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The Water Desk Grants
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.
We just launched our inaugural grantmaking program, which is only open to journalists.
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 cannot exceed $1,000 and are meant to pay for discrete expenses that are necessary to produce content or advance a journalist’s professional development. Applications for micro-grants will be reviewed on a rolling basis until December 1, 2019, or until our funding for this year's program is exhausted.
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. We anticipate announcing recipients of the standard grants in September.