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Ashevillage Institute Offers Wise Water School

 What is the Ashevillage Institute?

The Ashevillage Institute is a nonprofit organization based out of Asheville, North Carolina. The mission is to " Create community-based, on-the-ground programs, projects and people that foster a vibrant, just, and regenerative world." Programs offered by the institute support people who want to work on behalf of the earth to become Earth Champions. They are based on a collaborative platform that engages leading innovators through online global seminars, coupled with immersive residential opportunities. Ashevillage curates teams of instructors and co-design curriculum together that will engage participant’s visions for their own communities.

What is the Wise Water School? 

The Wise Water School is a comprehensive yearlong program that supports the planning and acceleration of regenerative water systems solutions at any scale, including: project design and development, strategy sessions, live-stream presentations with global water champions, group discussions, classes, monthly benchmarks, peer review and mentorship calls. The program is available November 2014-October 2015  and involves:

60 hours = residential (9 days in December) <or> distance learning throughout the year
• Wise Water practices, instruction & coaching with Brad Lancaster – 27 hours
• Strategy jam sessions with Brad Lancaster & fellow participants – 12 hours
• Eight global water leaders live-stream presentations & panels – 6 hours
• Activation Lab & project development with Stacey Murphy – 6 hours
• Project pitch, review & feedback sessions – 6 hours
• Field trips to water retention landscapes – 3 hours

40 hours = annual total of follow up calls — 3.5 hours per month
• Monthly mentorship calls with Brad Lancaster & Stacey Murphy – 16.5 hours (90 minutes per month)
• Monthly peer accountability calls including review & feedback – 16.5 hours (90 minutes per month)
• Three global water leaders remote activation calls – 4.5 hours (90 minutes each)
• Three case study project presentations – 90 minutes
• Celebrations & next steps call – 90 minutes

8 hours minimum are recommended per month with your team
• Independent project design & development
• Stakeholder assessment & relationship building
• Project implementation, review & improvements

To find out more, visit

Who is the Lead Course Instructor? 

Brad Lancaster, lead course instructor, is the author of the award winning books Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Brad is a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant, and co-founder of Desert Harvesters. He has taught at numerous universities, centers and conferences, including internationally. He designs integrated water harvesting and permaculture systems and works with policy-makers in his hometown of Tuscon, AZ. Brad practices what he preaches—living on 1/8th of an acre where he harvests 100,000+ gallons of rainwater a year, creating a desert oasis by directing rainwater into food-bearing shade trees, abundant gardens, a thriving landscape and habitat for wildlife. This harvested water is then turned into living air conditioners of food-bearing shade trees, abundant gardens, and a thriving landscape incorporating wildlife habitat, beauty, edible and medicinal plants, and more. Such landscapes can cool buildings by up to 20° F (11° C), reduce water and energy bills, and require little more than rainwater to thrive. Outside the home, Brad has helped others do the same, enabling clients to create ephemeral springs, raise the level of water in their wells, and shade and beautify neighborhood streets by harvesting their street runoff in adjacent tree wells.

Brad started writing the Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond series with the goal of empowering his clients and community to make positive change in their own lives and yards, by harvesting and enhancing free on-site resources such as water, sun, wind, shade, and more. The series provides accessible explanations of what water harvesting is, how to do it appropriately, and how to tailor water-harvesting strategies to the unique conditions of different sites and integrate it with the harvest of other resources. Brad believes we all can become beneficial stewards of the land, and partners in the ecosystem in which we live, and that by harvesting water—and more—we can all begin to transform our households, neighborhoods, campuses, businesses and more from being consumers of resources to generators—and even regenerators—of resources. Drawing on his years of teaching, consulting, designing, on-the-ground implementation, and learning from others, Brad offers students clear and simple processes to assess and design their own harvesting systems at home and throughout their community.