DEADLINE: The Water Desk Grants

Event Date: 
December 1, 2019

If you’re a journalist interested in Western water issues, please consider applying to The Water Desk for a grant to support your coverage and professional development.

The Water Desk's mission is to increase the volume, depth and power of journalism connected to Western water issues, with a focus on the Colorado River Basin.

Based at the University of Colorado Boulder's Center for Environmental Journalism, The Water Desk works with journalists and media outlets to strengthen their water-related coverage.

The Water Desk is interested in supporting a wide variety of media and journalistic approaches: newspapers, magazines, websites, video, television, radio, podcasts and other channels. Both freelancers and journalists who are employed by a media outlet may apply for funding.

The Water Desk will support journalism that focuses on water issues involving the seven states of the Colorado River Basin — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — as well as the borderlands of Northwest Mexico.

Because water is intertwined with so many issues, we are open to proposals covering a broad spectrum of topics: climate change, biodiversity, public health, environmental justice, food/agriculture, drinking water, economics/business, recreation and more.

The Water Desk launched in April 2019 with support from the Walton Family Foundation. As a journalistic effort, The Water Desk maintains a strict editorial firewall between its content and funders. Likewise, The Water Desk has editorial independence from the University of Colorado. Funders of The Water Desk have no right of review and no influence on stories or other journalistic content that is produced with the support of these grants.

The Water Desk runs two grantmaking programs:

1) Micro-Grants: We’re still accepting applications on an ongoing basis for our micro-grants. In light of the current crisis, which has dealt yet another economic blow to many journalists and media outlets, we are increasing the maximum amount available per grant from $1,000 to $2,000. Although travel may not be possible in the near future, the micro-grants can also be used to pay for a wide variety of other expenses, including reporting, training and equipment. You can apply for the grants on this page.

2) Standard Grants cannot exceed $10,000 and are meant to support significant reporting efforts that lead to the publication of content connected to Western water issues and the Colorado River Basin. Applications for the 2019 standard grants will be accepted until July 15, 2019. April 14, 2020: Soon we’ll be starting up a new round of standard grants to support water journalists across the region. To receive updates, please subscribe to our email newsletter.

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