Water Equity Clearinghouse

The Nature Conservancy


Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, currently working in 72 countries across all regions in the world. With a mission to protect nature and preserve life for future generations, TNC’s work with local governments, communities, and partner organizations on land conservation, oceans, water systems, cities, and climate change. TNC’s work is science-based and typically region-specific, working across aisles to meet goals for conservation.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

With water as one of its priorities, The Nature Conservancy is committed to protecting rivers, improving water quality, and ensuring urban water security. Around half of the world’s population faces water shortages, a number that is only expected to grow. Inadequate land management practices are also impacting water quality. Through water markets and water funds, TNC works with its partners to increase access to water and improve water quality through natural solutions (i.e., reforestation and improved farming practices). Additionally, TNC works with cities and companies to protect and restore drinking watersheds by providing incentives for upstream land management that improves water quality for downstream water users. TNC also collaborates with local governments, communities, and private businesses to adopt green infrastructure.

One of TNC’s significant water projects is in the Colorado River Basin. TNC’s Colorado River Program was created in 2008 to address numerous environmental threats and challenges in the region in a more integrated way. The program aims to meet the needs of communities within the watershed while maintaining the environmental welfare of the river. The Colorado River Program partners with other nonprofit organizations, water users, and policymakers to develop innovative water management strategies. In collaboration with the Bureau of Reclamation, the seven states in the Colorado River Basin conducted a study with the goal of finding solutions to address the supply and demand imbalances in the Basin to achieve multiple benefits for communities and the environment.