Alternate Water Sources Working Group Welcomes Hollie Hall as a Speaker

Hollie Hall PhDThe Alternate Water Sources Working Group in Sonoma County featured two speakers at its September 18, 2018, meeting, including our very own Hollie Hall, PhD. She gave a talk called “Water Use on Cannabis Farms” where she shared her knowledge of issues and opportunities that legal cannabis growers face: water sourcing issues, water quality issues, and the features of sustainable cannabis farm water systems.

Originally called the Sonoma County Graywater Working Group when it was founded in 2008, the Alternate Water Sources Working Group has studied the state and county graywater laws following the passage of SB 1258, conducted a listening session that evolved into a survey of stakeholders, and created a matrix of issues and indicators relevant to graywater.

The working group has educated community members about the new graywater standards adopted in 2010. With financial assistance from the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program, the group produced a comprehensive brochure emphasizing the Clothes Washer system. The final brochure was a collaborative effort with 9 other Sonoma County cities.

Other accomplishments of this working group include:

  • Collaborating with the Sonoma County Water Agency to draft a graywater curriculum now incorporated into the Agency’s Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Training Program.
  • Surveying the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority team and other experts in the field of wastewater energy use about the benefits wastewater can provide from an energy/greenhouse gas (GHG) perspective. Their responses provided food for thought for further analysis by the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) committee.
  • Presentations to state and local officials about the benefits of water reuse (Board of Supervisors, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health, California Environmental Health Association).
  • Ongoing quarterly speaker presentations/dialogs on topics of water efficiency, conservation and reuse.

Planning & Design

Water, land, and resource use planning and farm design with a holistic perspective of watersheds. The Compliant Farms team develops and monitors the implementation of plans that help farmers to take advantage of a property’s assets to improve soil fertility, water efficiency, and watershed health, while moving their farms beyond baseline compliance. Covering topics such as cultivation site suitability, integrated pest management, soil fertility, water security, rainwater catchment, regenerative farming techniques, our team specializes in taking your cannabis farm beyond compliance into excellence.

Consultation

The Compliant Farms team is available for consultation on the ecological aspects of your cannabis farm and associated land so you can make the most of your resources responsibly. Popular consultation topics include: water system design and compliance, holistic land management, soil fertility improvement, integrated pest management, watershed management, land use design, rainwater catchment systems, regenerative farming techniques, natural resources management, and cannabis farm compliance.

Compliance

We work with farmers to assess compliance with environmental regulations, implement plans for meeting compliance standards, and monitor progress toward achievement of a farming system that have positive, cumulative effects on the overall watershed. We specialize in compliance with the Water Board’s water quality programs, County environmental compliance, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife compliance., We take farmers beyond the mandated standards so their farms can continue to thrive for years to come.

Site Assessment

When the Compliant Farms team goes to a farm for a primary site assessment, we thoroughly inspect the parcel’s developed,cultivated, and adjacent wild land areas. It is our goal to empower our clients to understand how their activities can be integrated into a watershed-wide perspective. After the assessment is complete, we provide clients with a summary and a list of action items highlighting best management actions to be taken as soon as possible to reduce negative environmental impacts. We also collect information for water rights permitting, assess the need for California Fish and Wildlife permits and begin the development of a long-term vision.

Workshops

We want all farmers to benefit from the knowledge of regenerative farming practices and other techniques that save water, improve soil, and keep plants thriving. The Compliant Farms team offers workshops and livecast videos with DIY tips and advice for farmers on a wide variety of topics, including Last Minute Farm Winterization and Reducing Runoff. Find more resources here.

Speaking

We love to share our knowledge. Principals Hollie Hall, PhD and Dan Mar, CPD are accepting invitations for speaking opportunities with sufficient advance notice. Learn more about who they are and how to get in touch.