Many people are seated at 10-person round tables in a drab conference room while Paula Kehoe speaks.

Paul Kehoe addresses the 2017 Water Summit participants regarding the groundbreaking water reuse work she and other partners are doing in California and nationally.

The International Living Future Institute and Recode teamed up to host the 2017 Water Summit one day before the start of the Living Future 2017 unConference. Over 80 attendees provided feedback on next generation water barriers and potential solutions pathways.

The document they reviewed contains our ranking based on what we heard in over 50 interviews with next generation water professionals. Download our team’s latest DRAFT of our Top 10 barriers and solutions pathways here.

Reusing graywater is a great way to save money, water and connect with your landscape. This summer, Depave, Graywater Action, Recode and other local groups are teaming up to introduce curious homeowners and installers to real installations, help simplify the permitting process, and educate on where to find appropriate parts.

Go to to sign up for workshops and events happening June through September.

Check Oregon Environmetnal Council’s post about 5 amazing things you do when you send water from your laundry and household sinks into your yard.














This series of workshops and events is brought to you by East and West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.






Hassalo on 8th is a paradigm shift in urban living and the water story of the development epitomizes this movement. Come check out this three-building, mixed-use development that spans four city blocks as part of Portland’s Lloyd EcoDistrict. The buildings share one of the largest natural organic recycling treatment systems in the US, which treats all the buildings’ wastewater (60,000 gallons per day including human waste from toilets) for reuse for toilet flushing, mechanical cooling and sub-surface landscape irrigation in an urban setting.

Learn how about the economic and ecological benefits of district scale onsite wastewater treatment and reuse. Tour is free and open to the public.

Sign up today



We are talking to project teams around the country about their efforts to permit innovative water systems; what worked, what didn’t, and what they learned. We recognize that widespread adoption of water reuse and decentralized sewage will only occur as a partnership with permitting agents and policymakers and that our collective knowledge will enable this progress for everyone.

Our three-year collaboration with the International Living Future Institute will develop solutions pathways that enable early adopters and practitioners to better navigate the range of cultural, financial, and legal challenges to adoption of sustainable wastewater treatment systems.  The solutions will be focused in Washington, Oregon and California, however during this investigative phase we are looking at solutions across the country. These solutions can be at any scale of development, from single family residential to district scale.  The solutions will be created by working directly with pilot projects that showcase sustainable wastewater treatment systems or by confronting barriers unclear or blocked by legal barriers.

Get updates and work products on the ReWater project by exploring our ReWater Central page.

If you are looking for precedents of innovative approaches to next generation water and wastewater infrastructure check out the Code Innovations Database. Recode, Molly Winter, has contributed several case studies including one on a composting toilet pilot project in Cape Cod and a more successful one in Arizona.

Ever wondered about ATAC? They’re the all volunteer committee that has helped projects seek appeals for innovative green building practices from the high tech, like an air admittance valve to the low tech, like light straw clay. Come learn what ATAC does to help innovative projects get permits. This is part of a monthly series by the Portland Collaborative.

Join Molly in a facilitated discussion with Terry Whitehill of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services about ATAC.

When:   Wednesday, October 27, 5:30-7:30pm
Where:  Brightworks Sustainability, 412 NW Couch St #202, Portland, OR 97209

This is part of a monthly series the Portland Collaborative puts on to have fun network, and learn about green building initiatives, policies and techniques being deployed locally. The Portland Collaborative is a branch of both the Cascadia Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

The Alternative Technology Advisory Committee, authorized under Portland City Code 24.10.087, assists the Bureau of Development Services in reviewing innovate sustainable building technologies and methods for compliance with the Building Code requirements. The Committee reviews requests submitted by applicants to determine if emerging technologies can be found to meet the building code, as well as promote a positive impact to the earth’s natural systems. The Committee makes non-binding recommendations to the Director (or designee) of the Bureau of Development Services that can be considered as part of a building code appeal.

5:30-6:15 Reception

6:30-6:45 ATAC Committee

6:45-7:30 Idea Exchange

RSVP (though not required)

Recode’s team created a site-built composting toilet code with options for urine diversion for IAPMO’s 2015 Green Supplement to the Uniform Plumbing Code.

The 2015 Green Supplement is also serving as the foundation for WE-Stand 2017, IAPMO’s upcoming National Standard for water efficiency and sanitation. IAPMO is a plumbing and mechanical industry group whose codes have been adopted by jurisdictions worldwide.

Huge thanks to editor Mathew Lippincott and the entire working group that collaborated on this project:

Mathew Lippincott

A researcher and designer, Mathew co-founded the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. There he develops environmental monitoring tools with a focus on involving and training non-technical participants in technology deployment. When not researching the history of technology, you can find him flying kites & balloons.

Laura Allen

Laura Allen is a founding member of Greywater Action and has been exploring low-tech, urban, sustainable water solutions for the past 15 years. Laura’s research and writing on composting toilets and urine reuse has been featured in the anthology Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground, and in the international journal Sustainable Sanitation Practice with her article Backyard Urine Recycling in the United States of America: An Assessment of Methods and Motivations. She has been featured in an Ask This Old House episode on greywater, and a Peak Moment TV episode on composting toilets. She leads workshops and presentations on composting toilets and greywater systems in California. Laura has a degree in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley, and a masters in education. She has lived with a waterless composting toilet in her own home for the past 10 years.

Mark Buehrer

Mark is the founder and director of 2020 ENGINEERING located in Bellingham, Washington. He is a registered professional civil engineer, author, and inventor with broad experience in engineering design, construction and project management. Mark has provided Master Planning, Engineering Design and/or Construction Management assistance on dozens of LEED, LID and other sustainable type projects in many parts of the U.S.A including the Bullitt Foundation building in Seattle.

