28 Community Foundations.

7 Regional Teams.

One Water Partnership.

Building transformational leadership for the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes One Water Partnership brings together 28 place-based foundations and their partners to advance a new approach to water management. These groups span U.S. and Canadian borders with one unifying focus: to develop regional solutions to their most pressing water challenges.


How much of North America’s surface fresh water comes from the Great Lakes.

40 million

The number of people in the United States and Canada who get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.

10,210 miles

(17,017 kilometers)

The total length of the Great Lakes shoreline including connecting channels, not including the St. Lawrence River

It is time to accelerate the work to create a sustainable water future for communities across the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes play a significant role in our lives and livelihoods.

This vast amount of fresh water in the Great Lakes region is essential to our environmental, economic and cultural fabric. While it is rich in water resources, it is also the site of some of the most serious water crises in recent American history. Residents in communities along the shores of the Great Lakes live with the effects of inaction every day. They have endured homes and businesses submerged under water, unsafe water delivery systems and beaches that are unsuitable for families to enjoy.

Collaborative teams that test new ideas, take risks, and share what they learn.

The Great Lakes One Water Partnership was initially created in 2016 through a $1 million investment from the Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF). GLPF is a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the governors of the Great Lakes states that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem through a permanent endowment.

One Water has received additional support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.