The OAEC WATER Institute has written up the following guides to help citizens, landowners, agencies and decision makers implement useful techniques to restore and protect the watersheds we live in and include extensive resource lists. Many of these reports describe projects we designed and installed as part of our conservation hydrology demonstration site at OAEC.
A 30-page WATER Institute booklet about the history, ecology, benefits and restoration of beaver in California. (Version 4.0, 2020).
Contact us at (707) 874-1557 x 101 to purchase a full-color copy $10
A 23-page WATER Institute report on roofwater harvesting in California (2011). The following is the text and photos from a report written by the WATER Institute in 2011. Feel free to download this booklet and share the information widely.
A 10-page WATER Institute how-to on solar hot water heating. The following is the text and photos from a booklet written by the WATER Institute in 2009. Feel free to download this booklet and share
the information widely.
An 11-page WATER Institute how-to on two legal graywater designs for residential applications. The following is the text and photos from a report written by the WATER Institute in 2010. Feel free to download this booklet and share the information widely.
An 11-page WATER Institute how-to on this simple agricultural roofwater catchment design. The following is the text and photos from a booklet written by the WATER Institute in 2011. Feel free to download this booklet and share the information widely.
A 27-page WATER Institute how-to on simple residential roofwater harvesting systems at OAEC. The following is the text and photos from a booklet written by the WATER Institute in 2008. Feel free to download this booklet and share the information widely.
To achieve both behavioral and systemic change, the WATER Institute has cultivated strategic partnerships with community-based organizations, agencies and centers of governance in both the rural and the urban areas of Northern California. The following publications are a product of these collaborative efforts.
The “Slow Water Movement” mantra advises us to minimize topsoil loss and avoid siltation of the watershed, while optimizing the retention of water on site by encouraging it to sing in where it lands. This article introduces the basics of Conservation Hydrology and Brock’s slogan Slow It, Spread It, Sink It, Think It in this 2006 article by Katherine Cook in Pacific Horticulture Magazine, vol 67 no 1.
The Dutch Bill Creek Coho Restoration poster is installed in a display kiosk in downtown Occidental, CA at the watershed divide line between Dutch Bill Creek Watershed and Salmon Creek Watershed. It is a summation of the Dutch Bill Creek Streamflow Improvement Plan, published by the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership, with infographics, photos, map, and timeline geared toward educating the general audience of visitors to the town. In addition to raising overall “watershed consciousness,” the poster highlights the accomplishments of community restoration efforts to improve conditions for Coho salmon, the keystone species in Dutch Bill Creek.
This article written by Brock Dolman was published in the Permaculture Drylands Journal in 1998. The article discusses the permaculture principle of “maximizing edges” or ecotones – the zone that is created when two distinct landscape forms come together. Brock puts forth the argument that while an edge zone may be richer in biodiversity in theory, in an age of habitat fragmentation due to development pressure, the ever increasing edge zone is only as rich as the interior zones that come together to make the edge.
WATER Institute Director, Brock Dolman, published this article in Minding Nature Journal from the Center for Humans and Nature in September of 2017. “All must be reflectively re-thought and retrofitted from the current dehydration and degradation design toward a new rehydration and regeneration design. We must move from the ‘drain-age’ to the ‘retain-age.'”
This double-sided Russian River Watershed map includes a wideangle topo view of the entire range spanning several counties. The flipside shows the various creek/tributary sub-watershed territories of the Russian River, including our home Dutchbill Creek. This map is perfect for local naturalists and teachers – in the side bars are eco-logical literacy practice questions and activities for getting to know your own watershed.
The Bodega Valley Rainwater Catchment & Alternative Water Supply Program is an example of a multi-pronged, community-based program to provide enhanced water security for residents and help restore stream flows during the dry summer months. This article describes the coordinated community planning, funding, and implementation of more than 12 different roof water harvesting systems for both private residential homes, the Bodega Fire Department (pictured here), and several local dairy operations.
This Streamflow Improvement plan (SIP), written by the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership, is a roadmap for prioritizing and implementing streamflow improvement projects with multiple public benefits and a diversity of approaches within OAEC’s home watershed of Dutch Bill Creek.
Peer-reviewed scientific article. “Restoring Summer Base Flow under a Decentralized Water Management Regime: Constraints, Opportunities, and Outcomes in Mediterranean-Climate California” by OAEC WATER Institute Director, Brock Dolman and University of Florida researcher Matthew W. Deitch. Published in Water -Open Access Journal.
Keywords: Mediterranean climate adaptation; coastal California; salmon restoration; water abstraction; hydrologic variability; streamflow seasonality; drought; human–environment interactions
This paper brings to light the buried beaver dam wood that was dug up in Sierra’s in the late 80’s and carbon dated to 580, 1730 and 1850 A.D. This is significant because it serves as scientific proof that beaver occurred in the Sierras before European settlers arrived (2012).
The purpose of the Salmon Creek Estuary Habitat Structures Project is to improve habitat in the lower Salmon Creek estuary through installation of large wood structures and floating willow rafts. The instream habitat structures will provide refuge areas for salmonids and other aquatic species during high flows and cover from predation during low flow periods.
The Salmon Creek Watershed Council and OAEC received a grant to investigate the physical condition and functioning of the Salmon Creek tidal estuary, assess upstream factors that directly affect critical habitat in the estuary, collect historical information and develop recommendations to enhance habitat (2004).
Brock Dolman contributed to this report by the California Agricultural Water Stewardship Initiative. It is intended to launch a conversation to inspire strategic action and implementation of policies, programs, and farming practices founded in a water stewardship framework (2008).
Brock Dolman co-authored the “Beaver Historical Range” paper below which lists several forms of historic evidence (including the buried dam wood) that further prove that beaver were in fact native to the Sierra (2012).
Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman co-authored this report on the historic evidence of beaver in the north coast of California where Coho salmon occur. Includes detailed maps, tables and appendices (2013).
The WATER Institute collaborated with Prunuske Chatham, Inc. and Virginia Porter to create these guides (2009).
In addition to the publications above, the WATER Institute has produced the following entertaining and educational videos.
California Tiger Salamander Massacre
Special Report on the slayings of rare California Tiger Salamanders on a Sonoma County Road.
Saving Salmon, Saving Us
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the historic reintroduction of endangered Coho Salmon to the Salmon Creek Watershed in Sonoma County.
The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) is an 80-acre research, demonstration, advocacy and organizing center in Sonoma County, California that develops strategies for regional-scale community resilience.