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Jeff Goebel - Building Consensus for a Healthier Landscape

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico, we changed the format of the Land & Water Summit program in a way we hope made us all more effective in our work. With the help of Jeff Goebel facilitating Building Consensus for a Healthier Landscape, we hope to use our conflicting concerns about water to foster new working relationships.

Individually we are all working on water issues from harvesting and cleaning stormwater, to designing and managing water efficient landscapes, creating and defending water policies, stemming soil erosion, growing food sustainably, revegetating disturbed land and much more.

We broke out into small talking circles and introduced ourselves to each other. Jeff introduced us to the consensus building process by having us ask and answer four questions as we listened to speakers and each other during the two days of the Summit regarding being more effective working with colleagues in addressing water issues.

We ended the Summit in a large group answering a few more questions. We collected comments, ideas, conflicts and collaborations, see below, to keep the process flowing. As always, we hope you find yourself inspired and energized to make positive change happen. Together we can work smarter to create positive change in our communities.

This was the beginning of a new land and water community built around positive change.

2018 Land & Water Summit

Stormwater & Tree Canopy: The Ripple Effect

We started with an evaluation process of the work from the 2017 Summit that we did with Jeff Goebel to see if there is any evidence that changes are happening. This created an Executive Summary which you can read here.

Then we looked at what is the current water situation and what beliefs, behaviors, strategies, and actions will foster the best possible outcomes:

  • Consensus will be found and change will happen. Someone listens and they take action. We create open dialogue on all possible routes of action.

  • We are creating a win-win situation where we seek first to understand and then to be understood. Change is inspired and created. We foster a resolution that benefits all parties and/or makes them all feel appreciated.

  • Humanity will unite to achieve a plan to effectively manage and conserve our limited resources, and innovate to increase what we do have. Society recognizes and understands the importance of our stormwater resource.

Next we talked about strategies and outcomes that can help this positive change:

  • Foster a dialogue among diverse stakeholders. Show respect, be positive, open and everything can happen; lead by example

  • Clear collaboration agreements; creative problem solving; community building; frequent and open communicatio

  • Changing people’s minds on the matter; make them realize that it’s not someone else’s problem.

Click here to read the full summary document.

To get a copy of the full 18 page, 2018 Consensus Report, please email us at

2017 Land & Water Summit

Growing Community Relationships: Just Add Water!

Question #1

What is the present situation and how do you feel about it?

Question #2

What are the worst possible outcomes of confronting / not confronting the present situation?

Question #3

What are the best possible outcomes of confronting the present situation?

Question #4

What beliefs, behaviors, strategies and actions will foster the best possible outcomes?

These collective statements represent the views of the participants attending this meeting. The group consisted of individuals from communities where the resilience of the land, water availability and water quality are concerns. As such, they represent the collective mission, or vision, of the meeting participants.

This report focuses on the participant’s advice on their view of the current situation, worst possible outcomes of confronting or not confronting the situation, the best possible outcome of confronting the situation and beliefs, behaviors, strategies and actions to foster the best possible outcome.

Others, who did not attend the workshop may not understand or appreciate the total report. It must be emphasized that these are collective statements (the words of the participants as they were stated) and not consensus statements (no binding decisions were made.) They represent the views of all the participants, but not all participants or those not attending would agree with all the assertions in the statements.

Prepared by:

Jeff Goebel

About Listening ~ Climate Consensus Institute

See the results from last years consensus...

Go to 2017 Results >>