What We Do
Theory of Change
We envision a world where all people have equitable access to safe water and sanitation, as well as a voice in the management of this shared and sacred resource. We envision living rivers, thriving communities, and water systems that work with nature.
We use story-based strategies to advance water justice and resilience. We work to make water communications more accessible, and activism more effective, so the people most impacted by water challenges have greater agency to determine the solutions.
The Water Hub will focus initially on the Western United States, working to build power and advance water progress at the local and state level.
The West is facing widespread water pollution, periodic shortages, access gaps, and infrastructure failures. These problems are as much social and political as they are structural. They come from treating water as a commodity, and rivers as plumbing systems.
In order to bring basins into balance and meet community needs, we have to change the way we relate to rivers and each other. It starts with bringing more people into the water movement, and honoring their expertise.
Limited communications capacity can be a barrier, because it results in water news that is dry and technical. People tune out content that doesn’t reflect their voices or values, and therefore don’t engage in water issues impacting their communities. Without public pressure, decisionmakers often defer costly or controversial investments.
- The West’s water problems are fixable if we can build the political will.
- People care about water, but could benefit from clearer communications.
- Public awareness and engagement will lead to better water management.
- A more equitable and inclusive water movement will be more effective.
- Stories shape systems. We have to shift the narrative and power map to change policies.
- Narrative change is a long-term undertaking that requires organizing, strategic communications, arts and cultural work.