Headwaters forests provide over 60% of the American West’s water supply and they are in grave danger.
Catastrophic wildfires, a changing climate and past management decisions have hurt the forests’ ability to provide clean water to millions of people.
Today leaders around the region are pioneering innovative ways to build resilience back into our forests through watershed restoration and source water protection. More resilient forests give us a more resilient water supply.
Carpe Diem West leads the Healthy Headwaters Alliance, a coalition of water utility managers, conservationists, public agency staff, scientists, community advocates and businesses.
Together, we guide and connect successful efforts around the region to multiply their impact and tell the stories of successful source water protection efforts and spreading these innovative approaches.
Deputy Director - Northern Rockies & Prairies Regional Center National Wildlife FederationMore
National Director for Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, Rare Plants, and Subsistence in Alaska - US Forest ServiceMore
Environmental Supervisor, Watershed Protection and Property Management - Eugene Water & Electric BoardMore
We are developing a new understanding of where water comes from - not from the streams, but from the forest.
- Ron Lehr, President Denver Water Board (1993-1999)
Fighting Fire with Finance: A Roadmap for Collective Action
The US Forest Service, tasked with managing 193 million acres of public forests and grasslands across the U.S., has described the land it manages as “overgrown and unhealthy” and calls for action to “return forests to the way they were historically”. Unfortunately, the Forest Service lacks the resources to implement treatments despite the financial, social, and environmental benefits that restoration fosters. Fortunately, there is a proven solution to accomplish this ambitious goal. Blue Forest Conservation introduces the Forest Resilience Bond in a recently released report "Fighting Fire with Finance- A Roadmap For Collective Action". We hope you come away from this report with an understanding of the issues facing our forests and how the Forest Resilience Bond can help. But even more, we hope you challenge yourself to question the status quo and start a dialogue with others. By working together, this roadmap can be a tool for practitioners to apply this innovative financing to countless other interventions across the globe, essentially redefining how society addresses environmental challenges. October, 2017 Photo Credit: Mike McMillanDownload
Albuquerque releases it's New 100 Year Water Resources Management Strategy
This 100-year water plan explores a number of supply alternatives while considering various scenarios of climate change and population growth. July 2017Download
Carpe Diem West Twelfth Healthy Headwaters Leadership Convening – Aurora, CO
Carpe Diem West convened its twelfth Healthy Headwaters leadership meeting, bringing together scientists, policy makers, water managers, and regional leaders from around the West. March 2017Download
One of the first steps in creating an actionable watershed investment plan is prioritizing what, where, and how restoration will take place in your watershed. This process can be overwhelming, if you don’t know where to start. We’ve sorted through dozens of watershed protection plans from around the American West to get a sense of what actions and outcomes communities are prioritizing, and how those priorities were decided upon. We hope this guide will get you thinking about what successful restoration looks like in your watershed. If you need help getting started, let us know. Our Healthy Headwaters Network is here to support you on your path to investing in the future of your watershed.Download
Carpe Diem West put together a team of experts to assist Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) in analyzing the outcomes and lessons learned of their McKenzie Watershed Voluntary Incentives Program pilot project (VIP). Our team made recommendations specific to EWEB, but also identified elements of the program that could be transferred to other watersheds and characteristics of communities that would be likely candidates for a VIP program of their own. We know there are members in our network who are looking to adopt similar programs and could benefit from the insights into EWEB’s VIP – read the report below!Download
Healthy Headwaters Eleventh Leadership Convening Summary - Salt Lake City, Utah
At our Eleventh convening June 3, 2016, Carpe Diem West convened scientists, policy makers, water managers, and leaders from NGOs, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector. We met in Salt Lake City, Utah, home of the recently signed Mountain Accord, a comprehensive and holistic approach that addresses four areas of concern - environment, recreation, transportation, and economics – to create consensus around solutions that will stand the test of time. Read the key take-aways below. June 2016Download
Healthy Headwaters Alliance - 2016 Policy Platform Update
The updated Policy Platform identifies three frameworks for new policies that could be enacted in a fairly short period of time. February 2016Download
Healthy Headwaters Alliance Policy Platform Criteria
The updated Healthy Headwaters Policy Platform companion piece on criteria we will use to assess proposed legislation or policies. While the Healthy Headwaters Alliance does not advocate for specific legislation, as opportunities arise we do use our criteria to provide thoughtful commentary to interested parties. November 2015Download