Watershed Assessment & Vulnerability Evaluation (W.A.V.E)

The Watershed Assessment and Vulnerability Evaluation (WAVE) program was specifically designed to help private landowners recover from wildfire. This program benefits landowners by giving them personalized recovery plans to meet their land management goals. These goals may include forest regeneration, infrastructure protection, water quality protection, wildlife habitat recovery, erosion control, flood mitigation, etc. The landowner’s goals are evaluated through a set of assessments and criteria. Priority restoration projects are recommended to achieve their goals, always with the stabilization of the water cycle in mind.

The WAVE program was designed to complement other government agencies’ post-wildfire response programs, like the Natural Resources Conservation Services Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program and works with local entities to provide outreach and assessment services to landowners around the state. What makes WAVE unique from other post-fire assistance is the ability to provide post-wildfire restoration technical assistance to landowners quickly and at various scales. The program and assessments are flexible to reflect landowner priorities.

“The WAVE program has helped us better understand the priorities needing attention after the East Troublesome fire burned much of our ranch. Blake’s recommendations and implementation projects were extremely helpful in reducing our flooding and erosion risk. It also taught us the principles and practices of post-fire restoration that we took to other parts of our ranch.”

~ Paul Klees, Assistant GM at C lazy U Guest Ranch Weber

“Thanks for your detailed report.  There is a lot of useful information in it.”

~Tom Brigham

“Thanks so much for all the info and work you have put into our property!!! We really appreciate it!”

~ Malli Larson

The Colorado Water Center, in partnership with the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, is proud to offer the Sustainable Water Interdisciplinary Minor (SWIM). CSU’s SWIM offers students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to gain deeper knowledge about the many dimensions of water. By taking advantage of CSU’s outstanding water expertise, students can prepare themselves for careers in water or graduate study in a water-related area.

To date, 43 students representing 14 different majors have graduated from SWIM and another 23 are currently enrolled in the minor.


“Natural Resource Economics was my favorite course because not many people think of the implications of ecosystem services as a part of our economy.”

~ Ry Weber, Spring 2017 graduate in Watershed Science

“Having a specialization in water will help prepare me for the work I plan to do.”

~ Christina Neel, Spring 2016 graduate in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

“The SWIM helped me by showing employers that I want to work for a cause I care about.”

~ Marcus Lively, Spring 2015 graduate in Natural Resource Management & Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

“I think having the SWIM on my resume helped boost my resume when I was applying and interviewing for my job.”

~ Sara McMahan, Spring 2020 graduate in Civil Engineering

“Everyone has a right to clean water and I want to make sure that happens.”

~ Jameson Lumpkin, Spring 2020 graduate in Environmental Engineering