Water Management

Clean water is a global imperative for human communities and biodiversity alike. Across the world, access to sufficient water faces a variety of threats—many from climate change, including extreme storms, rising waters, and more frequent heat waves. As it is predicted that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, it is essential for cities to develop infrastructure to ensure water is well managed.

While large-scale infrastructure projects will be needed to address some of these issues, smaller community-based Green Infrastructure (GI) projects can also effectively combat the effects of climate change. These nature-based solutions, like parks, community gardens, trees, and rain gardens, can mitigate negative effects while providing many co-benefits, such as reducing the urban heat island effect and increasing human well-being.

Our work on air quality is an effort to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (6): Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.


A woman taking down data as another takes soil samples.
Three buckets with different types of soil with two people holding the buckets and feeling the soil.
Two people monitoring flowering plants and collecting the data.


Our Programs


Rain Garden Action in Neighborhoods

To manage extreme rainfall events, cities are looking at how to capture rainfall and slow it down from entering our waterways. In Boston, Earthwatch is supporting efforts to build and assess the performance of rain gardens to better understand how well they absorb significant rain storms and whether citizen citizen scientists who participate in our programs increase their efforts to support green infrastructure on public and private lands.

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Multi-City Stormwater Challenge

Our “Sustainability Training Program” in partnership with HSBC bank engages employees in assessing how green infrastructure functions in cities. Employees work alongside researchers to collect data on how much water is being captured and filtered by bioswales—helping to shape future investments in similar green infrastructure. Earthwatch is now recruiting additional partners, including community members and other companies.

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Proyecto Jardines Comunitarios (Community Garden Project)

This research initiative aims to increase awareness of watering needs in urban gardens and promote water conservation through community science.

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Be more than a tourist

Experience hands-on science in some of the most astounding locations in the world. Meet a community of like-minded travelers and return home with stories filled with adventure.

Browse Expeditions

Forest Illustration


Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.