Toward Water Sustainability: A Blueprint for Philanthropy


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The Water Funder Initiative (WFI) is a collaborative effort to identify and activate promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic investments in the United States, starting in the American West, where the scarcity and reliability of clean water are urgent issues.

The Water Funder Initiative has developed a blueprint for philanthropy to advance sustainable water management at a scale never before attempted in the water field.

The Water Funder Initiative’s vision is to employ powerful, coordinated philanthropic action to shift the trajectory toward sustainable management in which:

  • Clean water supplies are available for people and nature
  • Freshwater ecosystems are recovering
  • Cities, agriculture, rural communities, and industry continue to thrive by proactively managing the water supply

To realize this vision, we must achieve two goals:

1) Bring basins into balance for people and nature. We must use existing supplies more carefully so that, over the long term, we use no more water than is available and our supplies support vibrant ecosystems, communities, and economies.

2) Strengthen resilience of water systems in a 21st century climate. Extremes are becoming the norm as the planet warms, and many of climate change’s impacts will manifest through the hydrological cycle. We need water management systems that are flexible and resilient enough to cope with times of water stress and mitigate risks to water users.