Water Harvesting and Soil Conservation

Watershed Artisans is committed to re-wetting desiccated and degraded landscapes and returning them to a state of resilient health. We work to restore the land to its most productive potential by healing the surface water cycle and increasing soil moisture storage wherever possible. This is a holistic approach that yields the best results when integrated with complimentary Regnerative Agriculture practices such as time-managed intensive grazing, silvo-pasture and agroforestry methods. We specialize in working with farmers and ranchers to create mutually beneficial restorative systems that heal the watershed, build soil and work seamlessly within their production systems.

Craig Sponholtz has studied agroecology and ancient water harvesting practices and now blends them with cutting edge techniques derived from regenerative agriculture, erosion control and river restoration to rejuvenate some of the most ecologically and economically critical areas of the landscape that we call “sweet spots”.  We can help you to identify the sweet spots on your land where the soil productivity and moisture storage potential is greatest, then create site-appropriate strategies to minimize erosion and maximize soil rehydration by reengaging natural processes.

We take a holistic approach to soil conservation that can be adapted to suit any climate or landscape. Our method emphasizes the utilization of runoff and sediment as resources to be harnessed to restore the living soil sponge. We look at the complete watershed and land management context and develop robust solutions that reverse the root causes of erosion and desiccation. We focus on improving the surface water cycle to create beneficial relationships between agroecosystems and the broader ecosystem.

Learn more about our work to reduce soil erosion in watersheds that feed the Great Barrier Reef.


Since 2012 we’ve been providing training to government agencies, conservation groups and contractors in the Great Barrier Reef region of Queensland, Australia. The goal of our work is to prevent excess soil erosion from harming the delicate reef ecosystem.