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About Water 100

The 100 Most Substantive Solutions for a Clean and Resilient Puget Sound

Puget Sound and its waters provide enormous benefits to ecosystems and species and are the lifeblood of the region’s economic, social, and cultural vitality. Yet increasing pressures from climate change and development have exacerbated legacy pollution issues and threatened the quality and quantity of water that people and nature depend on.

To combat these threats to Puget Sound, we’re mobilizing the business, government, NGO and scientific communities to identify, assess, fund, and implement the 100 most substantive solutions for improving our region’s water.

Our Goals

  • Build a movement with businesses, NGOs, scientists, engineers, and public entities.
  • Inspire commitment to take urgent, performance-driven action.
  • Celebrate successful case stories of investments in the most effective solutions.
  • Collect data from pilot projects to extrapolate performance on a watershed scale.
  • Quantify and rank the top 100 most substantive solutions for a clean and resilient Puget Sound.

What is the Water 100 Project?

In fall 2019, The Nature Conservancy and Puget Sound Partnership convened a group of scientific experts, engineers, and conservation practitioners. Together, they generated a list of 100-plus solutions which will be further refined by experts from around the country. 

Each solution uses a positive framing, focusing on the intended outcome of a clean and resilient Puget Sound, rather than on restrictions or prohibitions.

This initial list will provide the basis for teams to collect data to model the benefits for the waters of Puget Sound, the financial cost, and performance of each solution. The results of this research will provide a basis for determining the “Water 100”—the top 100 most substantive and impactful solutions for a clean and resilient Puget Sound.

Photo: Benjamin Benschneider

Building a Movement

Our region is powered by world-class private companies, NGOs, and government entities, and is home to engaged communities. None of these groups alone can solve a problem of this scale; all are necessary to its success. The region needs the engagement of its businesses with their creative and implementation-focused talent.

The business community has started to mobilize around climate. In the Puget Sound region, where we feel the effects of a changing climate through water, we must simultaneously address water issues. Together we can bring a business lens to demonstrating scalable, sustainable solutions to the water crisis and take meaningful collective action toward a water-resilient future.


Businesses are poised to play a leading role in bringing systems thinking and innovative practices to this endeavor. We have the unique ingredients in our region to advance a water agenda like possibly nowhere else in the US. The combination of deep science with an outcome-driven culture is an exciting proposition.

We are working in coordination with the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate and Water Resilience Coalition, so from a business perspective, participation with the Water 100 Project for Puget Sound should feel like a tangible building block toward global water sustainability efforts.


The Water 100 Project helps businesses proactively solve the issues that will otherwise disrupt and risk their business operations.

While many corporations acknowledge impending water and climate risks, nearly half do not have a plan to manage those risks. Without embracing new approaches, many businesses will see their potential dependence on water and energy go up, rather than down.

Disruption also creates new business opportunities. First movers—seeing the looming water crisis—are in the rare position of setting the rules for new markets and technologies. As the global market for water-related solutions matures, there is massive untapped potential to create new revenue streams with products and services that solve the problems natural resource managers face daily.

With the Water 100 Project’s comprehensive approach, businesses can benefit from reduced risk, greater stability, sustainability, and economic growth.  


Those who engage with us work toward continuous progress on water stewardship, take steps to understand and manage their own water risks, and are supporting the most impactful solutions for a clean Puget Sound.


Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, is a New York Times best-seller based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world, to catalog and rank the most substantive solutions to reverse global warming. The Water 100 Project, modeled after the successful Drawdown approach, seeks to identify the top solutions for improving water quality in Puget Sound.

The Boeing Company’s efforts to think creatively to solve some of our region’s toughest challenges, paired with their investments and inspired employees, helped spearhead this collective action aimed at improving water quality across our ecoregion.

The Water Resilience Coalition is an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world’s freshwater resources through collective action in water-stressed basins and ambitious, quantifiable commitments.

Contributors & Advisors

Joel Baker, PhD

Courtney Baxter

Lori Blair

Bonneville Environmental Foundation

Joyce Cooper, PhD

Derek Day

Bill Dewey

Larry Epstein

Ailene Ettinger, PhD

Kirsten Feifel, PhD

Leska Fore

Beth Geiger

Carly Greyell

Kathleen Guillozet

Lauren Guzauskas

K. D. Hallman

Paul Hawken

Kathleen Hebert

Emily Howe, PhD

Kevin Hyde

Jessie Israel

Kate Janeway

Ani Jayakaran, PhD

Edward Kolodziej, PhD

Phil Levin, PhD

Mike Marsolek, PhD

Stefano Mazzilli, PhD

Jason McLennan

Bill McSherry

Shyla Miller

Jason Morrison

Peter Murchie

Lorraine Nay

Christian Nilsen

Ben Packard

Peter Schulte

Steve Shestag

Robin Stanton

Kari Vigerstol

Jason Wilkinson

Katherine Wyatt

Join Us

Together, we will find ways to solve chronic challenges, decrease the cost of project delivery, and incentivize mainstream adoption. There is massive untapped potential to design new tools for problems that natural resource managers face daily.

We invite you to join us in identifying solutions and promising new technologies. 

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