterward on the Water Stories platform.
Details: May 13, 2021 10:30 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Just a reminder about this webinar - tomorrow at 11:00 am Pacific Time! Another thing is that if you cannot attend live, you will be sent a replay link to the recorded webinar. So no worries if you can't attend at that time, just make sure to register so you can get the replay link sent to you after the webinar.
Hey lovely permies, just wanted to share this webinar that Zach Weiss is going to be doing next week. Thought some of ya might be interested. :)
In this Webinar, Elemental Ecosystems director Zach Weiss will share his experience on creating water retention landscapes, and will show how these earthworks can lead to dramatic ecosystem restoration, and the restoration of water supply and wildlife habitat. Zach will share how water retention spaces can reverse longstanding cycles of drought and soil loss, and actually create a feedback loop of ecosystem restoration that benefits people, animals, and fertility.
Also, Zach will present a brand new global platform for water cycle restoration and practical training during the webinar that you can take part in now.
Mar 25, 2021 11:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Trampas Graham wrote:"Elemental Change"...what a fitting title for the time in which we live! Thank you so much for creating this film...seeing something such as this reminds me that there is hope for humanity after all. Best wishes and congratulations on undertaking such a beautiful and worthwhile creation.
Thanks for the kind words Trampas. That is the hope: hope.
Laura Emil wrote:LOOKS powerfully important, i just tried to submit my name/email on the website form (to get details on when/where to watch the film), but "Something went wrong while submitting the form." Don't see a 'contact' option on the website, so thought i'd try to let you know here...
Thanks for letting us know. I just tested all the forms and they are working properly so maybe something was happening at the time that got fixed? Care to try again and let me know if it is still not working?
A message from Zach Weiss on World Water day on March 22nd: - "Water - every day I am more grateful for this vital element, and yet I feel I am just starting to scratch the surface of its significance. Today is world water day and the theme is water and climate, and how the two are inextricably linked. I think that's another connection where science is just starting to understand the significance of the relationship between the water cycle and global heat dynamics. That's why for the past two years I've been working on a film to bring this connection to life - and show how humans can act to restore a healthy water cycle for all life on earth."
The water cycle is one of the most important drivers of climate. If we challenge our relationship with water, it will allow us to see today's environmental crises in a new light. The need for better water stewardship is the inspiration for Elemental Change.
Watch the Trailer Here:
Elemental Change illustrates the water cycle and its importance to life on Earth, through stories of people successfully reversing environmental degradation.
Today, traditional knowledge holders, agroecologists, and eco-entrepreneurs see solutions where many have given up hope -- the elemental change possible when humans act in step with nature's cycles.
This independently-funded documentary aims to create a movement that empowers communities across the globe to create solutions for their local environmental challenges.
Hi everyone, just wanted to pop in and share a new video that we've released over at Elemental Ecosystems.
This is the second year of our water restoration project at Tabula Farms. Over a dry, hot summer, we installed a stock pond and earthworks which would hydrate the landscape and capture the seasonal rains. If we work with nature, we can restore any landscape back to ecological health. Watch this film and share it to see how water can restore damaged land and bring balance.
UPDATE: This tryout opportunity is no longer available, as we have already selected participants for it, but if you are interested in further opportunities and would like to be contacted about those, you can still contact us through our website.
As some of you know, Elemental Ecosystems is rapidly expanding and so we are in the process of organizing a tryout for employment. Our goal in hosting this event is to identify those that would be a good fit to work with our project crew in the future. This event will be a week-long tryout for our team to work with those interested in taking on our type of water restoration work for their livelihoods. It will be a test period to identify those who are a good fit.
The tryout will take place in early October 2019, in Southeastern Montana.
If you are interested, please contact us through our website, Elemental Ecosystems, and we will send you more information.
Thomas Brincat wrote: Hi everyone I have a huge problem I have a very high water table. My grass is constantly Soaked .The ducks started picking at the dirt where they found a little bit of water and created a 5 x 5 pond for them selves pretty neat how nature passive way of helping yourself. I have 7 acres and I would like to put in at least an acre and a half . . I’ve been reading some posts and people are saying start out by digging a hole and And see holds water. Does anybody know how much it would cost to To dig out a 1 acre pond may be an acre and a half thanks Tommy
Hi Tommy, if you are interested in having Elemental Ecosystems help with your pond situation, you can email us at office AT elementalecosystems.com.
wayne fajkus wrote:I am unsure what you are looking for. I have no affiliations with any local groups but can reach out with more info on what the goal is.
I'm in Fort Hood area. Close to Austin and Waco.. I know the Mother Earth News fair happens around February . People like Salitan are there giving presentations every hour.
