Photograph by George F. Mobley
National Geographic is developing a strategic approach to freshwater issues with the goal of motivating people across the world to care about and conserve freshwater and the diversity of life it sustains. Below is a partial list of organizations offering ideas, programs and resources.
The Alliance for Water Efficiency is a non-profit organization dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water. Located in Chicago, the Alliance serves as a North American advocate for water efficient products and programs, and provides information and assistance on water conservation efforts.
ACEER works to supply teachers around the globe with a wealth of information about rain forests, including the rivers that run through them.
American Rivers protects and restores America's rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife, and nature. The organization works in five key program areas: rivers and global warming, river restoration, river protection, clean water, and water supply. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters, with offices in Washington, DC and nationwide.
Blue Legacy is an initiative started in 2008 by Alexandra Cousteau to engage individuals around the world by telling the story of our water planet. Blue Legacy works to help shape society’s dialogue to include water as one of the defining issues of our century and to inspire people to take action on critical water issues in meaningful ways.
Circle of Blue is the international network of leading journalists, scientists, and communications professionals working on freshwater issues It is a nonprofit affiliate of the internationally recognized water, climate and policy think tank, the Pacific Institute.
International Development Enterprises (IDE) is a social enterprise dedicated to ending poverty in the developing world not through handouts, but by helping farm families access the tools and knowledge they need to increase their income. A principal focus is access to affordable irrigation technologies to raise the farm productivity and incomes of poor farmers on small plots in developing countries.
International Rivers' mission is to protect rivers and defend the rights of communities that depend on them. The organization collaborates with a global network of local communities, social movements, non-governmental organizations and other partners. Through research, education and advocacy, International Rivers works to halt destructive river infrastructure projects, address the legacies of existing projects, improve development policies and practices, and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world.
The mission of the non-profit International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is to improve the management of land and water resources for food, livelihoods, and nature. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, IWMI is one of 15 international research centers supported by the network of 60 governments, private foundations and international and regional organizations collectively known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
The Nature Conservancy works around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. TNC has protected 5,000 miles (8,050 kilometers) of rivers worldwide, and operates more than a hundred marine conservation projects globally.
The Pacific Institute works to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. The Institute conducts interdisciplinary research and partners with stakeholders to produce solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally. The Pacific Institute's water program seeks to transform the way societies perceive, manage, and use water resources.
PSI is a leading global health organization with programs targeting malaria, water as it relates to child survival, HIV, and reproductive health. Working in partnership within the public and private sectors and harnessing the power of the markets, PSI provides life-saving products, clinical services, and behavior change communications that empower the world's most vulnerable populations to lead healthier lives. PSI works in over 30 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean to educate individuals about purifying drinking water, practicing improved hygiene, and offering treatment for diarrheal disease if a child falls ill.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative non-profit leader in supporting the independent international journalism that U.S. media organizations are increasingly less able to undertake. The Center focuses on under-reported topics, such as the freshwater crisis, and promotes high-quality international reporting aimed at diverse audiences.
The Stroud Water Research Center's scientific staff is internationally acclaimed for its pioneering research on streams and rivers. The scientists work in interdisciplinary research teams, blending their individual talents in chemistry, microbial ecology, invertebrate biology, watershed ecology, and ecosystem modeling to study the physical, chemical, and biological processes of streams and rivers, the life histories of individual organisms, and the ecology of watersheds.
Water Advocates is the first U.S.-based nonprofit organization dedicated solely to increasing American support for worldwide access to safe, affordable, and sustainable supplies of drinking water and adequate sanitation.
The mission of the Water Footprint Network is to promote the transition toward sustainable, fair, and efficient use of freshwater resources worldwide primarily by advancing the concept of the “water footprint”—a spatially and temporally explicit indicator of direct and indirect water use of consumers and producers. The water footprint of an individual, community, or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services.
The U.S. WASH-in-Schools Initiative is designed to focus Americans’ attention not only on the worldwide need for water, sanitation, and hygiene, but on ways for American institutions and citizens—including U.S. schoolchildren—to join in the effort. WASH—in-Schools programs are being carried out around the world by local governments, UNICEF, and nonprofit organizations.
WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. In addition to having initiatives on dams, at-risk rivers and aquatic species, and efficient irrigation, WWF calls on governments to collaborate on the protection, equitable use, and sustainable management of river basins crossing international borders.
Help Save the Colorado River
You can help restore freshwater ecosystems by pledging to cut your water footprint. For every pledge, Change the Course will restore 1,000 gallons back to the Colorado River.
Sandra is a leading authority on international freshwater issues and is spearheading our global freshwater efforts.
He's paddled the Colorado River from its headwaters to the delta in an effort to bring awareness to this mighty river at risk.
For more than 15 years, Osvel Hinojosa Huerta has been resurrecting Mexico's Colorado River Delta wetlands.
Change the Course Infographic
Check out this infographic and learn how you can conserve water and save the Colorado River, as well as other freshwater ecosystems.
Water Currents, by Sandra Postel and Others
Arizona's Verde River gets a boost from an innovative partnership.
Farmers in the Verde River Basin employ new technology to benefit a desert environment.
Funny viral video series hopes to get people thinking about the importance of water.