InfrastructureNext: The Water Infrastructure of Tomorrow 

Building integrated water systems that benefit nature and society

Water infrastructure is essential to our everyday lives. It’s how we get our drinking water, how waste is recycled, stormwater drained, farm fields irrigated, and floodwaters kept at bay. The next generation of water infrastructure will need to address population growth, wildlife species’ needs, community values, and a changing climate in creative, efficient, and integrated ways. Learn about Willamette Partnership’s work in this space below.

We’re Hiring!

We are seeking a new partner that will help lead and grow our InfrastructureNext program, finding sustainable water solutions for small, low-income, and rural communities, and others that have experienced inequity under current approaches to infrastructure and conservation. 

Check out the Position Announcement! 

Population growth and more frequent extreme weather events are intensifying the pressure on our country’s aging infrastructure. After years of declining federal investment, we have an opportunity to rebuild our infrastructure in a way that benefits the environment, human health, and community development.


The growing challenges facing America’s water infrastructure can be an opportunity to modernize the way we manage water in our region and beyond. At Willamette Partnership, we envision water infrastructure that works with nature on a watershed-scale and centers community voices. We know those are the kinds of solutions that bring multiple benefits to the economy, public health, social equity, water quality, and wildlife.



The traditional approach to infrastructure was designed to solve the problems we had decades ago. Rivers in the United States don’t catch fire any more. But today, this approach can lead to infrastructure investments that are single purpose, expensive, inequitable (in benefits & harms), strained, vulnerable to shocks, and carbon intensive. And the regulatory, financial, institutional, and cultural systems that support infrastructure development are set up for this traditional approach, making it difficult for communities to try something new.


For water infrastructure that benefits the environment, human health, and community development, we need to make sure the right choice is the easy choice. Willamette Partnership helps communities who want to do innovative work – providing the information, support, and smooth policy and funding pathways they need.

Our InfrastructureNext team members help solve problems at the nexus of science, policy, and people. Our experience makes us uniquely positioned to help communities find innovative solutions for the Pacific Northwest’s water infrastructure. Here’s what we can do to transform and support a region of water infrastructure innovators:

  • Facilitate a community-led visioning process
  • Explore, evaluate, and design innovative infrastructure solutions
  • Help resolve the unique policy and funding challenges that innovative solutions often face
  • Design, support, and grow cross-sector collaborative tables





Supporting Collaborative Conservation

We’re supporting the Eugene-based Pure Water Partners in their collaborative effort to protect and restore the iconic McKenzie river.

water investment ready oregon


Water Investment Ready Oregon

This report analyzes the Federal Aid Oregon has received for water-related projects spread across 240 different funding programs.



Water Quality Trading

River restoration that’s good for fish, good for farmers, and good for business.

wetlands water quality trading

Publications & News

Get in touch about smarter water infrastructure.


Kristiana Teige Witherill staff photo


For inquiries about our projects related to water infrastructure

Kristiana Teige Witherill, Partner, Natural Infrastructure
email |
office | 503.946.1904

There’s a smarter way to manage floodplains.



Banner photo / Marlin Greene, One Earth Images; photo by “Workforce for Water” project / Clean Water Services