Introduction to Water Retention Landscapes
Water is key in a landscape’s capacity to harbor life. Without water we wouldn’t be here. The impact of human activity has changed landscapes around the world on a large scale. These degraded landscapes and ecosystems lead to a broken water cycle and contribute to anthropogenic climate change. Creating decentralized Water Retention Landscapes (WRL) is a regenerative practice that engages us with the ecosystems that sustain us and our wider community. It’s a wholesome way to be in relationship with water, land and everything that follows. Think globally, act locally.
Unsustainable water management is practiced in agriculture, urban planning, forestry, fishing, water treatment and other industrial processes which fuel global modern society. Knowing this, we’re also aware that the landscapes we inhabit and co-create are a direct reflection of our “inner landscapes.” Extreme weather patterns and degraded ecosystems are mirroring the imbalance of our social and economic systems.
“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants”
This course is a 4-day introduction into the design and creation of scalable Water Retention Landscapes. We’ll explore the underlying principles which inform the design process, as well as look at practical examples. Tamera’s land and surroundings will serve as a model to show different techniques to retain water, accumulate nutrients, build soil and increase biomass and biodiversity. Our community context and the role of people in system change is another important part of the curriculum. How can we develop a relationship with land in the spirit of stewardship rather than being land owners?
We’ll see how water retention can be a viable strategy to mitigate global issues like flooding, major fires, desertification, a declining groundwater table and exploitive water policies.
- basic principles of the Water Retention Landscape
- decentralized WRL as a scalable model
- the impact of centralized water systems with examples from our region
- design frameworks (e.g. Scale of Permanence, landscape units, zoning)
- how to reverse desertification
- large and small water cycle
- broken water cycle
- outer & inner landscapes
- water as a living being
- vegetation in WRL, vegetation management.
Our program will include:
- a preparation package prior to the course (with questions regarding your own water situation and content)
- utilizing maps, aerial images, watershed
- a Tamera tour, seeing different techniques of water retention (swales, terraces, dams, ditches, check-dams, rip-lines)
- an excursion
- a digital folder with course content.
To work through the preparation package you’ll receive prior to the course.
If you have questions or concerns about our guidelines relating to Corona you can sign up for one of our Zoom calls in the registration.
Number of participants
30 maximum (12 minimum)
Sliding Scale from
€370 to €650
(including seminar fee, board & accommodation)
Why are we using a sliding scale?
Please consider applying for or donating to our solidarity fund if you can’t pay the lower end of the sliding scale or want to support others.
Our invitation to Portuguese nationals.
If you cancel your participation to a course 2 weeks or less before the start of the program, we ask for a cancellation fee of €100.
Dormitories, tent or own camper van.
A room in the Guest House can be booked at an additional cost.
Vegan full board
Arrival and Departure
Please arrive the day before the course begins and depart the day after the course finishes.
Please note that it’s not possible to bring children to this course.
Please note that it’s not possible to bring pets to this course.
Marcus Dittrich, Silvano Rizzi and a team from Tamera’s ecology department.