World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

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WWF & Finish – Making Every Drop Count

  • Date: 18 June 2024

In our daily lives, it can be easy to take water for granted. We turn on the tap to fill a pot for cooking, flush our toilets, take showers, and refill our water bottles, often with little thought of how precious water truly is. You may be surprised to learn that although more than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only 0.5% of that is actually available for use as freshwater. And freshwater isn’t just needed for drinking – it is an essential component of life for healthy ecosystems, wildlife habitats, agriculture, communities, and livelihoods.

Addressing the complex issue of water scarcity requires a multi-faceted approach. WWF’s strategy for water conservation focuses on several key areas including: conserving critical landscapes, transforming the systems that produce goods and commodities, supporting people and communities, and using scientific and technical expertise to effect positive change.

Implementing this strategy requires collaboration from many entities, from NGOs to governments and the business sector. That is why WWF is partnering with Finish to raise awareness about water scarcity issues. The focus of this partnership is on one of America’s most important and endangered rivers – the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo.

This ecological treasure winds 1,800 miles through the Southern Great Plains and is home to more mammal species than Yellowstone National Park and nearly 50% of all fish species that are found nowhere else in the world. The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo irrigates more than 1.8 million acres of cropland producing fruits, vegetables, cotton and nuts such as pecans. The river supports 16 million people with freshwater across the US and Mexico, but is in jeopardy from climate change, infrastructure issues, and increased water use.

WWF and Finish, along with local partners on the ground are embarking on four projects that will aim to address several key issues facing the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo. These projects include:

  • Wild Trout Fishery Conservation-Restoring River flows in the Upper Rio Grande Basin in Colorado during non-irrigation season to benefit aquatic ecosystems and agricultural and agency water partners.
  • Rio Cebolla Wetland and Watershed Initiative – Managing and restoring ecosystems in the headwaters in New Mexico through wetland and riparian restoration to encourage beaver populations to reinhabit.
  • Northern New Mexico Tributary Restoration – Managing and restoring ecosystems through agricultural water conservation, planting native vegetation, sustainable production practices and beaver coexistence.
  • Rio Grande-Big Bend Tributary Stream Storage Enhancement – Implementing interventions in the Big Bend grassland ecosystems to aid the restoration of natural, perennial creek flow, aquifer recharge- and long-term watershed restoration.

The health of our planet depends on freshwater, and WWF depends on partners like Finish to help support this critical conservation work. The partnership also aims to raise awareness around freshwater scarcity and educate consumers on how they can help make a difference. By taking swift and comprehensive action on these replenishment projects, WWF and Finish hope to create a sustainable future for the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo.


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