How We Do It

Navigating the challenges of climate change requires that water leaders from across the spectrum think about the big picture together. Carpe Diem provides the place for them to do that different from any other.

 "The great thing about Carpe Diem West is that they get both  sides of the equation – the science side and the human side. And  they know the ground. So when they come up with an idea you  tend to pay attention, because it's not going to be some pie-in-  the-sky solution air-dropped from 30,000 feet. It's going to be  something that works to protect these specific resources, in  these specific places, and these specific communities." 

Karen Knudsen Executive Director, Clark Fork Coalition

"This network and Carpe Diem Wet are about sharing  experiences of others - a great benefit to us all."

 Charlie Ester Salt River Project, Manager of Water Resource  Operations


Carpe Diem West does its work in three primary ways:

Convening: We organize and support the Carpe Diem West network through meetings and facilitating communications to develop areas of opportunity and need and developing new programs and policy proposals.

Collaborating: Working with our leadership team as well as our Board and Advisors - comprised of scientists, economists, academics, agency specialists, business people, community leaders, funders, and conservationists - guide the overall direction organization’s work, using their collective expertise and diverse backgrounds to help generate and refine the content of Carpe Diem West’s programs.

Communicating: Our Network of over 600 Western water managers, advocates, energy providers, scientists, and policy makers come together in working groups and formal convenings to propose and develop smart, science-based solutions, and to exchange information and ideas that improve their effectiveness in their daily work on these issues in their respective fields.

Carpe Diem West provides the communications process that Network members use to address issues, find information and make decisions. For example, CDW prepares policy briefs to frame the issues, and blogs regularly to help keep our growing network informed. The working groups:

  • Highlight existing programs that are successfully addressing the priority issues and explore ways to replicate these programs and take them to scale where possible.
  • Pinpoint the scientific, economic, ecosystems information, and other tools needed to further develop policy and best practices objectives.
  • Create the framework for new alliances and initiatives by mapping out the next stages and identifying the necessary leadership.

We provide a convening and communications framework where stakeholders and leaders with differing backgrounds and interests can together forge pragmatic, science-based responses to the dilemmas presented by the growing climate crisis. This process has produced the wide-ranging stakeholder network that informs and guides all of Carpe Diem West’s work. 

Under Carpe Diem West’s network model, our ability to secure extensive pro bono participation by leaders who are committed to our mission allows us to leverage much greater influence and effectiveness than we could otherwise achieve given our modest staff and resources.

Currently, Carpe Diem West is focusing on these four programmatic areas:

Healthy Headwaters Program

Colorado River Futures Program

Carpe Diem West Academy

Horizons Program