Healthy Rivers for All Initiative

Brief Information


About Healthy Rivers for All Initiative

This website includes tools and resources for developing basin report cards. It includes reports that incorporate satellite imagery to measure environmental indicators and change over time.

With the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), we are developing, packaging, and sharing a process that helps stakeholders create science-based report cards in their own basins with the right buy-in on-the-ground and credibility globally, so they can better manage resources for the protection of fresh water they depend upon.

Creating Report Cards in Key Basins

In basins around the world, we are helping to bring diverse water users together to create report cards. We begin by identifying shared values that depend on their system’s health—including social and economic benefits—then help them understand how to best measure and track the status of these values over time. Using existing data—and finding creative solutions when necessary—the grades are then determined and shared. Through this collaborative process, stakeholders develop a common understanding of the basin’s health and shared vision for its future, empowering them to demand management of their freshwater resources to protect shared values. WWF recently completed an assessment of the Colombian Orinoco River Basin.

Open-Sourcing a Proven Process

Building on over a decade of experience, together we are expanding and documenting University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's (UMCES) report card development process. We will then share the process openly through a suite of guidance materials and take other actions to hand report card development to local stakeholders while ensuring credibility. This will facilitate reliable report card development in basins around the world.
Tackling the Greatest Challenges

By carefully selecting our test basins, we are identifying multiple strategies to overcome the barriers common to report card creation, which we will also share in the guidance materials. This will ensure credible report cards can be developed even in the face of changing climate, data- or resource-limited situations, national or transboundary basins, and regions where there is not broad support for civic engagement or conservation measures.

Building Toward Global Goals

In addition to driving better water governance locally, widespread adoption of report cards will help counties deliver on several global commitments. For example, report cards can help measure progress and drive action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and can monitor factors of basin resilience, which is important for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes.

'Get the Grade' Game

Serious games are emerging as an effective way to communicate complex information in an engaging, memorable way. WWF designed Get the Grade to do exactly that: explain the complicated—but important—process of stakeholder engagement in natural resource management, and introduce the report card as an effective tool for bringing diverse water users together for better basin governance. The game both introduces the report card development process to participants and demonstrate the value of report cards.

Thematic Focus
Regional Focus