Our Impact

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Since 1988, River Network has been at the forefront of expanding national interest in protecting the waters of our country, encouraging diversity in the environmental movement, and helping engaged community members and local organizations take a stand for their waters. More than 8,500 NGOs, agencies, tribal groups, and utilities protect and restore rivers and safeguard clean water across the United States. River Network is the only national organization whose sole purpose is to connect and strengthen this network.

River Network’s Pillars

Clean Water. Despite great advances in water pollution control, over half of our nation’s surveyed waters are of “poor” condition and cannot support healthy aquatic life.

Ample Water. Although much of the water that is withdrawn from rivers or other water sources is returned after use, some is consumed and never returns. In the U.S., nearly one in ten watersheds is stressed because consumption exceeds supply.

Strong Champions. Supporting local champions has always been at the heart of our work. Strong champions for our rivers come in many forms, from coalitions, to small and large organizations, to the leaders and members of these groups.

How We Strengthen the Network

River Network continually seeks to strengthen our members and the power of our network through expanding the network’s reach, leveraging voices from across our network, and increasing the network’s influence to create alignment and empower collective action on key issues. To achieve these goals, we invest in our members, expand partnerships to reach common goals, and continue to support and train water champions. River Network supports members of the network through:
  • facilitating learning and networking opportunities
  • providing science support
  • catalyzing policy change
  • offering leadership development training and consulting
  • supporting groups’ visibility and reach through tools and publications

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How We Help

River Network connects and empowers organizations, providing tools, training, and resources needed for success. By uniting peers and linking them with other nonprofit organizations, agencies, foundations, and businesses who can fuel and further their work, our network aligns for collective action and, ultimately, expands impact. Explore how we help.

Our Priorities

Numerous issues call for urgent collective action, but four have risen to the top based on our network-wide engagement: Clean, Safe, Affordable Drinking Water; Resilient Cities and Communities; Healthy Rivers in Agricultural Landscapes; Robust and Effective Water Laws and Policies. Explore these key issues and River Network’s core strategies to address them.

Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan outlines our response to current water crises and commitment to connecting and aligning more than 8,500 NGOs, agencies, tribal groups, and utilities for shared action. Read about how we are empowering action on key issues in the complete 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.

Annual Reports

Check out River Network’s annual reports for a glimpse into the accomplishments of the River Network community. We send our heartfelt thanks to our members, donors, and collaborative partners for making it all possible! Explore River Network’s most recent annual reports.


All too frequently, individuals and groups involved with natural resource conservation fail to celebrate their hard-won successes. Too often, important victories are allowed to be overshadowed by the next issue or threat. Challenges always lie ahead, but we need to take time each year to celebrate our achievements and the people who make them possible. Read about recent River Heroes and Compton Award winners.

Impact Stories

Taking care of water and rivers is hard work. Impact stories elevate success and achievement from across our membership. Each example goes beyond the ordinary and reveals the power of hope, the value of grit, and the importance of creativity. These stories are here to spark innovation in others and spread good ideas more quickly. We hope they inspire you too. Explore River Network’s impact stories.