Historically, planning for water resources and land use have been conducted separately. Yet, where and how we build impacts water demand and the quality of water that nourishes our ecosystems and replenishes our supplies. The North American West and the Colorado River are facing ongoing drought and decreased water supplies, while the growing populations of towns and cities increase demand. We know that this serious challenge can be collaboratively and effectively addressed.
Growing Water Smart workshops bring leaders from a city, town, county or region together to devote entire days to learning, collaboration and planning, which lead to custom action plans, tailored to their unique needs and goals. A more resilient water future is possible from the headwaters of the Colorado River all the way to its delta.
Cities and towns, farmers and ranchers, and industry and conservation organizations can all learn to work collaboratively to use land efficiently and conserve water as they plan for the future.
Cities and towns, farmers and ranchers, and industry and conservation organizations can all learn to work collaboratively to use land efficiently and conserve water as they plan for the future. Historically, planning for water resources and planning for land use development have been conducted in silos–yet the two areas profoundly impact one another. Bringing them together can help ensure water resources meet the demands of both people and nature to simultaneously support healthy watersheds and prosperous communities across the Colorado River Basin.
Participating communities gain:
- Insight. A better understanding of how land use and climate trends impact water supply and demand.
- Flexibility. The strategies and tools to integrate water and land use planning to better adapt to change and uncertainty.
- Engagement. Decision makers from multiple disciplines, departments, agencies, and organizations agree to common goals around water.
- Clarity. Clear and concise language to communicate critical community goals around water to gain community and decision maker support.
- Collaboration. Professional relationships with peers across the region.
- A path forward. An action plan tailored to your local needs.
Milestones reached by our team:
- Almost two-thirds of Colorado residents live in a community assisted by our Growing Water Smart program.
- Our workshops began serving Arizona communities in 2020, reaching fast-growing suburban, urban and rural communities.
More information about recent and upcoming workshops and application materials:
The Sonoran Institute and Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy’s Growing Water Smart program introduces communities to the full range of communications, public engagement, planning, and policy implementation tools to realize their watershed health and community resiliency goals.