The Water Foundation partners with grantees, funders, and the growing field of organizations working to secure clean, reliable water for people and nature. We align and deploy resources to support and convene diverse coalitions, build strong policy campaigns, and advance durable solutions.

We take a holistic approach to water, considering all parts of the system from forests to farms to faucets, and drawing connections across related fields from climate, to food, to health, to social justice. We tap our collective expertise, engage community, and build the power needed. Through the Water Table, we create space for funders to collaborate for impact beyond that of any single funder.

Communities and policy makers across the country determine how to prepare for and respond to floods and drought, reduce pollution, steward our rivers and lakes, and improve water infrastructure. In doing so, they are collectively deciding our water future. At the Water Foundation, alongside our partners, we work to ensure that these decisions meet both community and environmental needs to build a sustainable and equitable future for all.


Students learning about stormwater technology at Milton Street Park

Students learning about stormwater technology at Milton Street Park

The Water Foundation works alongside our partners every day to advance lasting solutions to secure safe water for people, restore and sustain freshwater ecosystems, and build climate resilience. To ensure we do this work effectively and equitably, our decision-making on who, what, and how we fund as well as our overall approach to the work, each other, and to nature itself are all guided by our below core organizational values.

  • Collaboration: Strategize, act, and learn in partnership with colleagues internally and externally to advance our collective goals. Deepen connections across and between water sector networks and related issues like climate, health, nature, food, and equity.
  • Humility: Recognize and center the knowledge, experiences, and leadership of our partners and the communities we serve, while honoring the power of nature. Listen to and learn from our partners and nature, so that we support a community-led and nature-based vision for a resilient water future.
  • Sustainability: Advance resilient, intergenerational solutions that sustain the environment and those who depend upon it while celebrating the intrinsic value of nature. We strive for internal sustainability, reducing our organization’s footprint while taking good care of one another.
  • Transformation: Shape our strategies, work, and practices for systemic change towards a collaborative, just, and sustainable water future in the US.
  • Justice: Align our policies, practices, and resources so that all people and ecosystems have genuine opportunities to thrive.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

2019 Water Strike in Sacramento by Community Water Center

2019 water strike in Sacramento, Community Water Center

At the Water Foundation, we are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our programs and operations. We keep these principles front of mind as we make funding decisions and examine ways historical inequities in philanthropy, the environmental and conservation fields, and the water sector may be perpetuated by our programming. We are dedicated to working in concert with our partners to eliminate those inequities, address the systemic drivers behind them, and encourage other philanthropic organizations to do the same.

Inspired by the Climate Funders Justice Pledge, we are tracking our annual grantmaking to ensure we are providing at least 30% of our grant funding to Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color-serving organizations. We are streamlining our grant processes to reduce burdens on applicants. We are actively incorporating the voices and perspectives of our partners in our strategy and evaluation work, and we are updating internal policies and practices to diversify our staff and board and foster a culture of inclusion and belonging at the Foundation.

We recognize that this work is ongoing and never-ending, and we are committed to reflecting and improving on our DEIJ work and practices as our organization evolves and grows.