In River and Water Organizations, River Restoration and Protection, Water conservation, Water Quality, Water Scarcity

Trends Report on State of Water Protection Shows Concern for Quality, Quantity, Workforce Diversity

Update – December 21, 2020: River Network has released a 2020 trends report, in follow up to this 2016 publication. Click here to view the full 2020 report.

BOULDER, COLORADO May 16, 2016 – National organization River Network released a 2016 trends report called Our Water, Our Future:  State of River and Watershed Protection this week. The report outlines current conditions of waterways in the U.S. including opportunities and threats to water quality and quantity, and provides an analysis of the diversity of the workforce within the river and watershed protection community.

The results shared that only 36% believe that conditions are improving for our nation’s waterways. The report states that, for progress towards healthier rivers, a solid legal and regulatory system with adequate enforcement is critical, as well as more coordination among stakeholders, and greater public/community engagement are crucial.

The report also stresses the need for river and watershed protection efforts to reflect the interests and the diversity of the communities being served. Over 85% of river and watershed organizations reported workforce diversity at under 25%.

“We need a new movement for our water that unifies people to solve water problems and ignites the next generation of change agents. Our community is on a journey to embrace all people in our work and break down the barriers that divide and define us,” says Nicole Silk, River Network’s President.

Purposeful leadership, training to help uncover unconscious bias and modernize recruitment tactics, mentoring to build an inclusive workplace, and guidance for how to bring people together to solve water problems are all needed according to the report.

The report is the first ever national report of its kind.  Data for this report came from nearly 700 survey respondents from across the United States, including tribal representatives, academics, conservation professionals, river advocates, government officials, and concerned citizens. View the full report >

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