Changing the Course of our Freshwater Future

By Sandra Postel, Val Fishman and Todd Reeve

We’ll cut right to the chase. We’re building a water stewardship movement, and we hope you’ll join us. Some 170,000 people and 22 companies already have. We have restored billions of gallons of water to depleted rivers and wetlands, and with your help, we can restore many billions more.

Our initiative, Change the Course, is committed to securing water for people and nature so that both can thrive. It’s a big challenge. Around the world, freshwater ecosystems are suffering. The Colorado River – which sculpted the Grand Canyon – doesn’t even make it to the sea anymore. The Nile, the Ganges, the Yellow and many other rivers, big and small, are so over-tapped they’re often reduced to a trickle.

Our economies can’t thrive without water. Neither can fish, birds, wildlife or people.

Water security depends on two things: consuming less water by using and managing it more wisely, and restoring flows to depleted rivers and freshwater ecosystems.

Change the Course aims to do both. Its mechanics are simple.

We invite people to join us by making a voluntary pledge to reduce their personal water footprints, and we provide tools and information to help people make a conservation pledge that’s right for them. For every pledge that’s made, we restore 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) to a river or wetland in need.

Our corporate sponsors balance their own water footprints by underwriting those personal pledges and funding our restoration projects. We work closely with on-the-ground conservation organizations to select projects with good ecological bang for the buck, and we track, certify and register the gallons restored. In this way, sponsors get an accounting of how much water their funding has returned to the environment.

It’s working. For the last three years we piloted Change the Course in the iconic, but —> Read More