Content of the Course

This course has been carefully crafted to advance your understanding, knowledge, and abilities as quickly as possible. We have distilled decades of practice down into the most essential pieces so that you can develop and grow as quickly as possible. This course will empower you with the skills and knowledge needed to take effective action and achieve results.

What’s Included

In The Core Course

4 Phases of Growth
You will be guided through the 4 different phases of growth within the course - Discovery, Experience, Advocate, and Practice
12 Video Modules
Each phase is comprised of 3 modules, each composed of 8-15 video chapters
Actions for Each Module
Actualize the learning from this course at each step with guided activities and actions.
A Community of Practice
Learn from and share with others going through the same experience from all around the world.

Phase 1 - Discovery

Module 1

Reading Land

The landscape is always speaking, it’s just a matter of developing the awareness to be able to hear. Learn how to read from the book of nature and see the land with new eyes, gaining the ability to read how water is moving through a landscape and how a landscape has changed over time.

Module 2

A Short History of the Water Cycle

Over the last 10,000 years humans have had an increasingly destructive impact on the water cycle, leading to cycles of flood, drought, fire and the desertification of ⅓ of Earth’s land. Learn the key factors that have contributed to this and how the water cycle has been fundamentally changed by humans.

Module 3

Water Cycle Restoration

Humans can have a positive footprint, and there are examples from all around the world. Learn from some of the best examples: what they did to be successful in their efforts, the underlying concepts and approaches that are shared between them, and how humans can be the keystone species in the restoration of the earth’s water cycle.

Phase 2 - Experience

Module 4

Our Relations

Each kingdom of life offers its own abilities and opportunities. How we relate to the animals, plants, fungi, and other living organisms in our environment has a direct impact on the water cycle. Learn how our relations with each of the major branches of the tree of life have meaningful impacts on the health and productivity of our environment.

Module 5

Action, Reaction, Ripple Effects

This is the how of water cycle restoration. Learn how to create earthworks and take actions that have long term positive impacts on the water cycle. Learn how to create decentralized water retention landscapes and how to rapidly prototype your ideas; learning from the reactions and ripple effects that you observe.

Module 6

Skill Building and Mentors

Mentors help us quickly gain new skills and abilities and provide invaluable connections within our desired community. They are not always easy to find or remain close with, and it will often require some growth and compromises on your behalf. This module is all about how to find and endear yourself to mentors, so you can rapidly level-up your skills.

Phase 3 - Advocate

Module 7

Earth Citizenry

What does it mean to be a voice for the voiceless? It requires civil courage, a clear understanding of truth in your heart, and a relentlessness to follow it. This module will instill you with the energy and skills you need to become a powerful yet respectful steward of Earth.

Module 8

Community Action for a Better Common Future

Communities can join together to create massive change, in fact it is the most proven way to create positive impact. Learn how to align your community through facilitated dialogue, in order to unify for meaningful change.

Module 9

Water Cycle Restoration at Scale

In order to achieve the amount of restoration that is necessary to re-stabilize our climate, policy change and legal reform will be necessary. Around the world there have been different examples, this module shares them along with a framework for you to work within.

Phase 4 - Practice

Module 10

Craft Your Offering for the World

Now you know what you can do to make a meaningful positive impact, but how can you turn that into a vocation or career so that you are supported in your efforts? This module is all about how to shape your zones of brilliance, and interests around the water cycle, into meaningful work on a professional or personal level.

Module 11

Make Projects Happen

At the end of the day you need to pull it all together into projects that achieve results and are completed on a reasonable time frame. This involves a wide range of skills and abilities to bridge all of the gaps between parties and make change happen. For people who have never managed projects, this will serve as a primer, and for those who have, this will provide a framework and strategies to improve your project management skills.

Module 12

The Way

A disciplined psychological approach is essential to success in your efforts. There will be many challenges to overcome and problems to resolve. This module is an invitation to grow a strong psychological approach that will lead you toward success.

