The West's water crisis is a challenge landowners are rising to, with the right support

The West is facing increasingly frequent and critical water shortages. Climate change, drought, fire, population growth and development are accelerating the challenge. These shortages, including diminishing surface waters and aquifers, pose an immediate and major risk to landowners.
At the same time, because landowners control much of the West’s water and the management of its watersheds, we are also key to finding and implementing solutions.
Yet, current policies disincentivize water conservation, water sharing and watershed stewardship. Though we are primary stakeholders, landowners often find we lack a voice in decision-making. Our input and participation hold the potential to make a significant and positive difference in outcomes. 




The water crisis in the Colorado River basin is big news, but watershed and wetland restoration practices that could make a big difference are underutilized across the basin. WLA currently has resources to directly assist place-based collaboratives and others to apply for funding and access the technical expertise needed to execute these projects at scale. If you have questions, needs or otherwise want to get involved, contact us!



Water has been and will increasingly be the single biggest challenge to the future of the West. WLA is working on water issues at all levels, from the soil surface and riverbed to the halls of power in state capitals and Washington, D.C.

Stay in the loop on workshops, field tours, news, updates and resources relating to this big challenge. Add your voice to our call for practical place-based solutions.

What landowners are already doing

Stewardship with Vision: David Spicer

See how David Spicer’s inspiring water stewardship has helped prevent a species from being listed as endangered in this Nevada desert valley.

Stewardship with Vision: Jeff Laszlo

Watch the immense transformation wrought on the Granger Ranches by Jeff Laszlo's commitment to restoring the wetland hydrology of O'Dell Creek in the Madison Valley of Montana.

Agua es Vida

This film begins up high in the Taos watershed and then takes us on a journey through the community of farmers and ranchers who depend on the acequias for their livelihood, and helps viewers understand acequias as a system of governance that, when well-attended and maintained, helps ensure a healthy community, healthy lands and sufficient water for all.

Water Resources

Funding Opportunities

Reach out for more information

  • SouthwestRivers

    Southwest Rivers Headwaters Fund

    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to restore, protect and enhance aquatic and riparian species of conservation concern and their habitats in the headwaters of the Colorado River and Rio Grande watersheds.

    Proposals are due November 3, 2022.


    RESTORE Colorado

    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for the annual Restoration and Stewardship of Outdoor Resources and Environment (RESTORE) Colorado Program. Grants will focus on the voluntary restoration, enhancement, and expansion of wildlife habitat throughout the State.

    Proposals are due November 10, 2022.


    Colorado Ag Drought Resilience Project Incubator

    There is funding available to support the design and implementation of drought resilience and innovative water conservation projects with agricultural water users and water managers. The goals of this effort are to advance strategies and on the ground projects for irrigated agriculture to adapt to reduced water supplies. 

    Applications are due December 1.


Download these guidance materials

Western water conservation and drought mitigation on private working lands

Policy opportunities in the farm bill and beyond The western United States continues to face extended and increasingly ...
2017 Water Rights

Water Rights in the West

What every landowner needs to know Few things are as crucial to ranch operations as water. Getting a ...

Stewardship with Vision

Caring for New Mexico’s Streams Private stewardship of Western land and water plays a vital role in the ...

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