Joel Hawley


Joel is originally from Montana, a son and a grandson of both cowboys and Indians. Raised with a strong respect and reverence for the natural world, born with a desire to tinker and build, he has tried through his many projects and adventures to maintain a working balance between the old and the new. With Sierra Watershed Progressive, Joel has been able to take his ideas and traditions and apply them to the company’s many thoughtful, environmentally conscious building projects.  Working both as a designer and installer, a teacher and forever student, he finds great satisfaction in a job well done.  Having studied both environmental engineering and architecture, Joel suspects his colleagues get tired of his devotion to both math and details.  Joel has had many different jobs over the years, about 30 at last count, but feels he’s finally found his career in water reuse and conservation.  In his off time, Joel tries to get his canoe out on the water as much as possible. When not fishing or camping, you can most likely find Joel reading a book out on his back deck under the oaks. 

On Staff Since: 2009       Email:

In Their Own Words

Sierra Watershed Progressive and Me:


It’s the dream of almost any architect or engineer I’ve known to be part of a design-build company. While I’m not truly an architect or engineer, Sierra Watershed Progressive allows me the opportunities to explore some of the best aspects of both. Being able to envision new water reuse systems, design their sometimes many components and take those designs out into the field to install them is a rare mix of freedom and responsibility. Being able to field test our own designs, we are constantly getting feedback on our ideas and get a chance to continuously hone and update our skills. More importantly, being able to install our system designs means we take on the responsibility and ownership of these projects. Being ultimately responsible for the built system tends to guide us down a careful design path.

My Favorite Job Skill:

Well maybe not so much a skill as a conceit, I tend to believe I can literally fix anything. While not always true, it generally turns out that things are more easily fixed than anyone usually believes. Always a useful skill, being the fixer guy!

Water, Water, WATER!:

What can I say? Water created and supports almost everything I love in life. Sunsets and cellular function, Salmon and snowpack, water and its properties are responsible for it all. I especially love the hydrostatic bond (What? you didn’t know that water is sticky? Just ask Regina). The hydrostatic bond literally floats my boat, or canoe as it were.