Your Instructor

Zach Weiss

Protégé of revolutionary Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer, Zach is the first person to earn Holzer Practitioner certification directly from Sepp - through a rigorous two-year apprenticeship. This led to the creation of Elemental Ecosystems to provide an action-oriented process to improve clients' relationship with their land. The company specializes in water retention landscapes that harvest rain to create naturally productive ecosystems. Zach has worked in more than 30 countries spanning 6 continents, covering a wide range of climates, contexts, land-forms and ecosystems. After a decade of experience in the field, Zach, following the guidance of Sepp, created an education and training platform, to bring these approaches and techniques to the masses in order to revive the health of our planet.

  • Real world experience. Working with the earth isn’t something that’s learned in a book or lecture, it’s learned through practice.
  • Commitment to nature. Nature is first and foremost at the center of all actions taken. It is our responsibility to create a better common future for all life on earth.
  • Mentored by Legends Zach has had the incredible fortune to learn from, work with, and be mentored by many of the leaders in ecosystems restoration, including Sepp Holzer and Rajendra Singh.


We offer a certification for each pathway: Water Advocate, Land Steward and Professional. In order to receive certification, one must complete each of the required actions for the given pathway in the Advanced track of the course.. You may change pathways during the course - if you find some actions too challenging, or decide to pursue a higher level of certification than originally intended.

Individuals in the professional pathway who display a high level of excellence and preparedness to start working in a professional capacity will be selectively awarded our separate Practitioner Certification. This is exclusively for individuals that we feel comfortable recommending to others to lead projects. There is no defined or set pathway to achieve this certification, it is only attained by proving your abilities through on the ground work and results. Those who are awarded practitioner certification will be listed on the Water Stories website and community as certified practitioners and leaders in the field.

An Experienced Practitioner to Guide Your Development

Unlike other courses taught by educators with little or no practical and real world experience, this course is taught by an active practitioner that has experience working with many of the world leaders in the field. Running projects in different parts of the world, working within different contexts and climates, and years and years spent sweating and bleeding in the Earth are necessary experiences to be able to appropriately mentor others. Learn how to do it from someone who has done it, rather than someone parroting theories and concepts learned from a book. The knowledge, skills, and wisdom that someone has can be seen in their hands.

“A friend asked me about my assets and how I had them held/protected. It didn't take me more than a few seconds to realize and reply that without a doubt my main assets are my own two hands, full of calluses, cuts, and thorns - the skill-sets and abilities that I've developed. Water Cycle Restoration - reading the landscape for the future potential and what once was, creating lush Oasis in places where the water has been robbed, finding and tapping springs for drinking water, rehydrating the earth. Earthworks, masonry, log framing, earthen construction, plant propagation, ecosystem establishment, reading plants for nutrient and pest cycles, gardening and farming - working hard from sun up to sun down, the way our ancestors used to.

This realization is an incredible feeling of freedom, as these assets translate through different cultures and currencies. I could go to nearly any inhabited place in the world with nothing and establish my value and worth within a community without too much time or trouble. That is my definition of freedom and investing in natural capital. ”

Zach Weiss – Founder

“Though out my time working in the field, I have always been resistant to providing the often requested educational opportunities - I felt like I didn't yet have enough experience to be a good teacher. A decade later I look around the room and realize that few people have the on the ground experience I have now accumulated, and most educators in the space actually have very little practical experience implementing. I know there still is much to learn, but it is clear to me that I now have enough experience to be an effective teacher and mentor. I have been particularly resistant to online offerings, as SO MUCH of the learning that needs to take place is through experience. But then a team of people presented themselves with the abilities to do this course in a really unique way. And this work needs to scale more quickly than I can accomplish by training people individually in person. So while this is an online course, it is really an at home course, the experience it will help guide you through will be your ultimate teacher.”

Zach Weiss – Founder

Our Projects

Project Portfolio

This portfolio is notably out of date, as all of our media efforts over the last couple of years have been focused on the Water Stories films. It should none the less give you a general idea of the kind of work Zach has done with Elemental Ecosystems.

Other Project Videos

Ready to Begin Your Journey?
Enroll Today

Joining the course is your first step towards becoming a water restoration practitioner.