The Rio Grande Water Fund is governed by a collaborative charter and an executive committee. Currently, more than 100 signatories–a diverse mix of private and public organizations– have signed on to the charter.
In 2014, we published the Rio Grande Water Fund: Comprehensive Plan for Wildfire and Water Source Protection. This plan serves as the guiding document for all projects under the umbrella of the Rio Grande Water Fund. To track our projects and adapt to changing circumstances adequately we developed a monitoring and adaptive management strategy. Using both plans together allows us to be nimble and proactive to the diverse conditions in the Rio Grande watershed while being responsive to inputs from our partners.
From thinning and controlled burns to stream restoration, the work we have accomplished together is making a difference: In 4 of the last 5 years, we have met our collective annual target of 30,000 acres of forest restoration. New state and federal funding will continue to accelerate this great work.
But a lot has changed since the RGWF was established in 2014. A decade later, we are conducting an analysis with the Nature for Water Facility to evaluate the current challenges and opportunities facing our shared watershed. Our goal is to update our strategic documents to guide the next decade of high-impact work for our community. We’re sharing updates through the year here and via email regularly – if you’re not already a subscriber, sign on to receive direct updates in the column to the right.
Water is life and livelihood. Nowhere is that a truer statement than in New Mexico. Each year, large and severe wildfires, and the post-fire flooding, increasingly put our water sources at risk. State and federal agencies spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year responding to these fires. Communities affected by severe wildfire face loss of revenue to local businesses, loss of outdoor cultural opportunities. Without action, New Mexico’s future water security and nature-based culture are at significant risk.
The Rio Grande Water Fund invests in the restoration of forested lands upstream so we can secure pure fresh water. Our 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. This innovative project offers a solution that can bring clean water and outdoor opportunities to New Mexicans for generations to come.