Brock Dolman fosters "watershed moments" for hundreds

Seminar Program Promotes Collective Action

Brock Dolman is a watershed poet and advocate, though he didn’t set out to be either. After studying biology and environmental studies at University of California Santa Cruz, Dolman was working with endangered species when he experienced his “watershed moment.”
Today, as the director of the WATER Institute at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center in Sonoma County, Dolman fosters watershed moments for the hundreds who attend his lectures or workshops each year. In October 2010, for example, he was the keynote speaker for the From Rain to Resources Workshop hosted by the Okanagan Basin Water Board in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Brock Dolman gives 50 to 60 talks a year to groups ranging from the Audubon Society to the Rotary Club, where he attempts to increase understanding of how water moves through urban and rural landscapes and how humans can participate wisely in its course. 
Dolman and his co-workers teach workshops on how to install rain gardens and roof water harvesting systems, how to reduce sediment flow into creeks and rivers (which compromises fish habitat while washing valuable topsoil downstream) and how to mend eroding waterways. The Water Institute’s signature four-day “Basins of Relations” seminar promotes collective action.
To read the complete story as written by Deborah K. Rich and published online by the San Francisco Chronicle, click here.

Think Like a Watershed: At the British Columbia workshop, Brock Dolman’s keynote presentation was titled Basins of Relations: Thinking Like a Watershed. He offered interpretation about water, watersheds, human development patterns and restoration. 

Brock Dolman discussed rainwater harvesting as a strategy of water conservation from roofs to the broader landscape. He expanded on ideas of “Conservation Hydrology” and Low Impact Development, which emphasize the need in many areas for human development designs to move from drainage to retainage.

He also offered ideas on practices that spread, slow and sink rainwater on site rather than land use practices that, by design, capture and convey excess volumes of rainwater and stormwater off-site. 

To access the set of stories posted on the homepage for the From Rain to Resource Workshop, click here.

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