About the Greywater Alliance
The Greywater Alliance is a recently formed group of organizations and individuals whose mission is to make reuse of greywater a critical and integral part of water conservation efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Our members are:
Laura Allen is a Bay Area educator and greywater activist. She has a BA in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley, and a teaching credential and masters in education from the New College of California. She is a founding member of Greywater Action, and designs and leads hands-on greywater workshops and trainings. As part of the stakeholders group she worked on the new California greywater code. She is also a member of the greywater advisory code committee for the state of Washington.
Jon Bauer is a former landscaper and composting consultant. He co-founded the Berkeley Biodiesel Collective and the Urban Sustainability Bike Tour. He currently works as a water conservation professional at a local water utility. He holds a master's degree in Geography from San Francisco State University where he studied the impact of local green development on urban creek restoration efforts and the creation of faux-creeks.
Christina Bertea served a 4 year apprenticeship in Local 159, Plumbers and Steamfitters and was the first woman admitted in the program. She designed and built a passive solar urban infill rammed earth cottage with radiant heat, taught plumbing at AND's construction education center in West Oakland, which had classes work on Habitat for Humanity houses in East Oakland. She became a contractor in 1996 and has plumbed quite a few "alternative" houses, including straw bale and rammed earth. She is also interested in the spiritual aspects of water, and creates fountains and water features.
Elizabeth Dougherty is determined to make innovative approaches to water sustainability all the rage in California. Her PhD in Ethnography from the University of Pennsylvania started her down the trail to international rural development in Latin America and Africa, green building, organic agriculture, fair trade, and permaculture. After working with cities and industries on becoming more energy efficient as a project manager at Flex Your Power, she was certified by the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and turned her full attention to water. Elizabeth initiated the very active Northern California ARCSA working group, and hosts a monthly professional speaker forum on water issues in CA. Early in 2009, Elizabeth founded Wholly H2o, California’s Integrated Water Management Information Center.
Andrea Lara grew up in the foothills of Northern California, the daughter of a plumber. After studying Neuroscience at Pitzer College, and teaching after-school science programs, she entered the plumbing trade. Witnessing the wanton waste of high end plumbing Andrea decided to put her plumbing skills to better use, and joined Greywater Action. She's led workshops and constructed greywater systems in the SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Stephanie has been a carpenter for over 12 years. Her experience in the trade has ranged from cabinet maker and wood framer to bridge builder. Recently, she has been one of only a handful of female superintendents in the country running large commercial and residential projects. Stephanie is a LEED accredited licensed contractor who has a strong background in large and small scale green and natural building projects. Formerly a woodworking teacher for children at the Randall Museum, a carpentry instructor for at-risk teens for Treasure Island Job Corps, Stephanie currently teaches workshops in living roof construction, LEED, and other natural and green building techniques.
Eric F. Olson P.E.
Eric holds a B.S. from the University of Minnesota in Geological Engineering. He is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in the State of California. He has a broad background working with water supply, wastewater, groundwater and sustainable water solutions. He currently works as a designer of greywater and rainwater catchment systems, Low Impact Design water infrastructure and green roofs. He has international development experience with water projects in Latin America and Asia.
Russell holds a B.S. from UC Davis in Evolution and Ecology and a M.S. from San Francisco Institute of Architecture in Ecological Design. He currently works as a landscape contractor where he implements sustainable strategies to create functionally beautiful gardens which positively affect our environment. He has pioneered water efficiency standards by permitting and building the first greywater system in Alameda County, Oakland and Berkeley, in addition to the first residential constructed wetland in California.
Babak Jacinto Tondre
Tondre has been an environmental and social justice activist for the past 15 years. Born and raised in Oakland/ Berkeley he completed his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley COllege of Env. Design via Affirmative Action in 1993. In 1994 he became a certified Permaculture Designer. He is the Co-founder of the EcoHouse, an ecological demonstration home open to the public, where he coordinated and helped spearhead the first city approved residential scale constructed wetland graywater system in California. He is a graduate of the First Voice Apprenticeship program at KPFA, and has traveled to Palestine and Chiapas to share his radio skills. He currently works with DIG coop as a Permaculture teacher/designer and green builder/ journeyman carpenter.
Short term goals:
- Convene building professionals, designers, city inspectors and planners, policy makers, water district staff, and greywater advocates in a series of round table discussions to faciliate local action around greywater implementation.
- Create a streamlined permitting process for greywater reuse in Oakland and Berkeley.
- Collaborate with other groups working on changing greywater policies in their local areas.
Medium term goals:
- Provide education and support for residents and businesses who want to reduce water use.
- Train people in the landscaping and plumbing industries who want to install greywater systems.
- Examine sustainable water use and conservation practices such as rainwater harvesting and composting toilets (ecological sanitation).
- Place greywater in the broader context by forming partnerships with groups interested in other water-related issues such as river restoration, bay and ocean conservation, bay friendly gardening, non-toxic products, access to safe drinking water and equitable water pricing, and stopping water privatization, and new dam initiatives.
- Prioritizing greywater reuse and water conservation in the next California water bond.
Long term goals:
- Redefine our relationship to water and work towards a sustainable and just water future locally, nationally, and globally.
- Reduce our dependence on large dams.
- Create truly green and sustainable jobs.