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Workshops > Environment & Sustainability

A Gathering Of Waters: Human Relationship With Water / Earth Day Celebration: Full Weekend

Workshop ID: G13SW351X
Dates: April 4, 2014 - April 6, 2014 Price: $150.00

The energy and engagement of last year’s Earth Day theme on water was so well received that it was determined to take it Watersanother step. There is really no place on our globe that can ignore this significant issue. Please join us as we dive into the deeper waters of our relationship to water. All life on our small planet is based on water.

Download a workshop flyer for posting and sharing with others.

A Gathering of Waters

Friday evening, April 4 – Sunday afternoon, April 6, 2014
All life on our small planet is based on water.  Modern Americans have long been able to simply take water for granted, but the era of complacency may be ending.  Now, in the midst of dry times, the water conversation is becoming louder, more persistent and cacophonous.

The Water Symposium will bring practical and ethical perspectives to the water conversation.  The weekend will also involve important ritual and ceremony to engage our mind, body, and spirit with this issue.

*Other Guest/Panel Speakers include:

DR. DAVID GROENFELDT – anthropologist and activist who currently serves as Director of the Water-Culture Institute in Santa Fe, NM and through his career has worked on water and natural resource policies in developing countries.
Talk – Ethical Dimensions of Water Decision-Making

BASIA IRLAND -  globally respected author, poet, sculptor, and activist who creates international water projects examining how communities of people, plants, and animals rely on this vital element.
Ritualist and Panel Participant

DR. SUE JACKSON – principle research fellow with the Australian Rivers Institute
Talk – Indigenous Water Values in Australia

DR. JOSE’ RIVERA – research scholar at the Center for Regional Studies at the University of New Mexico – author or Acequia Culture:  Water, Land, and Community in the Southwest.
Talk – Historical Water Sharing Practices in New Mexico

MAX YEH – primary researcher for the Percha-Animas Watershed Association. He lives in Southern New Mexico and is a water user and water rights activist within the Lower Rio Grande Basin.
Talk – Limitations of Modern Legal Systems in the Allocation of Water


This year will also include a “Youth Track” so families can learn and open up together towards new awareness and new attitudes with our relationship to water. Youth will participate in numerous fun and experiential activities throughout the weekend.

ELENA ARELLANO – farmer, environmentalist and librarian at P’oe Tsawa Community Library at Ohkay-Owinge Pueblo - Youth Track Elder/Coordinator

SUNDAY BONUS for Full Weekend Participants ($50 value)

The Wisdom of the Waterwheel – An Afternoon with ELDER FLORDEMAYO

Ghost Ranch is honored to welcome one of the members of the Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers who is doing significant work on the issue of water on our globe. Ghost Ranch is honored to welcome one of the members of the Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers who is doing significant work on the issue of water on our globe. Please view the video below for more information:

2:00-5:00pm – Lecture, Conversation, Reception, and Closing Ceremony



Steve Harris describes his career as that of a “River Worker”, centered on the Rio Grande as it courses through the desert Southwest. He is a river outfitter and guide, a river and flood rescue instructor to various local, state and federal agencies and a river conservation activist, as well as a student of the history and natural history of the Ghost Ranch region.


Basia Irland is an author, poet, sculptor, installation artist and activist who creates international water projects, many of which are featured in her book, “Water Library”, published in 2007 by University of New Mexico Press. Through her work, Irland offers a creative understanding of water while examining how communities of people, plants and animals rely on this vital element. Her work and presence is respected around the globe.


David Groenfeldt is Director of the Water-Culture Institute in Santa Fe, NM. An anthropologist (PhD from the University of Arizona, 1984), his career has focused on international water issues, including five years with the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka and 13 years in Washington, DC working with consulting firms, and the World Bank, on water and natural resources policies in developing countries. Since 2002, David has focused on environmental and cultural aspects of water policies. He helped establish the Indigenous Water Initiative to coordinate inputs from Indigenous Peoples in the World Water Fora in Kyoto (2003) and Mexico City (2006). He was director of the Santa Fe Watershed Association, in Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA) from 2006 to 2009. He established the Water-Culture Institute in 2010 to promote the integration of Indigenous and traditional cultural values into water policies and practices.

For more information or if you would like to attend this workshop, but do not need lodging, please call the Registrar's Office at either 505.685.1001 or 505.685.685.1017 Monday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p. m. (MST).

Two ways to register:

  1. Download printable registration form and mail to: Ghost Ranch Registrar, HC77 Box 11, Abiquiu, NM 87510. OR scan and email your completed form to:
  2. Register by telephone at 877-804-4678, extension 4152 or 4155 — available Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. MST.