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Water Desk Colorado River Basin Grants 2022 (up to $10,000)

Deadline: September 21, 2022
Applications are open for the Water Desk Colorado River Basin Grants 2022.
The Water Desk aims to support media outlets and individual journalists covering water issues related to the Colorado River Basin.
The Water Desk is interested in supporting a wide variety of media and journalistic approaches: newspapers, magazines, websites, video, television, radio, podcasts and other channels. They will support journalism that focuses on water issues involving the seven states of the Colorado River Basin—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming—as well as the borderlands of Northwest Mexico.
Proposals related to areas that lie outside of the hydrologic boundaries of the Colorado River Basin’s watershed must have a strong connection to water issues in the basin.

  • Regardless of how many journalists/outlets are part of the application, the cap on these grants is $10,000. Journalists can apply for less than $10,000, but the minimum request is $2,500.


  • Only journalists (freelancers and staff at media outlets) may apply for funding. Proposals from advocacy groups will not be accepted.
  • Grantees must complete the work they outline in their proposals within six months of receiving funding.
  • Recipients of prior grants from The Water Desk are welcome to apply for 2022 funding if they have completed their existing project by September 21, 2022.
  • Journalists and media outlets are welcome to collaborate and submit a joint proposal.

Complete the application and submit a single document (8 pages maximum) with the following materials:

  • A summary of the proposed work that includes:
    • Narrative explaining the story/project, including its news value, potential impact and importance to water issues in the Colorado River Basin.
    • Discussion of how the content will be distributed and the potential audience. For freelancers, please submit at least a letter of interest from an editor at a media outlet. If you don’t have such a commitment, explain your plan for pitching and disseminating your content, and why your targeted outlet is most appropriate for this project. Projects without a letter of interest or commitment from a publisher are much less likely to be approved.
    • Description of what journalistic tools and approaches you will use (e.g., text, photo, video, audio, data visualization, public records, etc.).
  • A proposed budget that explains how the grant will be spent. You may use your own format for the budget, but break out expenses using standard categories, such as salary, travel, books/reports, data, photos, equipment, etc.
  • A short biography (250 words maximum) of the journalist(s) involved in the story/project.
  • A current resume for the applicant. If a team of journalists is applying, only submit the project leader’s resume.
  • Links to three relevant work products (stories, projects, photos, videos, etc.) produced by the journalist(s) or media outlet(s).

Click here to apply
For more information, visit Water Desk Grants.

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