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Where does your water come from? 

Do you know where your water comes from? The Upper Neuse River Basin is made of interconnected bodies of water across the Triangle. See which one is near you!

What is a watershed?

Cities and communities get their water from a watershed. All City of Raleigh water flows through the Upper Neuse Watershed before it comes out of your tap.

In nature, a watershed is an area of land that drains all the water above and below it to streams and rivers that drain into larger bodies of water, eventually all the way to the ocean. Essentially, this means our water is collected and distributed down streams and rivers, then stored in Falls Lake.

Why does upstream matter?

To ensure clean water for Raleigh and surrounding towns, we need to look upstream from our city. These are the places that need to be protected to ensure our clean water future. Investing in nonprofit organizations and conservation projects outside of Raleigh’s city limits is how the Initiative can preserve water quality for City of Raleigh water ratepayers.

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Photo: Triangle Land Conservancy

History of The Initiative – What more can be done?

Since its initiation in 2006, the Initiative has funded:


Acres protected


Properties conserved


Miles of stream buffered

updated January 2020

That’s a whole lot of land! Because of the dedicated hard work of organizations, lawmakers and community partners working together, thousands of residents in the Triangle have had access to clean water. But while the Initiative has come a long way in protecting water quality, there’s still more to be done. Protecting water is an ongoing cause and we need YOU to make it possible.

See which lands Upper Neuse partners have conserved over the years:

Upstream Matters For YOU!

Upstream matters for YOU! Stay in the loop about keeping water clean for the Triangle. Sign up to get updates and alerts on conservation efforts that protect your water quality and provide drinking water. By joining this email list, you’ll receive updates from the Upstream Matters campaign and Initiative nonprofit partners.

Photo: Conservation Trust for North Carolina