Climate Change

Our rivers are endangered and out-of-balance.

The West’s population is growing, and the amount of water in our rivers has diminished by almost 20% over the past 20 years. With further declines on the horizon, we need better ways to balance the demands of our communities, rivers, and wildlife habitats.

st. george

Water Supply for Growing Communities

Western communities have a water supply problem. There is not enough water in rivers to meet current demand, and climate change and rapid population growth are going to make this imbalance worse. Further, major reservoirs throughout the West, which are akin to the region’s water savings account, are at critically low levels and some could be empty within the next few years. As flows in Western rivers continue to decline and some states face mandatory shortages, communities urgently need to use water more efficiently or face dire consequences.

Help WRA develop additional solutions that enable growing communities across the West to use less water and improve their resilience.

Your donation will support WRA’s pursuit of pro-active policies that boost communities’ water security, from replacing thirsty turfgrass with drought-friendly landscaping to expanding use of recycled water.


River health and protecting ecosystems

Everyone benefits when our rivers are healthy and flowing. Yet, for more than a century we have taken vast amounts of water out of rivers and choked them with dams, often at the expense of the plants, animals, fish, and other aquatic life that rivers support. Today, population growth and warmer and drier temperatures are further straining waterways, leading some river reaches to go dry and threatening the extinction of species. It’s essential that we take steps to restore rivers, to benefit ecosystems, fish, wildlife, and the rivers themselves. This not only preserves the natural environment, but also the fabric of our communities and our way of life in the West.

Help WRA keep Western rivers healthy and flowing for generations to come.

Your donation will support WRA’s pursuit of evidenced-based solutions to protect rivers, like securing new “instream” water rights and meeting flow targets for endangered fish species.


Outdoor recreation economy and livelihoods

Rivers are a way of life in the West, whether you enjoy heart-pumping whitewater rafting, cycling alongside the banks of a waterway, fishing for native trout, or simply cooling off in shallow pools. Yet, climate change is making streamflows increasingly unreliable, with less water in our rivers. Additionally, communities often lack the ability to legally protect the water that is essential to recreational uses. As such, Westerners are rapidly seeing the harmful impacts not only on their wellbeing, but also on the annual $75 billion recreation economy our rivers support. The livelihoods of millions of people and viability of countless businesses depend on reliable flows of water year after year, and innovative solutions are needed to ensure the many benefits brought by river recreation don’t dry up.

Help WRA develop more legal tools to safeguard beloved river recreation experiences for communities, businesses, and all who enjoy them.

Your  gift will enable WRA to drive forward smart policies that keep reliable flows in rivers, like the recreational water right we helped secure with the city of Glenwood Springs, Colorado to support local rafting, tubing, kayaking, and boating.

Help us Prevent and Manage Drought in the West.



Make a gift to WRA now to drive climate solutions for the West’s future

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Western Resource Advocates