Design Issues: World Water Day 2023

March 22, 2023, is World Water Day, a global campaign led by the United Nations to encourage all of us to take action in our own lives to change the way we use, consume and manage water.

As landscape architects and urban designers, we recognize the significant impact that our work has on water, whether we’re working in coastal locations like Florida, where sometimes there’s too much water, or western sites like Colorado, where there’s often not enough.

We must work to manage water: to help our clients – developers, civic agencies and others – understand the way we can all help to conserve and cleanse water and ensure that we all have access to this most vital natural resource. Water matters to us because of where we are: Denver, Colorado. This might seem far-fetched for a small firm in a landlocked state to be experts in water, but it’s true. We understand droughts, arid climates and fires. We understand mountains, snow and rivers. We also understand the impact that our water consumption has on those downstream from us, and the crisis that the Colorado River’s lower basin faces. Sometimes, facing our own shortages, we also wish that water could come back upstream to feed our upper basin. Water really matters to us, and – like the story shared by the UN of the hummingbird helping to put out a fire, drop by drop – we know that every action makes a difference. We all must work to manage water.

So, in honor of World Water Day, we have been inspired to share our stories of the way Civitas is Addressing the Water Crisis by Conserving, Cleansing and Restoring Natural Systems. Click to read our stories and please reach out to share your own.

  • Central Park (formerly Stapleton), Colorado, where we’ve saved 23,854,781 gallons of irrigation water per month.
  • Denver’s Central Platte Valley, where 30 different initiatives have restored the Platte River and engaged Denver’s residents in a new urban ecology.
  • Wayzata, Minnesota, where a new waterfront promenade and pier revitalizes an urban district’s natural connection to Lake Minnetonka, as it also considers the lake’s annual cycle of freezing and melting.
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where we’ve rebuilt functional breaches not only to let the Bow River flow naturally again but also to create safe space for recreation.
  • Tampa, Florida, where we’ve improved infrastructure and stabilized the shoreline to ensure long-term functionality of valuable public recreation spaces.
  • San Diego, California, where our work connects people and businesses to the coast, provides green stormwater systems, and proposes to treat 150,000 gallons of briny groundwater and runoff naturally.

And if you’re inspired like we are, maybe you’ll join in the UN’s initiative to get all of us global citizens working on this together. One drop at a time, we really can be the change!





Civitas, Inc.

1200 Bannock St.,
Denver, CO 80204

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Civitas is always looking for talented individuals to join our creative team. If you (or someone you know) is seeking a meaningful career in landscape architecture and urban planning, feel free send your resume to We hope to hear from you!


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