A Report Representing Momentum

Joe Whitworth
Joe Whitworth
President & CEO of The Freshwater Trust
English   |   Español

We hope you enjoy the ninth edition of the Uplift Report and after you do, that you’ll continue supporting us by making a year-end gift. Thank you for all that you’ve made possible.



It’s likely not the first word that comes to mind when considering the last year and a half. A pandemic was the force that stopped the movement of our communities and economies in their tracks. While The Freshwater Trust (TFT) has not been immune to challenges presented by such a massive event, we’ve gained significant momentum toward creating a new standard operating procedure for fixing freshwater ecosystems.

TFT is not in business to do some projects on some parts of rivers. We are here to fix entire basins within our lifetimes and to fundamentally change how freshwater conservation and restoration is practiced — not just in the U.S. — but globally. The need for a new direction could not be more acute. The $2 trillion spent on freshwater health and restoration in our country since the 1970s has missed the mark. We have more than half of U.S. waterways failing to meet Clean Water Act standards. And with 70% of the American West in moderate to extreme drought year after year, there is an urgent and unmistakable need to improve the systems that guide restoration.

Altering an entire system is ambitious and bold. But it is doable. Chances are if you are reading this now, you believe in the need for this and in our capabilities. We have never been — nor ever will be — an organization that just goes through the motions. We’re catalyzing transformational change that will allow us to see ecosystems achieve resilience within our lifetimes. This report is proof of that.

Read the Report

The following pages showcase how our method is working on behalf of key Western basins right now. They tell the story of how technical innovation behind the scenes underpins every on-the-ground action taken now and serves as the heart of our systems-changing, results-achieving approach.

You will learn how we mapped 4,000 fields in a key Northwest basin and precisely identified that by upgrading irrigation on only the top 10% of projects, we could reduce 60% of nitrogen runoff in that system. We spotlight how $200K became $25 million precisely invested in a basin and yielded an unprecedented fish response. We’ll introduce you to the team that builds the solutions that are big enough and bold enough to match the scale of the freshwater problems in our country.

Any student of physics knows that impact is a combination of momentum, velocity, and mass. In organizations, momentum is only gained under the right conditions, and your support ensures we have the ingredients needed to solve — rather than just patch — our freshwater crisis. After reading, please make your year-end gift to The Freshwater Trust. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Joe Whitworth

President & CEO

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October 26, 2021

#Uplift Report    

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