Soil for Water Landowner Trial Benefits

Soil for Water helps landowners try new management practices and measure improvements in soil health and the rainwater-holding capacity of their land.

We engage with landowners who:

  • Commit to conducting an experimental trial on their property: one designed specifically for their needs and aimed at improving indicators of ecological, financial, and social well-being.
  • Are willing to keep records of their management practices, for research purposes.
  • Are interested in joining other landowners who are sharing what they learn on our storytelling platforms, at interactive workshops, or (optional) by hosting events on their property.
  • Want to participate in a regional networking group to spread the word about the most effective regenerative practices.

What we offer

The following services are offered mostly free-of-charge, in exchange for enrolling and participating in a trial:
  • Help choosing, designing, and implementing your trial.
  • Ongoing technical support throughout the trial.
  • Monitoring on an annual basis, including transect setup, species ID, vegetation density, and set point photos.
  • Soil testing—usually every 1-2 years, depending on trial design:
    • PLFA microbiology assessment
    • Haney soil test
    • Available water-holding capacity test
  • Guidance and consultations during the first two years from a Holistic Management International Certified Educator, who will help you clarify and make decisions towards a comprehensive goal that incorporates your desired ecological, economic, and social outcomes.
  • A report every two years, summarizing findings to date.
  • A final report at the end of your trial..

Experimental trial possibilities

  • Adaptive multi-paddock grazing
  • Applying microbiology and trace minerals to improve organic matter and biodiversity
  • Berm and swale design to create on-contour level ditches that provide passive water harvesting for trees and other perennials
  • Keyline landscape design, using a watershed’s topographic patterns to control rainfall runoff through contour ripping
  • Composting, mulching or manure applications to add soil organic matter and foster beneficial microbiology
  • No-till and cover cropping practices to keep soil covered, increase organic matter, and improve the water-holding capacity of agricultural soils
  • Silvopasture methods to integrate trees, forage plants, and livestock in an intensively-managed system
  • Riparian restoration and management to reduce sedimentation and improve water quality
  • Brush control management plans