The Common Waters Fund helps forest landowners in the Upper Delaware River Watershed improve the management of and conserve their private forest lands. Those forests are essential to maintaining the extraordinary water quality of the Delaware River. Even though 15 million people rely on the Delaware River for clean drinking water, there are limited resources available to private landowners in the region to help them manage and conserve their forests. The Common Waters Fund fills this gap.

The Common Waters Fund provides incentives to qualifying landowners to implement forest stewardship plans, forest management practices, and/or conservation easements. These activities protect water quality by improving the health of forests, increasing the economic viability of forests so landowners can afford to keep their forest as forest, and permanently protecting forests in the case of easements. Managing and protecting the forests in the Upper Delaware River watershed maintains the quality of this water, keeping treatment costs and water rates in check for water users.

The Common Waters Fund principally depends on the generous contributions of services by its partners for its implementation. Initial funding has been financed by a generous grant from the United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities. The Common Waters Fund also accepts donations from individuals, businesses and organizations, and aims to attract more investors interested in protecting sources of drinking water in the future.