Urban Water Funders explores the role of water in urban settings to the benefit of the environment, equity and economies of communities, with specific interest in:
- Climate resilience
- Natural infrastructure and green stormwater infrastructure
- Integrated water management
Urban Water Funders was created in close coordination with a number of leading national and regional funders interested in sustainable stormwater practices and green infrastructure because of its potential to address a variety of issues including water quality and quantity, community revitalization, and climate resilience—particularly in communities under federal pressure to address Clean Water Act requirements or with pressing concerns to address flooding or drought. Sustainable stormwater and green infrastructure is a relatively new field of practice nationally that funders are seeking to learn about and influence its implementation.
Urban Water Funders is designed to create a forum to learn together, build relationships, and catalyze action. The funders that participate in the Urban Water Funders are able to:
- Connect and learn together on topics such as funding and financing, equity, national policy and climate resilience.
- Align efforts to scale up the use of green infrastructure.
- Collaborate on joint projects and special initiatives.
Participation in Urban Water Funders is open to public and private foundations and corporate grantmakers who support the mission. Government funders that demonstrate a deep commitment to the work of the Urban Water Funders also may participate. Funders are encouraged to support the Urban Water Funders by being a member of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, as well as through program-specific contributions and grants that directly support implementation of the Urban Water Funders work plan.
Urban Water Funders, originally known as the Stormwater Funders’ Group, was created in 2010 and initially operated as an ad hoc group interested in the intersection of smart growth and sustainable stormwater practices. In 2012, the Stormwater Funders’ Group became a learning network in close coordination with a number of leading national and regional funders interested in sustainable stormwater practices and green infrastructure with quarterly learning calls and an annual face-to-face convening. In 2015, the Stormwater Funders’ Group installed a steering committee and co-chairs as it shifted from a learning network to one focused on aligning and action. The group changed its name to Urban Water Funders in November 2017 to better reflect its goals and funder focus.