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 Regional Director and Senior Director, Western Water - 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)
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
Healthy Headwaters Eighth Leadership Convening Summary - Salt Lake City, UT
At its eighth convening held in December 2013, the Healthy Headwaters Leadership Team and invited guests developed the Watershed Investment Network initiative, a resource to assist western communities in securing the funding and policies necessary to allow for large-scale restoration investments in at-risk watersheds.Download
Watershed Investment Network - Assessment to Action
The Watershed Investment Network initiative is developing the resources to assist western communities in securing the funding and policies necessary to allow for large-scale restoration investments in at-risk watersheds. Fall 2013Download
Healthy Headwaters Seventh Leadership Convening Summary - Sacramento, CA
This convening held May 16, 2013 in Sacramento focused on the evolving policy scaffolding for investment in green infrastructure, headwaters protection and downstream water security, and the innovations needed to better support these efforts.Download
Healthy Headwaters Sixth Leadership Convening Summary - Portland, OR
Carpe Diem West's Sixth convening was held November, 2012. This summary focuses on the emerging political landscape for opportunities for investment in green infrastructure, headwaters protection and downstream water security.Download
Healthy Headwaters Alliance Policy Platform
The Policy Platform lays the foundation for the Healthy Headwaters Alliance’s support of community-level headwater protection work, both through the effective use of existing programs and the development of new programs and policies designed to promote healthy, resilient headwaters systems. May 2012Download