Natural Resources: Balanced Water Management - Gates Family Foundation


Colorado is home to the headwaters for four major rivers (the Colorado, Rio Grande, Arkansas, and South Platte) that flow out of state, supplying water to 19 other states and more than 35 million people. Population growth and urban development in Colorado and throughout the region are intensifying conflicts between the diverse needs of these urban and rural water users, as well as our wild places and ecosystems. The state’s first-ever Water Plan was approved in 2015, and recognizes the need to balance protection of Colorado’s river flows — precious for both environmental and recreational use — with the demands of municipal, industrial, and agricultural water users.

The Foundation seeks to advance new tools, processes, and ideas to realize a long-term, sustainable balance between all of these demands. We prioritize projects that promote cross-sector cooperation and market-based tools, connect land use and water conservation, support instream flows and healthy rivers, develop better water data and analysis, and advance priorities identified in the State Water Plan.


See our recent strategic grants supporting Balanced Water Management

Our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan: Our Team Shares the Highlights

During a series of six webinars in February and March 2022, our team shared the broad strokes of our 2022-2026 strategic plan: what’s new and what’s unchanged, and how — by working together — we can make a positive impact on the most important issues facing our state.

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Whitney Johnson

Whitney Johnson

Senior Program Officer – Natural Resources
Amanda Hill

Amanda Hill

Program Officer – Natural Resources