Elizabeth Dougherty, Ph.D.—Founder and Executive Director
Elizabeth Dougherty is determined to make innovative approaches to water sustainability all the rage in California. Her PhD in Ethnography from the University of Pennsylvania started her down the trail to green building, agroecology, fair trade, and permaculture, along with international rural development in Latin America and Africa. After working with cities and industries on becoming more energy efficient as a project manager at Flex Your Power, she was certified by the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and turned her full attention to water. Early in 2009 Elizabeth founded Wholly H2o, a nonprofit that provides education and research on efficiency, rainwater, graywater, stormwater and blackwater as primary water sources for the residential, commercial, institutional, industrial and agricultural sectors. Elizabeth serves on the Education Committee and the Research & Evaluation Committee at the CUWCC, on the Education and Outreach Committee for the CA State Water Plan 2013, on the the Water and Land Use Committees for Green CA, and on the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award Committee. Elizabeth serves on the Board of Advisors for the Women's Environmental Art Directory and the Board of Directors for the West Oakland Green Intiative. Her greatest desire is to make efficient water (re)use legal, safe, and the norm for every Californian.
Takahiro Noguchi—Communications Manager
Takahiro Noguchi oversees Wholly H2O's web, print and online communications. After receiving a MFA in interdisciplinary fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University, he was a recipient of a 2004-05 Fulbright Fellowship to India, and was based until 2010 in New Delhi. During this period, he managed communications for the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation, centered on promoting social entrepreneurship in the country. Takahiro's other focus was on cultural heritage research, preservation and management initiatives working on projects for UNDP, UNESCO, Archaelogical Survey of India and the Government of Punjab. Takahiro is also an award winning artist. His collaborative projects leverage old and new technologies to reach unconventional audiences. He has curated, organized projects and exhibited in the United States, India, Canada and Germany.
Laura Allen is a Bay Area educator and greywater activist. She has a BA in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley, and a teaching credential and masters in education from the New College of California. She is a founding member of Greywater Action, and designs and leads hands-on greywater workshops and trainings. As part of the stakeholders group she worked on the new California greywater code. She is also a member of the greywater advisory code committee for the state of Washington.
Sonia is an advocate for the sustainable use of water resources through public education, policy reform and progressive regulation. She obtained an architecture degree at UC Berkeley and worked for ten years in design and urban planning, six of them in São Paulo, Brazil. There she also developed environmental education campaigns and began advocating for sustainable water management. Back in California, an education credential led to fifteen years of teaching in Bay Area schools. Since 2007 Sonia has intensely focused on California water issues, working on campaigns at Food & Water Watch, co-chairing the Sierra Club Bay Chapter Water Committee, lobbying for graywater and rainwater harvesting legislation, and investigating water pricing reform. She has written website content and organized informational forums for Wholly H2o.
Kurt Elvert has been working in the water conservation industry for nine years with increasing responsibility at every job. He first began as a residential water auditor for ConserVision Consulting performing Water Wise House Call inspections on behalf of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Once he finished at San Jose State he accepted a full time 4 year contract position at the SCVWD in the WUE unit as a Water Conservation Specialist. While a Conservation Specialist he managed the Water Wise House Call program, the Residential Washing Machine Rebate program, the Residential High Efficiency Toilet Rebate program, the Residential Irrigation System Hardware Rebate program, the Water Efficient Landscape Rebate program, and the WUE student intern program. He also developed and launched the current Landscape Rebate Program. Kurt recently moved to Water Wise Consulting to be the Program's Director for the San Jose office.
David Isaacson began his work in the water industry in 2005. For the past 5+ years working for WaterWise Consulting, David has become the expert in the company on commercial water use and audit methods. He has continually worked to expand the company's services to include more detail and accuracy in its audit methods, calculations and reporting. He is an invited speaker on the topic at events, and has conducted training workshops on commercial water auditing.
Mr. Isaacson leads a new division of WaterWise Consulting, called Envirosmart Solutions Group (ESG). The company's scope of work includes integrated water management and sustainable building practices. ESG is forming collaborative relationships with consultants in related disciplines, with a mission to become a sustainable water management "think tank", able to bring together a team of experts to address almost any project or issue relating to water and the environment.
David serves on the Board of Advisors for Wholly H2O, as a citizen member of his local Vallejo Watershed Alliance, and is also active in the national Alliance for Water Efficiency.
Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses and diverse yield perennial farms.
John Russell is the owner of WaterSprout. WaterSprout is a design build landscape firm specializing in residential and commercial graywater, rainwater catchment, and irrigation efficiency. As leaders in innovative, site-specific water systems, WaterSprout has designed and installed several groundbreaking projects, including the first permitted graywater system in Berkeley and the first permited rainwater system to supply toilets and laundry in San Leandro, California.
Bahman Sheikh, Ph.D
Bahman Sheikh has over 30 years of international experience in research, planning, and design of water resources and sanitation projects, specializing in water conservation, reclamation, reuse, and recycling. His career began in academia, followed by consulting assignments involving technical investigations, planning, design, and project management, department management, and direction of the work of numerous project managers, including service in the public sector with analysis, planning and implementation of public policy programs. He has served clients in 21 countries, including Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Bahrain, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Bahman Sheikh has extensive experience in all aspects of water reclamation, recycling, and reuse, including the technical and regulatory issues, program management, alternatives analysis, feasibility studies, and planning for long-term development of water recycling in communities. He conceived, planned, and conducted major long-term pilot studies of pioneering water recycling programs in Monterey County, California, and in the City of Los Angeles.
Bahman Sheikh is a member of the Research Advisory Board of the National Water Research Institute. He served on the Board of Directors of WateReuse Association and WateReuse Foundation.
Sasha Kramer—Watershed Food Web Map Coordinator
Sasha Kramer, currently a student at Albany High School, is working with Wholly H2O because of her strong interest in educating herself about the environment, specifically how to effectively use water in urban agriculture. She would like to bring the work of Wholly H2O to her peers in the community. Sasha hopes to involve and educate youth about the environment and intends to implement the knowledge she gains working with us by helping to teach in elementary and middle school garden programs. Her desire is to not only educate herself and others about the environment, but to influence other young people to be active in their community.
Rodrigo Ponce Otoya
Rodrigo has a MSc Ecotourism & Bachelor degree in Economics from the best public and private universities in Lima-Peru, works as a Consultant for International Developmet Agencies and his passion for nature lead him to learn, research and develop Permaculture projects with rural grassroots organizations in the last 5 years in the surroundings of a Peruvian Upper Amazon City, Tarapoto. Rodrigo is being funded to work in the United States with Wholly H2O through The Community Solutions Program of IREX.
Alexis van Gelder
Alexis van Gelder has been an officer and pilot in the U.S. Air Force for over 15 years. Throughout his career he has traveled the world and experienced numerous cultures. During that time he became convinced that solutions to many of the world's problems, from the current conflicts in the Middle East and the revolutions throughout the Arab world, to hunger, poverty, AIDS and even unstable financial markets, cannot be achieved without addressing the issue of water. As a result, water, and more specifically, localizing water resources, has become his passion. He produced and directed a water video which aimed to share simple ways to reduce water consumption and won the SFPUC's 2009 water conservation video competition. In 2010, Alexis completed his MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He also designs and installs rainwater capture and drip irrigation systems and is an ARCSA Accredited Professional.