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Protecting Our Water for Future Generations
Colorado River horeshoe bend
In a Minute: Our Environment Program
This short video provides an overview of the Walton Family Foundation's Environment program.
Protecting Our Water for Future Generations

Protecting water during climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time. Whether it’s droughts, floods, wildfires, rising sea levels or changes in the ocean food chain – climate change affects every place we have water. We’re in a water crisis and we need to act like it.

The foundation's Environment strategy seeks lasting water solutions in three key geographies: the Colorado River Basin, the Mississippi River Basin and our Oceans. Our goal is to make sure there is enough healthy, available water for people and nature to thrive together. To meet this challenge, we need the best ideas from everyone. Big decisions to protect water must include those closest to the problem.

To learn how to grow enough food, while protecting soil and water – we listen to farmers. To keep enough fish in the ocean -- we listen to fishermen. To find ways to use less water in the West – we learn from tribal nations. They have lived there longer than anyone else.

Together, we can make lasting progress to create a secure water future. We measure progress by the increasing use of conservation solutions that benefit nature and people, the number of wetland acres or river miles restored and the recovery of depleted fisheries.

Theory of Change: Environment
By engaging communities, working with nature and focusing on innovation, we can find lasting solutions to protect water and address climate change.
Mississippi River at dusk
Sustaining the Water Resources that Sustain Us

Our work supports climate-resilient approaches to agriculture, water resource management and sustainable fisheries. Our specific initiatives will:

• Drive Innovation

We work with on-the-ground partners to find nature-based solutions that lead to wider adoption of effective practices.

• Use Markets to Advance Sustainability

We support communities using market demand for sustainably produced products to improve agricultural practices and fisheries management. By doing this, we can show that sustainable sourcing is good for the environment and business.

• Encourage Smart Policy

Federal, state and local policy all drive long-term change to protect water. We elevate the voices of tribal nations, farmers, ranchers and fishers to craft policies that improve the economy and environment.

• Engage & Empower Diverse Allies

The foundation works with diverse communities, other philanthropies and the public. We are expanding engagement with Communities of Color, who experience more severe impacts of climate change.

Water and Climate: Opportunities and Challenges
The Walton Family Foundation has a longstanding and deep commitment to protecting rivers, lakes and oceans. Our response to the water and climate challenges we face involves building broad coalitions around commonsense ideas.
A Future with Sustainable Food
Our current food system has enabled the world to feed billions. But it is also damaging to the environment and eaters alike. We must begin to produce our food in ways that are more creative, equitable and sustainable.
Caryl M. Stern January 18, 2023
Creating a more just society depends on growing, distributing and eating healthier food
José Andrés August 5, 2021
Chef José Andrés urges action to ensure a safe, sustainable supply of water for people and the planet
August 29, 2022
Tracking food company progress toward a water-smart future
Americans want to protect water and address climate change

Time and again, polling on climate change shows us what we already know from experience – water brings people together.

Building a More Diverse and Inclusive Environmental Movement
As we work to protect water in the face of climate change, we need the environmental movement to become more inclusive and diverse.
Nature-Based Solutions to Protect Water and Communities
By working with nature, we can build healthier watersheds with improved flows that help us adapt to climate change.
Featured Videos
Watch these videos to learn more about the foundation's work to protect the Colorado River, Mississippi River, Coastal Gulf of Mexico and our Oceans.
Family Voices: Our Environment Program
At the Walton Family Foundation, we believe we must sustain the places that sustain us. We focus on protecting oceans and rivers and the livelihoods they support, for the benefit of people and the environment. In this video, members of the Walton family explain the vision and values that drive the foundation’s conservation work.
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