Water-Culture Institute


The Water-Culture Institute promotes the sustainable management of our rivers, lakes, springs, and groundwater through (1) applying indigenous wisdom and cultural traditions that respect the rights of nature, (2) studying ethics and value systems related to water management, and (3) encouraging broad-based stakeholder involvement in water decisions.  Our premise is that the sustainability of water ecosystems requires an ethic that recognizes our sacred responsibility to the Earth. As we face the spectre of climate change, we are reminded that our collective behavior has very real impacts on the health of the planet.  Our water ecosystems face ever inceasing stress even as their ecological resilience becomes all the more important for sustaining us through the instability of climatic swings.  Now more than ever we need to heed the teachings of Indigenous wisdom, and Western spiritual and ethical philosophies, and put Nature's needs ahead of our own short term wants. Ultimately, there is no conflict between what is good for the Earth and what is good for people.  

What We Do
Our work includes research, training, activism, and mediation to achieve water management practices that support the health of our planet.  We engage in project consulting, policy dialogues, report writing, organizational capacity-building, and policy advocacy.

Where We Work
With our home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we are involved on a long-term basis with the tribes and cultures of the Rio Grande Basin.  Other activities include global programs on cultural valuation of agriculture, and an information network on water ethics..