Water 4 emerged in 2019 from conservation work already in action around the Intermountain West. Water 4 is now in its fourth year and has grown from a Joint Venture (JV) initiative to a well-established and broadly recognized conservation approach for sustaining wetlands. What was once an initiative is on the radar at the highest levels of government and is increasingly bringing new investments from key agencies to support locally led conservation efforts. Yet, now more than ever, drought and climate change are fundamentally altering the valuable wetland and irrigated agricultural lands that are imperative to the future of migratory birds, wildlife and fisheries, and people.
The Water 4 approach includes:
- SCIENCE to identify vital working wetlands; Science to Implementation to enhance access to and use of science for strategic conservation, from field implementation to funding and decision making.
- CAPACITY to address conservation bottlenecks and work through existing partnerships to increase the pace and scale of conservation. Adding capacity requires putting the right people with the right skills in the right place.
- COMMUNICATIONS to advance conservation through stories about partnership-driven conservation efforts, outcomes, and the tools that get the job done.
Water 4 is accelerating water and wetlands conservation and developing transferable models across the West.