Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

The 2014 Sierra Eco-Summit will take place Saturday and Sunday at Mountain Sage Nursery at 18653 Main St. in Groveland.Admission is free.

The focus this year is on drought management and water reuse with additional hands-on workshops and water conservation farm tours.

The event also will feature workshops, speakers, nature walks, demonstrations, children's activities and more from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and intensive hands-on workshops Sunday including tours to Sonora, Big Oak Flat, Groveland and San Andreas.

Pre-registration for Sunday's events is required by Saturday and can be made online at

Saturday's activitites will conclude with an evening concert by the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit. Opening act at 5 p.m. will be the Little Fuller Band.

Adult concert tickets are $17 in advance, available at www.mountainsage, or $20 at the door. Children's tickets are $6.

Picnics are welcome but no outside alcohol is allowed.

Saturday's activities will begin at 8 a.m. with yoga by Susan Lawrence.

Following sessions will include "How to Grow a Tomato with No Water: Drought Tolerant Permaculture Landscapes," "Increase Your Well and Septic Tank Effectiveness," "Photo Tour of Bird Habitat in the Wake of the Rim Fire," "History of Water and Fire in California," "Water in Writing: How to Document Our Own Droughts and Floods," "Storytelling: Stories of Sierra Water," "Making Buildings with Straw, Sand and Mud: A Hands-on Way to Save Electricity," "Reducing Toxics in Your Home and Body."

Water reuse presentations will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Topics will include "Drought Relief: What's Water Reuse Got to Do with It?" "Examples of Real Water Conservation Projects That Work," "Designing a Proper Rainwater System" and "Commercial Agricultural Design: Cal Poly Rainwater Project, A Case Study."

Keynote speaker at 1:30 p.m. will be Lynn Ingram of the University of California, Berkeley, whose topic will be "The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow."

Water attorney Tom Hicks will discuss "Water Policy and Law in California Today" at 2:30 p.m.

A town hall discussion on the drought and water policies also will be featured from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Moderator Regina Hirsch will lead a panel including Tom Hicks, Lynn Ingram, Elizabeth Dougherty, Bill Allayaud, David Carle, Meredith Hardy, Robert Kostlivy and Nick Wiegel.

For the full schedule, visit or see the pullout section in the center of this issue of the Weekender.