Water Equity Clearinghouse

The Kresge Foundation

Troy, MI

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America's cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit. In collaboration with our nonprofit, public, private and philanthropic partners, Kresge helps create pathways for low-income people to improve their life circumstances and join the economic mainstream. Founded in 1924, Kresge embarked on a multiyear transition in 2006, which has resulted in strategic philanthropy: viewing issues in their entirety, taking measured risk, and employing an array of capital tools to advance their mission.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

The goal of Kresge’s Environment Program is to help cities implement comprehensive climate-resilience strategies grounded in equity. A critical component of our strategy is to transform key urban systems critical to climate resilience, with a focus on both energy and water systems. We define water systems as the people, processes, physical infrastructure and policies that control and manage stormwater and flooding in America’s cities. The goal of Kresge’s Climate Resilient & Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) work is to transform urban stormwater and wastewater systems so they provide reliable, equitable and innovative services to communities despite the uncertainties introduced by climate change. We fund work that:

  1. Builds Urban Leadership: Educating institutional actors and practitioners on concepts key to climate-resilient and equitable management of water systems, improving delivery of technical support to municipal and utility leaders to implement improved water system management practices, and strengthening the cadre of community-based and non-governmental organizations working on behalf of climate-resilient and equitable water systems.
  2. Builds the case to advance a water equity agenda: Increasing acceptance of concepts central to climate-resilient and equitable water management through applied research, developing the evidence base and policy advocacy.
  3. Advances Non-Traditional approaches: Place-based problem solving to increase uptake of climate resilience planning and implementation, including the use of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) and other solutions.

Some grants emblematic of our new strategy to advance climate resilience and water equity can be found in our searchable grants database:Kresge Environment Program Grants.

Geographic Scale:
Type of Organization:
Vulnerable Populations Served:
Communities of Color
Lower-income Communities
Approach to Advancing Water Equity:
Capacity Building/Education
Funding and Finance