Healthy Headwaters: Dedicated Leaders, Diverse Viewpoints

The mountain watersheds that provide drinking water to the American West are at great risk. Uncharacteristic wildfires, endemic species, past management legacies—these combined challenges threaten the ability of our forested headwaters to provide clean, reliable water to the millions of people who rely on it.

Add a changing climate to the mix, and things get really complicated - fast.

The Healthy Headwaters Alliance is a diverse coalition of water utilities, conservationists, public agency staff, scientists, and business leaders with a common set of goals:

• Ensure clean, abundant water for communities across the American West

• Connect upstream and downstream communities in a shared mission to preserve water supply

• Build resilience for stressed watersheds as the climate changes

• Foster and spotlight the smart practices and actions communities are taking

• Support wise, multi-factored approaches to headwaters forest preservation and restoration

• Develop broadly-shared funding mechanisms, supported by all affected stakeholders

Building on current programs and lessons learned from western communities and our broader network, Carpe Diem West’s Healthy Headwater Leadership Team is building the Watershed Investment Network – Assessment to Action (WIN) to develop information and resources that will further advance watershed valuation and finance as critical components of watershed protection. We look forward to bringing the WIN to you this summer.

More Information

Healthy Headwaters Alliance Policy Platform
Guide for Forest Service and Downstream Decision Makers - MOU's
Leadership Team
Leadership Convenings
Program Information
Success Stories
Literature Review, Articles & Tools 

"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)


"What we really like about working with Carpe Diem West, is that for us to be successful, we need other utilities in the region to be successful.  We're all learning from each other."

Karl Morgenstern Environmental Management Supervisor, Eugene Water & Electric Board

 "Carpe Diem West is a natural partner for the Forest Service to work with as we figure out how to implement the Watershed Condition Framework.  The whole connection with downstream users is a critical piece."

Anne Zimmermann U.S. Forest Service, (ret.)

Program Information

Healthy Headwaters Alliance

Healthy Headwaters Testimony Before the United States Congress, March 2012

Watershed Investment Programs in the American West - Report, November 2011

USFS Watershed Condition Framework Webinar, October 2011

"User Contribution Programs: Linking Upstream Watershed Health to the Hearts, Minds & Wallets of Downstream Water Users", Carpe Diem West, October 2010

“Climate Change, Water, and National Forests in the West “ Carpe Diem West Briefing Paper, July 2009


Leadership Convenings

Healthy Headwaters' Nineth Leadership Convening - Albuquerque

Healthy Headwaters' 2013 Leadership Team Meeting - Salt Lake City

Healthy Headwaters' Seventh Leadership Convening - Sacramento

Healthy Headwaters' Sixth Leadership Convening - Portland

Healthy Headwaters' Fifth Leadership Convening - Phoenix

Healthy Headwaters' Fourth Leadership Convening - Oakland

Healthy Headwaters' Third Leadership Convening - Denver

Healthy Headwaters' Second Leadership Convening - Salt Lake City

Healthy Headwaters' First Leadership Convening - Seattle