Heritage farms may be a place to check. Waco. They have 2 big gatherings a year. They would be aligned with Zach and have the space and following to pull in a crowd. In the back of their compound is an insitute. Maybe for sustainable agriculture. I cant remember the name. They do old school stuff at the farm and give classes. Wool to yarn, yarn to finished goods. Wood fired pottery. Forging. Making cheeses. Water powered flour mill. Sorgum pressing. They bring in big numbers of people.
The goal is to find places for Zach to give his Water Retention Landscapes presentation at, places that could get at least 20 people to come.
So what I'm looking for is just places (cities, towns, etc) that would maybe have a fairly big environmentally conscious population. And then once I've narrowed that down, finding specific organizations or universities in those places that would be willing to host the presentation.
So, the place you mentioned in Waco is a great example. I'd Imagine Austin would have some great places too.
I am helping Zach Weiss (protege of Sepp Holzer) organize a small presentation tour through the southeast US.
Problem is, I don't really know what cities along the drive would be especially good for this. He will be driving from VT to TX, definitely stopping in Asheville, NC, and possibly Baton Rouge, LA, along the way. Here is a screenshot of the general route.
Any ideas of places directly on this route or even a bit off this route is fine too.
I just really don't know what cities would be worth going to, where there might be a big environmentally conscious community. Thoughts?
Atlanta? Birmingham? New Orleans?
A bit more about the presentation, just for context:
He gives a really inspiring talk about restoring the earth's water cycle by creating water retention landscapes. It provides both the context and theory for the larger ecological issues at hand, as well as real-world examples of the solutions and approaches. He highlights projects from a variety of different contexts, scales, and climates so participants are left equipped with a fundamental understanding of the key elements, and introduces the incredible possibilities for restoration and regeneration.
Dan Boone wrote:Whereas my default attitude is “why would we even be HAVING this conversation if they didn’t want help?”
We all want some sort of help when we reach out to someone for support.
The thing is, is that everyone's version of what "help" looks like, is different. So asking someone what *kind* of support and help they need or want instead of assuming that its the same kind *you* want, is usually the best way to navigate this kind of thing.
This brings up an interesting conversation that has been coming up quite often for me actually.
I am notorious for getting annoyed when people give me unsolicited advice. It realllllly bothers me when people should on me and I take quite a bit of effort to avoid that phrase when I am giving people support, emotional or practical. So I've come to the conclusion that *why* it bothers me is this notion that these other people think they know better than me about *myself* and *my life* than *I* do, and that really irritates me because it implies I am not capable of figuring shit out on my own, which is very untrue.
But what I've come to realize is that it really only FEELS like they think that. Most of the time (at least for me in my experiences) they don't *actually* think they know better than me, they are just trying to be helpful because they care about me and want me to not be in distress about whatever it is we are talking about. HOWEVER, I think this stems from people being codependent as SHIT and not knowing how to be okay with the people they care about being in distress so they are *so* uncomfortable by your pain that they are taking great effort to get you *out* of pain when really they could maybe just sit with you and allow you to feel what you're going through and sort it out yourself, like a good therapist would. So really people just need to learn how to not take other people's distress and/or pain on and let people express themselves without telling them what to do UNLESS THEY SAY WHAT SHOULD I DO DUDE?
The last element that is tied into the first part of the previous paragraph is that I think I inherently assume people do not have good intentions. That's a whole other conversation, and I don't think I *actually* believe this, but it seems like my gut response is that people are saying I'm incapable when really they are just trying to be helpful and nice. So that's my own baggage that I'm trying to unpack but my perspective has kind of changed on this topic since I've started to realize that more. Of just like oh, yeah, this is annoying, but they are just trying to be helpful. With my close friends and partners though, I tell them that when I am in distress, I pretty much never want or need advice, so unless I ask for it, I usually just need validation and understanding and love in those moments.
Nicole Alderman wrote:It's so good to see you on permies again, Cassie! Your dailyishes over the years have me feeling like I know you (...which makes me wonder if people feel the same way about me now that I write dailyishes :o). I see a bio on http://www.elementalecosystems.com/about.html and it says you've got a farm and are raising cattle--so exiting! I hope life is treating you awesomely and returning 10 fold all your smiles.
Thanks Nicole! From what I've seen you've done a wonderful job with the dailyishes, and I'm certain people feel like they know you because of it too! :)
Yes, that is all correct, I am back living in Montana, on family property, a few hours away from Paul actually, and I'm raising cattle and doing the whole bit! :) Life IS treating me awesomely, and I appreciate you and everyone's support along the way! Truly!
Judith Browning wrote:Cassie and Zach, It's wonderful to see you both back here!
...and with such forward thinking projects
hey ya'll, cassie here. smiley one back in action.
i have the great pleasure of working with Elemental Ecosystems now (a lot of you on here know Zach Weiss i think) and i wanted to share one of our new videos about a project we did in coastal British Columbia. it's a pretty special one, focused on water retention specifically to provide for the clients’ children, and for all future generations that will steward this property.