Common Waters is a regional partnership of public and non-profit organizations and agencies focused on supporting the development of sustainable communities and working landscapes in the Delaware River watershed, primarily upstream of the Delaware Water Gap. The mission of the Common Waters Partnership is to conserve clean water, natural places, and working lands through cooperation, scientific research, education, and technical assistance. The Partnership facilitates information sharing through joint publications, shared web-delivery systems, and establishment of a communications network across municipal, county, and state boundaries. The Partnership also takes on collaborative projects that support and further its goals.
The Delaware River is a critical economic and recreational resource for local residents in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The basin-wide system of forests, streams, wetlands, and finally the Delaware Bay estuary provide habitat for many important wildlife species. What makes the river unique is that it provides drinking water to 15 million people, including the cities of New York and Philadelphia. This exceptional waterway is threatened by development — in the last two decades, approximately 20 acres of forest are lost each day in the Upper Basin — and other issues such as natural gas extraction. To address these and other issues affecting water resources and communities across the Upper Basin, stakeholders formed the Common Waters Partnership in 2007.