Here at the Water Trust, we recently created a special group of our supporters we call Tributaries. You may have heard of them, as we tend to talk about them a lot! Tributaries are monthly givers who occasionally get together with Water Trust staff to talk about water, or just have a good time. I joined myself a couple months ago, and have enjoyed meeting some of the other members, who are people who care deeply about Colorado’s rivers.

Andy Schultheiss

I was reflecting over the holiday break on why the idea has appealed to so many. For one, water people love to talk about water. We – pardon me – drink it up. But I think it goes deeper. Giving monthly, over time, fits what we do better than any other form of giving. Rivers and time seem to go together wherever you look. The American West is defined by rivers, and time, as the landscapes we love so well were in part created by the erosive – and nurturing — effects of water over millions of years. Rivers also aren’t like land, in the sense that you can protect land once and be done with it. Rivers are in some sense new every year, and conserving them has to be done over and over.

So it fits. But there’s another reason. Our environment is changing, and I don’t think anyone who reads this needs to be told that. I get the sense sometimes that people don’t like to talk about adapting to a changing climate, because it can seem like giving up. We don’t see it that way. We can respond productively by finding different, creative tools to share water smoothly, with fair compensation. In short, to do more of what the Water Trust does every day.

It takes leaps of faith among our donors and supporters that long conversations will produce effective solutions locally that can then be reproduced around the state. That’s where giving monthly fits so beautifully.

We never know when one of those conversations will turn into a groundbreaking project, as it might on the Cache la Poudre or the Little Cimarron (to name two of our most exciting current conversations). By giving monthly, as little as $5 or as much as you can afford, you are giving us the freedom and flexibility to find those answers and reproduce them. We’re a small shop – 8 people currently – but we do amazing work finding those needles in the haystack. And our monthly givers, our Tributaries, make that possible.

I hope becoming a Tributary resonates with you as it did with me. Click here to join!

Thank you for your support!

P.S. There is another reason to join…the Tributaries have a new mascot, meet Tribby!

Tribby