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Sweetwater Collaborative


Sweetwater Collaborative is a local Santa Barbara nonprofit that was founded in January 2013. We became a 501c3 tax exempt organization in May 2017.

We focus on water wise education and re-landscaping, through classes, presentations and community hands-on workshops where we install sustainable features like rain gardens, greywater systems, rain tanks, foot forests and Mediterranean or native landscapes.

  • We emphasis keeping or putting carbon in the soil by increasing soil biology and permeability through the combination of mulch, rainwater, compost tea and appropriate plants.
  • Once or twice a year, we offer Sweet Water Wise Tours of properties that we have helped to transform with beautiful, water saving landscapes.
  • We aim to give the support and guidance that each community member needs to be able to make the water wise changes that are right for their context.
  • Sweetwater uses Sociocracy as our governance model which honors every member’s opinion and voice.

Since February 2016, Sweetwater has been offering Rainwater Harvesting 101 and Greywater 101 classes almost every month, co-sponsored by water agencies and/or governments in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria. The classes run for an hour and a half and include basic concepts and how-to information about these practices. We also periodically give similar presentations for private groups and organizations.

Upcoming Events

January 2018

Greywater 101

January 30 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Louise Lowry Davis Center, 1232 De La Vina
SB ,CAUnited States

Greywater (or graywater) is any water that has been used in a home except toilet water, which is called black water.  This includes water that drains from washing machines, sinks, showers and tubs.  Kitchen sink and dishwasher water is sometimes called dark grey water, as it may contain grease and food particles, which can cause clogging and slow infiltration into the soil. Currently kitchen sink water is not considered greywater in the state of CA. The easiest way to direct greywater into…

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February 2018

Site Assessment 101

February 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Louise Lowry Davis Center, 1232 De La Vina
SB ,CAUnited States

Join us to get to know your landscape better and empower yourself to participate in making decisions about making your property more water wise. In this class you will learn about how to create a site plan, plot the trees and plants in your landscape, find out what happens to water on your property, calculate how much rainwater you can capture from you roof and where might be best to put it, determine how much greywater could be available to…

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