New Report is Roadmap to Protecting Water Resources

Greenville, S.C. – The World Resources Institute (WRI) has released a new report that identifies 10 lessons for successful watershed investment programs. Protecting Drinking Water at the Source is a collaboration with the Colorado State University Colorado Forest Restoration Institute. The work is based on an analysis of 13 case studies from across the U.S. and was funded through a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), which provided matching funds.

“Healthy, well-managed forests play a critical role protecting drinking water sources,” notes Peter Stangel,the Endowment’s Senior Vice President. “The U.S. Forest Service estimates that about two-thirds of the fresh water in our nation flows through forested watersheds. This new report provides practical, proven guidance for developing and implementing successful watershed protection programs in both forests and other cover types. “

The Endowment’s President and CEO, Carlton Owen, co-authored the forward, along with Andrew Steer,WRI’s President and CEO; Robert Bonnie, USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment; and David LaFrance, CEO of the American Water Works Association.

The report notes that “Watershed investment programs aim to sustain the supply of clean and safe waterto communities by funding the conservation and restoration of lands that protect water quantity andquality.” The Endowment has funded several watershed investment programs, most notably in the UpperNeuse River Basin of North Carolina. The Upper Neuse partnership was co-funded through a Conservation Innovation Grant from NRCS to the Endowment in 2009, and helped lead to creation of a watershed protection fee in Raleigh that now generates about $2.3 million annually for watershed investment. This project is part of the WRI analysis. Most recently the Endowment joined with the U.S. EPA and NRCS to create the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program, which provides funding for watershed investment partnerships.

“The lessons from this report will save new watershed investment collaborations precious time, money,and effort as they launch their programs,” Stangel said. “It will help unite upstream water producers, suchas forest owners, with downstream water consumers, around the shared goal of watershed protectionand management.”

For more information contact:
Peter Stangel, 404-915-2763,
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests andforest-reliant communities –

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