Water Equity Clearinghouse

Carpe Diem West

American West

Carpe Diem West is a network of organizations in the American West that are searching for equitable and sustainable solutions to deal with impacts from a changing climate. In addition, Carpe Diem West serves as a consultant for Western communities and water agencies who wish to start and expand programs that protect the source of their water.

Carpe Diem West has several programs that work to incorporate current climate science into management plans around the American West. For example, the Healthy Headwaters Alliance is a coalition of water utility managers, conservationists, public agency staff, scientists, community advocates and businesses that all come together to protect headwater forests at risk of wildfires. The Alliance seeks to restore watersheds and protect waters originating in these forests, thereby increasing overall resilience of both forests and water supplies.

Carpe Diem West also explores the effects that degraded forests and water supplies would have on human health through their initiative, Water is Life: Climate Change, Western Water, and Health. This program helps western water managers, local and state agencies, social justice activists, climate scientists, and health sector leaders navigate the public policy and infrastructural responses to climate change. By creating a coordinated plan, policy that interacts across sectors, and research agendas, Carpe Diem West and participants of this program can ensure that clean water is accessible to every community.

The Horizon Program is another initiative that seeks to collaboratively explore the effects of climate change. This “think tank” style lab has produced a number of projects and reports that encourage basin-wide management strategies, develop methods for stake-holder engagement, identify gaps and barriers in policy frameworks, and present innovative solutions for our current crisis. These reports also place a heavy emphasis on establishing informal governance mechanisms such that a broad range of community members and basin residents can comment and provide input on proposals, an important step in achieving water equity.

Geographic Scale:
Type of Organization:
Pillar 1
Pillar 3
Vulnerable Populations Served:
Lower-income Communities