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)
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
Healthy Headwaters Tenth Leadership Convening Summary - Eugene, Oregon
At its tenth convening the Healthy Headwaters Leadership Team and invited Western Water Leaders discussed next steps for restoring and protecting headwaters and water supply in the American West. The meeting summary covers some of the key points. October 2015Download
Watershed Investment Programs - Updates From the Field
This briefing paper looks at six key western communities and what they are doing to protect their watersheds and water supply. April 2015Download
Healthy Headwaters Ninth Leadership Convening Summary - Albuquerque, NM
Carpe Diem West's convening November 14, 2014, brought more than 60 leaders in the public, private, NGO, and scientific sectors to examine how to best preserve and restore the high elevation watersheds that are the source of most of the water in the American West. This Ninth Healthy Headwaters Leadership Convening, held in Albuquerque, focused on opportunities to strengthen local and regional partnerships that support water source protection and advance the key reasons for headwaters restoration in the time of a changing climate.Download
Success Story! Salt Lake City, UT - Remembering Our Relationship with Our Watershed
Salt Lake City sprawls across the valley floor below the towering mountains of the Wasatch Front. In addition to a stunning backdrop and world-class recreation, the 11,000-feet-high peaks provide clean, reliable water supplies to growing population of more than a half million people. This water comes almost entirely from melting snow—a virtual reservoir high in the mountains. Unfortunately, that reservoir is vulnerable to the impacts of a warming climate, which means more precipitation falling as rain in the winter, less reliable snowpack, and earlier, more rapid runoff in the spring. These changes could cause the city to face serious shortages and water quality problems in late summer and fall. June, 2014Download