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Protecting Water at its Source

Healthy headwaters and watersheds are vital to the state’s water supply reliability.

Healthy Headwaters and Watersheds

Forests, meadows and source waters play a critical role in our water supply and water management system. Healthy headwaters ensure increased water supply reliability, improved water quality, reduced impacts from catastrophic wildfires, increased renewable energy supplies, improved response to climate change and enhanced habitat.

ACWA's Efforts

As extreme conditions like drought and wildfire continue to threaten California’s headwaters and watersheds, ACWA and the California Forest Watershed Alliance are providing leadership and advocacy for policies to increase the pace and scale of headwaters and forestry management and ensure funding for critical forest management activities. As part of this effort, ACWA works to educate audiences on the benefits of improved forestry management on the state’s water supply and quality.


ACWA Member Efforts

With 102 million dead trees in California forests, dealing with the impacts of the state’s tree mortality crisis will take cooperation, collaboration and long-term commitment. That’s why ACWA members in all areas of the state are working to protect and restore California’s headwaters and watersheds through innovative partnerships with local, state, and federal stakeholders and by advocating for improved forest management practices.

Learn More…

“...Water users in every part of the state are affected by the health of our headwaters. We need to do everything we can to work together to advance strategies that will protect headwaters...” Steve La Mar ACWA President

California’s Headwaters: A Look at How Watersheds are Connected

by Joshua Alpine and Robert Roscoe

More than 50 people representing almost every ACWA region attended a program in Auburn Sept. 8 that explored a multitude […]


CAFWA Headwaters Video

by Emily Allshouse

This California Forest Watershed Alliance (CAFWA) educational video details a set of proactive priorities to help protect California’s forested watersheds. CAFWA […]


The Fire Next Time

by Emily Allshouse

In this 13-minute film, filmmakers Stephen Most and Kevin White examine how problematic policies, fuel build-up, and climate change have […]


Recommendations for California’s Headwaters

by Emily Allshouse

In February 2015, ACWA released “Improving the Resiliency of California’s Headwaters – A Framework,” which makes nearly 30 specific recommendations […]


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