North America

Water Funds in North America

Water Funds in North America

Photo: Rio Grande Water Fund, USA © TNC

8 Water Funds in Operation

10 Water Funds in Development

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The growing number of innovative approaches to developing Water Funds across the United States is representative of the flexibility and wide applicability of the Water Fund model.

Funding has been secured across the country to protect source watersheds through a range of diverse strategies, including:

  1. Passing municipal ballot measures

    Voters have elected to set aside a percentage of public revenue into a central fund to proactively protect lands that determine the quantity and quality of water available to them.

    Edwards Aquifer Protection Program
  2. Cross-sector Collaborations

    The Rio Grande Water Fund invests in the restoration of forested lands upstream in order to secure pure fresh water. Currently, 60 signatories–a diverse mix of private and public organizations– have signed on to the charter. The RGWF's goal is to generate sustainable funding over the next 20 years to proactively increase the pace and scale of forest restoration, including the most high-risk areas in the Rio Grande watershed.

    Rio Grande Water Fund
  3. Utility-driven Investments

    The projects under the Savannah Clean River Water Fund are directly supported through the allocation of a percentage of utility revenue towards conservation projects.

    Savannah River Clean Water Fund
  4. Private Investments

    Nature Conservancy has created the Minnesota Headwaters Fund — a $10-million, privately-funded investment to support our work to accomplish high-impact conservation of Mississippi River watersheds in Minnesota to ensure clean water is available for people, business and nature. The fund will support conservation work in targeted watersheds in the Upper Mississippi River basin in Minnesota, including easements, stream bank and floodplain restoration, and other projects that prevent pollutants such as nitrates and sediment from entering key rivers and lakes.

    Minnesota Headwaters Fund
  5. Regulatory-Driven Revolving Fund

    The Brandywine-Christina Healthy Water Fund aims to drive regulatory-driven municipal stormwater and drinking water utility investments toward agricultural restoration projects and to create marketable Environmental Impact Units, which can be sold to generate revenue for more conservation and create a self-sustaining, revolving fund structure

    Brandywine-Christina Healthy Water Fund