Designing and Implementing Integrated Water Systems

Learn how to build a fully integrated small-scale water system that takes care of your domestic water needs and processes wastewater, using regenerative water retention principles.



Our homes are in a delicate interdependence with the Earth’s climate and the particular conditions of any given location you find yourself in. The houses and infrastructure we build and inhabit participate in the flow of water and nutrients which extend into the surrounding landscape with its soils, aquifers, creeks, rivers, oceans and clouds.

In this new course, you’ll learn and apply simple principles to close cycles onsite utilizing the different qualities of water which occur in our daily life. Through intelligent design we can meet multiple needs of humans and fellow beings by creating distinct microclimates. And offer concrete pathways to take more responsibility for the impacts our activities have right outside our doorstep.

We strongly believe that a growing number of people who are knowledgeable and empowered to practice decentralized water management in their own homes and communities, will contribute to a more balanced climate globally.

Who is the course for?

  • Anyone willing to assess, design, and implement a fully integrated water management system on a small scale.
  • Anyone regardless of their educational background, but base math operation comprehension is highly desired for design exercises.
  • People with building and plumbing expertise should benefit from their experience.

What you’ll learn

Under the guidance of guest teacher Guilherme Neves Castanha, you’ll learn to:

  • design your property to meet your water needs, produce food and biomass
  • design a rainwater harvesting system
  • integrate excess rainwater from cisterns into hydration of landscapes
  • design gravel filters, slow sand filters, and bio-charcoal filters to purify your well, borehole, or rainwater
  • design a passive irrigation system with greywater
  • purify and reuse greywater, blackwater, or mixed flows
  • produce aquatic biomass for compost or animal feed from your water flows.

“This is an emerging Healing Biotope where we work to reconnect and restore the wholeness of life. Courses are focused on topics, but all of our research exists in an interconnected web, so your learning will likely expand on other areas.

As a learner, you can join our morning offers, which can include things like Yoga and Qi Gong. You’ll also be able to join in whole community events, like our Sunday matinee, the Ring of Power and Political Cafes.”

Course content

  • Guided tour  through Tamera’s Water Retention Landscape
  • Big and small water cycle and hydration of landscapes
  • Rainwater harvesting from roofs and roads in the context of landscape
  • Permaculture Design Principles applied to integrated/regenerative water management
  • Site assessment with its specific parameters regarding water needs
  • Visit integrated water system in neighborhood
  • design exercises and construction
  • Water purification.


Research area: Ecology

Type of learning: Learn skills

Location: In Tamera

Language: English


Sliding scale from €690 to €1140 (including seminar fee, board & accommodation).

You find the cost too high? Explore our Solidarity Fund.

Willing to support others? Consider contributing to the Solidarity Fund.

Why are we using a sliding scale?

Our invitation to Portuguese nationals.

Payment Policy

Once you have filled out the registration form, we will send you an email with instructions on how to pay.

Please note that in order to confirm your registration, you must pay a non-refundable registration fee of €150.


Shared dormitories/group tents, own tent, or own van.


Vegan full board.

Arrival and Departure

Please arrive the day before the program begins and depart the day after the program finishes.


We regret that children cannot be accommodated in this course.


We regret that pets cannot be accommodated in this course.