What is the Water Funds Network?
Originally founded by The Nature Conservancy, the Water Funds Network (WFN) is now an ever-growing community of experts who work to advance source water protection around the world, as well as other individuals interested in learning about the strategy, process, and benefits of protecting and restoring watersheds. Members of the Network hold experience in a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including knowledge in areas such as legal, aquatic science, management, financial planning, fundraising, communications, geographic information systems, monitoring, stakeholder engagement, watershed conservation, marketing, governance, policy and much more!
What is the goal of the Network?
To build a global network of water fund practitioners and other interested professionals who are empowered to succeed in their roles through knowledge exchanges, increased collaboration with other members, and the joint identification of solutions to challenges related to the scoping, designing, and operation of water funds.
What does the Network offer?
The WFN has several core components (activities, tools, resources and platforms). Here is a quick breakdown:
- Bi-monthly webinars on relevant & requested topics
- Occasional emailed announcements & updates
- A professional social platform on Workplace where members can ask questions, collaborate on projects & share opportunities
- Friendly bi-annual competitions with exciting prizes & trips
- Shared assets, tools, materials, reports, etc.
- Annual member recognition & awards
- Peer review & coaching program
- Contribution opportunities to the WF Toolbox & Trainings
- A WFN Steering Committee
- And more
How long has the Network existed?
The WFN started in 2014 and has steadily increased in membership and the number of connections between members (i.e. level of interaction and communication) ever since.
How many members are currently in the Network?
As of January 2019, the WFN has close to 350 members.
What is the geographic distribution of members in the Network?
The Network currently includes membership from across Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and North America. See the results of annual surveys to learn more about membership distribution, preferences for network activities, skillsets, and more.
How is data on members collected?
WFN members have completed annual surveys for the past four years, which have provided critical data for enhancing the overall understanding of the Network's distribution, capacity, preferences, and needs. Among the range of other useful information that these surveys provide, the resultant data facilitates the mapping of 'connectivity' between members. This mapping provides an important measure of 'how connected' members are over space and time, which consequently provides an indication of where improvements can be made and how we can better function as a community. For these reasons, it is very important that members complete the annual WFN surveys. Surveys are usually completed during the month of March.
What is expected of WFN members?
By gaining access to this large network of water funds experts and other interested professionals, members are expected to adhere to the following requirements to maintain their membership: (1) A shared commitment to the Network's goal; (2) Hold a recognized expertise or competence that is important to developing water funds or source water protection; (3) Hold capacity to collaborate with other members; and (4) Frequently encourage fellow members and provide constructive criticism where appropriate.