Q&A with Kate Moore, Senior Water Attorney

November 30, 2023

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Senior Water Attorney Kate Moore to ask her a few questions about her work with The Freshwater Trust.

In two sentences, tell us what you do at The Freshwater Trust.

I provide legal support for all aspects of TFT’s work, including our Implementation and Science and Analytics teams to ensure they can keep doing their work and to minimize risk to the organization in the process. In addition, I engage on a variety of legal and policy questions that arise in our projects, including but by no means limited to those relating to water rights and irrigation.

What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now?

The most important thing is probably ensuring that all our contracts are solid and in place so we can continue to work with the amazing partners, subcontractors, and landowners who help make our work possible. Also up there in importance is providing legal background regarding water law to ensure there aren’t legal barriers to restoration projects we may implement or to projects we may propose based on our analytics, such as our Science and Analytics team’s evaluation of demand management opportunities in Colorado.

Treat people with respect and curiosity (and try to have some fun along the way).

What’s something that’s happening at the organization right now that you are very excited about?

TFT’s efforts to ensure that the substantial federal funding opportunities, combined with other funding sources, be utilized in a manner that will create the greatest possible impact in a short timeframe could be a game changer as we try to address the current and future impacts of climate change on our environment and water-dependent communities. Sustainable funding coupled with TFT’s analytics that can identify projects that generate both water quality and quantity benefits within a watershed, helping both our rivers and the sustainability of irrigated agriculture, is incredibly exciting.

What do you love about working for The Freshwater Trust?

Working with passionate, whip-smart, and hard-working colleagues, each bringing unique expertise to the shared mission of restoring the health of our freshwater ecosystems.

Last book you read or movie you watched? 

Okay, technically not the last book I read, but a recent read that I’m most excited to share is The Last Ranger by Peter Heller. It’s a good mystery combined with reflections on the complexities of the modern West.

Last place you traveled.

I finally made my first trip to Lake Tahoe this past summer with my family (and some generous friends who shared their home and local knowledge with us). We also made a quick stop in Ashland on the way to and from Tahoe, including a visit to one of TFT’s restoration sites along Bear Creek and our kids’ first trip to Crater Lake. Can’t wait to get back!

A quote you live by. 

“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy… Let’s go exploring!” Before my mom passed away, she gave me and my brothers each a framed Calvin and Hobbes comic in which Calvin and Hobbes are carrying a sled into the woods after a fresh snowfall, excited about the season’s change and possibilities ahead. The quoted line is what Calvin says at the end, as he and Hobbes head off down the hill, snow billowing behind them. I’ve tried to embrace that mentality in life, despite the inevitable ups and downs along the way.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be continuing to learn and find new and better ways to use my legal skills to help address the unfortunate but likely growing threat to our freshwater resources in the face of climate change.

What’s the number one piece of advice you have for someone trying to get into this field? 

Never underestimate the impact of relationships, whether with your current colleagues, someone you meet at a networking event or through a friend. Treat people with respect and curiosity (and try to have some fun along the way). Take the time to develop and maintain relationships with people working in this field, or who may be connected to folks who are. In the process, don’t worry about narrowing your focus too soon. I’ve worked with people who might traditionally be viewed as being on opposite sides of the table in the natural resources field and learned lessons from them all; those diverse relationships have not only helped open doors but also made me better at my job.