Designing and Implementing Water Retention Landscapes

Learn the principles of decentralized Water Retention Landscapes to regenerate water cycles and our climate, and the practices to build them.



“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, Potawatomi botanist and author of “Braiding Sweetgrass”

Water cycles are key to thriving life. But our industrial growth society is degrading ecosystems and soils around the world, leading to broken water cycles and anthropogenic climate change. Building decentralized Water Retention Landscapes (WRL) is an urgent, and necessary, and in many places, first step for ecological restoration.

You’ll get to know the underlying principles of scalable water retention landscapes, learn about key factors which determine our design and acquire practical tools to build them.. In Tamera’s land and surroundings, you’ll see different techniques to retain water, accumulate nutrients, build soil, and increase biomass and biodiversity.

We’ll also look at the inner side of regeneration and explore how building trust among people is crucial in increasing our capacity for land stewardship. We believe 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.

Who is the course for?

  • People who are new to the concept of water retention landscapes
  • Anyone interested in landscape and climate restoration practices
  • Land owners & stewards
  • Permaculturists
  • Water retention practitioners
  • Landscape designers
  • Water campaigners and activists

What you’ll learn

  • An understanding of the root causes and effects of drought, floods, fires, desertification, declining groundwater tables, of the impacts of centralized water management and the correlations between water cycles and the climate
  • Basic principles and techniques of scalable decentralized Water Retention Landscapes as response to drought and flood
  • To see yourself and the land you work with in the context of the watershed, transcending thinking within your own property borders and understanding the larger hydrological system you’re part of
  • Introduction to integrated systems for domestic water
  • Vegetation management in water retention landscapes
  • The relation between outer and inner landscapes

“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

  • Planning & design exercises with the “Scale of Permanence” (P.A. Yeomans)
  • Utilizing maps & aerial imagery
  • Outdoor exercises for reading the landscape and measuring and marking contour lines
  • Deep ecology exercises
  • Practical hands-on work in teams to implement various techniques for water retention
  • Excursion(s) into our surrounding

Gift Experiment

This seminar breaks away from traditional pricing models. Instead of a fixed price or sliding scale, it’s part of our gift-economy experiments during the 2024 guest season. Rather than setting a price, we invite you to offer a genuine contribution based on your experience in Tamera.

All we ask is that you cover your room & board upfront, ensuring we meet our essential expenses. Toward the end of this seminar, you’ll be invited to assess your experience and decide on a financial contribution that reflects both your financial capacity and the value you’ve found in this seminar.

This experiment is our next step toward a more relational, trust-based economic paradigm, and we’re looking forward to having you join us in this experiment!


Research area: Ecology

Type of learning: Learn skills

Location: In Tamera

Language: English


This seminar is part of our gift-economy experiments.

We ask you to cover your room & board upfront (€30/ night), ensuring we meet our essential expenses. Toward the end of this seminar, you’ll be invited to assess your experience and decide on a financial contribution that reflects both your financial capacity and the value you’ve found in this seminar.

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

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.


Shared dormitories/group tents, Guest House, 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.


“Very well-organized educational and spiritual event to connect with the value of water. I’ve received tons of inspiration to change my approach to water management. It is a radically positive experience.”
– Jaroslav

“If you are looking for a course that provides high-quality knowledge, explains water scarcity problems holistically, and searches for solutions, this is it. I feel so grateful and humbled by this inspiring experience. It has motivated me to continue on this path of saving, protecting, and reconnecting with water.”
– Solvei

“Learning how to heal the landscape, the water, and our community, while healing myself, was an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing all the work and love with us.”
– David