HELP BUY THIS GROUNDWATER
10/18/2014: What a busy three months! The water forum was quite a success, despite other interesting meetings and events in Asheville that evening. Attended by about 30 people, the talks were interesting and informative, and displays from Transition Asheville, Asheville City Water Resources Department, United Nations Association of Western North Carolina, and GreenWorks were engaging. The demonstrations were well received, and people stayed afterwards in smaller group discussions.
The Water Education Summit showed off the terrific work of universities, Agricultural Extension offices, and others to inform and motivate the public about Best Management Practices (BMPs) around water. Also referred to as Low Impact Development features (LIDs), these consist of methods at the Industrial/Commercial scale that I refer to as Earthworks for smaller Residential scale sites. While I emphasize infiltration berms-and-swales, diversion swales, infiltration basins,and check dams for simplicity, the methods also include bioretention ponds, rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns, roof gardens, gutters, gabions, sheet flow, filter strips, permeable pavement, drip irrigation, constructed wetlands, with new, improved terminology like "regenerative conveyance."
The WNC Storm Water Conference was just earlier this week, and attended primarily by engineers, landscape architects, planners, and code enforcement, stormwater and public works professionals. One of the high points for me at both of these events were the presentations of the innovative research done in Mars Hill by Tim Ormond and a large cast of collaborators on filtering with mycellia, steep slope bioretention, and people as part of the environment. The conference included the Annual Awards Banquet, at which I met several people I hope can give me guidance in moving water sustainability forward.
The Wise Water School of Ashevillage Institute has been postponed again, now expected to take place sometime in the Summer of 2015. I have been trying to raise a dream team of local water wonks to encourage cross-pollination between the progressive concepts and attitudes of permaculture and established academia and government. Despite this latest delay, I want to begin assembling this group and identifying goals and methods.
The recently formed Water Cluster of the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council is zeroing in on identifying our first project, and supported the Harvest Conference of the Organic Growers School. We are still looking for interested people to join us!
At the Transition Asheville Common Table meeting in August, I expressed concern that their support for the Water Sustainability Initiative has not met the needs for or the merits of the project, and asked for their input about me looking for a new co-sponsor. All the people present agreed that TA does not have the resources to support the project, so I am going to check with other groups. I am also going to see if I can generate funds through the environmental crowd-funding site Creeklife, to which I was introduced at the Water Education Summit.
The first thing I plan to crowd-fund for is a Groundwater Model available through the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and the American Water Resources Association. Go check it out!
So these are just the highlights of my busy past three months, and as a new blogger I have to say that I hope I can get back to this on at least a monthly basis. Many thanks and kudos to those of you who "get" my message and support my work!
7/18/2014: The water forum plans are coming along well and the 2014 Water Education Summit is scheduled for 9/8-9/10, but the Wise Water School (below) has been postponed until December. I am busy practicing my demonstrations for the water forum and trying to organize a team for the WWS. The demonstrations I'm working on present these concepts: unavoidable change, start at the highest point (or point source), water slugs, tanks for limiting floods, damp soil absorbs more water than dry soil, water storage with and without plants, water storage with and without earthworks, and the strength in community. I want it to be a fun, interesting, and educational evening and hope to see you there.
5/31/2014: And so it begins. I will be making entries here to keep people who are interested in my work updated on what I am doing and how it is going. I am currently engaged in two main areas: 1) finding team members and funding to attend the Wise Water School sponsored by Ashevillage Institute July 7-18; and 2) organizing a water forum on local water issues to be sponsored by the Water Sustainability Initiative of Transition Asheville and WaterLinks.
The WWS is really exciting because I hope to engage local community leaders with the world-class experts and champions in managing rain water that will lead the school. I hope to create a group that will address water with a broader, systems-based approach. If you or someone you know might be interested, please Contact Us.
The Ashevillage Institute collaborates with an extensive network of local and international visionaries and instructors, practitioners and community partners to offer immersive, community-based, whole-systems, on-the-ground educational leadership programs. I have attended some of their programs in the past and think they are doing wonderful work!
I want to emphasize solutions and what the ordinary person can do and will be talking about and demonstrating how plants, tanks, earthworks, and community engagement can help address these and other local issues about water.
Thanks to Transition Asheville, Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, Friends of Town Mountain, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Save Our Water WNC, the City of Asheville, AshevilleGreenworks, Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources, University of North Carolina Asheville, the Sierra Club, Peace and Fun Gardens, Living Systems Design, RiverLink, Asheville Green Opportunities, Clean Water for North Carolina, Ace Hardware, and the many individuals who have helped us reach our goals.
WaterLinks is an environmental consulting firm addressing clean water issues through point-source removal and water availability issues with training in simple water planting and harvesting methods, site-specific water availabilty assessments, water retention planning and implementation, and data collection.
Reaching across the disciplines of geohydrology, hydrology, meteorology and biology to view the hydrologic cycle from a wider perspective, WaterLinks emphasizes the interactions of these specialized fields to maximize water's availability.