Molly Danielsson

Molly Danielsson is researcher and content developer for Recode Oregon. Molly has conducted extensive interviews with installers, developers, and regulators in the onsite community both nationally and internationally in order to create educational materials about performance based codes for Recode. Molly creates visual explanations of technical information for companies ranging from IceStone durable surfaces to the Medical Reserve Corp to USA Today.  BA Environmental Science Oberlin College 2007. Molly worked with Mathew Lippincott and PNCA’s  Collaborative Design Program to create an emergency sanitation handbook called the Sewer Catastrophe Companion, which has been exhibited at the Center for Disease Control and approved by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management. Molly also co-wrote the composting toilet code for the Oregon Reach Code.

Melora Golden

Melora has provided vision and project management for Recode since 2008. Before becoming an environmental activist, Melora was a social worker for 12 years. Melora Golden believes that bringing more intention and tools to group interaction will significantly increase the effectiveness of those groups. Melora has visited 37 countries learning about sustainable design and visiting intentional communities. She has attended the last two international permaculture conferences and convergences. She is active in the international permaculture community and was the lead organizer of the second and third Women’s Permaculture Gatherings.  She is a seventeen-year resident of Portland OR, she is dedicated to her wonderful city and to the sustainable evolution of the world.

Colleen Mitchell

Colleen is a civil engineer with five years experience, specializing in water and wastewater systems design, technical report writing, and LID site design. Her educational background includes a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering with a focus in water resources including courses in “Green Engineering”, LEED Rating System and Low Impact Development (LID) site design. Colleen is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and a Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead (CESCL). Colleen has completed the LID Technical Training Program certified by Washington State University and the Puget Sound Partnership. Colleen uses stormwater modeling on small and large scale projects using LID techniques to meet and exceed jurisdictional requirements.

Kim Nace

Kim Nace is a co-founder and administrative director of the Rich Earth Institute. She holds an M.A. in International Administration from World Learning and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Keene State College. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, has coordinated educational research funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and also served as an Elementary School Principal in rural Vermont and in Chennai, India. She has been passionate about sustainable sanitation alternatives ever since creating an educational video about composing toilets for her 1989 master’s thesis project. Kim and her family use a urine diverting composting toilet.

Glenn Nelson

Glenn Nelson founded Advanced Composting Systems in the mid-1980s creating the Phoenix composting toilet. Prior to that he was a licensed manufacturer of Clivus toilets (one of two in the U.S.) and played a key role in improving the Clivus design. Through working on the Clivus design, he gained a great deal of insight into the workings of composting toilets then, with the Phoenix, he designed a very different product.

Abe Noe-Hayes

Abraham Noe-Hays has been working with dry sanitation systems since 1990. He is the research director at the Rich Earth Institute, where he oversees the Urine Nutrient Reclamation Project, the nation’s first community scale urine collection and recycling program. The Institute develops and disseminates methods and technologies for urine recycling, and is conducting USDA and EPA funded studies to evaluate the fertilizer value of source-separated urine. Abraham also operates Full Circle Compost Consulting, founded in 2001, providing complete design, manufacture, and maintenance services to individual and institutional owners of dry toilet systems. He is the eco-sanitation expert for Sustainable Harvest International, and has helped initiate urine-diversion projects in Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, and Panama. He holds a B.A. in Human Ecology with concentrations in agroecology and compost science from the College of the Atlantic.

David Omick

David Omick does sustainable system design and consulting with individuals and organizations in the U.S. and Mexico. in the early 2000’s, in conjunction with BorderLinks, a Tucson-based NGO, he designed a large composting toilet facility at Casa Misericordia in Nogales, Sonora to serve border education delegations from the United In 2005, as the representative of a composting toilet stakeholder group, he contributed rule language to the composting toilet section of the Aquifer Protection Rules administered by the Arizona Department of Since 2011, he has worked closely with the Watershed Management Group (WMG), a Tucson-based NGO. In that capacity, he has led composting toilet workshops for WMG. He has also been instrumental in facilitating a 2-year composting toilet pilot project led by WMG and funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. This project has involved 23 site-built composting toilets of two designs, one of which is his. The project has been in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the University of Arizona’s School of Microbiology and School of Anthropology. He serves on the advisory committee for this pilot project.

John Scarpulla

John Scarpulla is a member of the Urban Watershed Management Program at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where he specializes in green infrastructure, non-potable reuse systems, and ecological sanitation. Before coming to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, he worked at the Sierra Club teaching integrated water resource management strategies to planners, elected officials, and developers in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. He also has worked in the commercial construction sector as a project manager for mechanical and plumbing contractors. John received his master’s degree in Environmental Planning from San Jose State University.

The town of Falmouth, Massachusetts near Cape Cod, authorized funding for a pilot project to evaluate the efficacy, installation cost and public acceptance of both composting and urine-diverting toilets (called the Eco-toilet Demonstration Program). Check out Recode’s case study in the Code Innovations Database.

Homeowners were given rebates and other incentives to encourage them to use eco-toilets.  Massachusetts is the first state to give a variance to allow urine-diverting fixtures and site-built composting toilets, which do not have ‘product acceptance’ in Massachusetts.

Arizona recently completed a two-year pilot project of 24 site-built composting toilets. Check out Recode’s case study in the Code Innovations Database.


This will help us know when and where to have more graywater workshops.

Check out Graywater Action’s current calendar to find out about graywater courses. We are trying to help gather info about interest in Oregon so Graywater Action can plan and get funding for workshops where people are most interested.