About 2018-07-19T11:55:28+00:00


Welcome. If you are interested in water conservation in your yard or creating more resilient landscapes to adapt to a changing climate, I hope you find this website helpful.

My name is David Dods, this is my personal website, and I am writing and teaching to share what I have learned about water management and sustainable environments over my career as an environmental scientist and engineer.

I hope to make outdoor water conservation information accessible to everybody, not just professional engineers and scientists, and I hope to learn from others doing good work in this area and connect you to their stories as well. That is why the site is named Water Conservation Connection – Let’s connect to share ideas and success stories and help each other adapt to our increasingly erratic climate.

Melissa and David

Enjoying the rain on a summer day.

My Bio

david and dot

As a kid, I spent my days digging in the soil, playing in creeks, building dams in neighborhood ditches (to the dismay of neighbors who’s driveways we flooded), and playing with matches. Fortunately, I gave up playing with matches, but I still play in the rain on a regular basis.

I work professionally in environmental restoration, spending my workdays designing landscapes for water pollution control, storm water management, cleanup of hazardous waste sites, and habitat restoration. That is fun stuff when I manage to get out of the office. I have built raingardens for urban stormwater control, used wetlands and compost piles for industrial waste treatment, and planted trees to help clean contaminated groundwater. That work has left me amazed at Mother Earth’s ability to restore degraded lands if we give her half a chance.

On nights and weekends I enjoy gardening, landscaping, riding my bike, and teaching the neighbor’s kids things that will annoy their parents. I had the good fortune to co-author the book, “The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens” with Rusty Schmidt and Dan Shaw. I also teach workshops for homeowners and community groups about landscaping to manage rainwater, using native plants, and supporting pollinators.
See the Workshops Page for upcoming presentations.

My family jokes that I take more pictures of streams and storm drains on vacations than I do of them (true). I am also fascinated with how plants and animals collect water, am a member of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), which teaches people how to collect rainwater, and participate in church mission trips to Guatemala installing drinking water treatment systems. So I am a certified water geek.


My illustration and my butterfly friend Dot © were created by a talented Kansas City artist and writer, Kate Barsotti. You can see more of her critters and creations at http://klbbarsotti.com/. Dot likes to remind us that we should share our garden spaces with other creatures of the planet like butterflies, birds, bees, bugs, and other creatures that begin with the letter “B” (bunnies, blue whales….)


This website was built and hosted by M.F.S. Design (https://mfsdesignservices.com/). They have been great fun to work with so check them out if you need website help. The site is built on a WordPress platform, the theme is Avada, and the body text font is Open Sans.


This is my personal website. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

This site is intended to share general landscaping information for do-it-yourself practitioners; it is not meant as a substitute for professional design services. Readers are responsible for deciding when to obtain professional assistance. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.