These techniques have been adapted and applied during the last 30 years by Valer Austin, President of the Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation and Vice President of Waterock, L3C, on her large ranch holdings in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico. Valer is commited to sharing her knowledge and experience with land and water restoration and conservation techniques with Indigenous Communities where and when they are requested.
Reservation- based Organizations and Tribal Leaders are encouraged to adopt these experiences as they anticipate and cope with the devastating effects of climate change as seen in the continuing drought conditions, increasing frequency of fires, and flooding after monsoon rains in the Southwestern areas of the U.S.
The overall strategy of each Workshop is to assure Community Leaders that their designated Trainers will become proficient in the techniques needed for the continuation of these erosion control activities, beyond the conclusion of the Workshop.
The Workshop is an employment generator for the Trainers who will be able to create their own businesses for land and water restoration opportunities.
The Tribal Leaders who have participated in this program, have observed that erosion control activities are also strengthening community life on their reservations. They value the Workshop because it provides opportunities for the constructive engagement of youth through supervised skill training and work experience.
Waterock, L3C Workshops are focused on training "Trainers" in techniques to direct rain water runoff to prevent land erosion and conserve water for multiple community uses. "Trainers" accept the responsibility to train others within their communities.
Workshops generally require 3 to 4 days and include:
1. Outreach for Awareness
- Meetings with Tribal Authorities and Grassroots Organizations
- Presentations to the community at large
- Introduction of a Workshop includes technical film and document presentations by the Trainers
- Selection of sites for construction of model structures, and identification of equipment, rock and earth needed, and informational presentations to school children to encourage their interest in the principles of land and water restoration.
2. Field Work
Trainers work with trainees in constructing loose rock structures in dry stream beds that highlight rain water harvesting procedures.
Following the first major rainfall, Waterock hydrologists visit model structures with Trainers and trainees to determine their condition and possible need for rehabilitation.
Each Workshop is custom designed and priced on the basis of the number of days and participants.
The operational strategy of each Workshop is to assure Community Leaders that their designated Trainers and trainees will become proficient in the techniques needed for the continuation of these erosion and water harvesting control activities well beyond the conclusion of the Workshop.
The Workshop is an employment generator for the Trainers who will gain the skills necessary to create their own businesses for land and water restoration opportunities.