Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification


Fight like you live here


Washington, DC


Our food, water and climate are under constant assault by corporations who put profit over the survival of humanity. They have seized control of the very institutions that were built to protect us. We mobilize people to reclaim their political power, hold our elected officials accountable, and resist corporate control—ensuring we all have the essential resources we need to thrive. This is a fight we must win, because this planet is the only one we get. Through Food & Water Action, we mobilize regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Wenonah Hauter

Main Address

1616 P St NW Suite 300

Washington, DC 20036 USA


food, water, grassroots organizing, democracy, environment, agriculture, fracking, renewable energy, clean energy, pollution, factory farms, CAFO, trade, antibiotics, bottled water, clean water, safe food, democracy





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Everyone deserves access to clean water, trustworthy food, and a climate we can depend on for the future. In reality, corporations take advantage of low-income communities to privatize water and sewer systems, siphon public water to make a profit selling it back to people in plastic bottles, and contaminate groundwater without regard for others who need it. A handful of companies control the majority of the food we can buy—which means they make most of the decisions about what we eat. Corporate mergers and bad trade deals led to the dominance of factory farms, which pollute the environment and our drinking water, wreck rural communities, and harm the welfare of animals. Climate change is a major risk to our water and food systems. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground may be the most important thing we can do to ensure clean water and safe food for everyone in the future. Pipelines for fracked natural gas and other fossil fuels threaten local communities all over the country.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization



Energy and Climate

Political Advocacy

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Using a combination of advocacy, research, litigation, and grassroots organizing, including supporting or opposing political candidates, Food & Water Action advocates for common sense policies that will result in healthy, safe and sustainably produced food, access to clean water that is managed in the public interest, and a climate that future generations can depend on to live and thrive. To this end, we educate on these problems and mobilize people to take action for policy solutions that will protect our food, water and livable climate. Through Food & Water Action, we also hold our political officials accountable for their actions. We organize campaigns to: ban fracking and stop new fossil fuel projects; win moratoriums on factory farms and protect food safety protections; and support our public water systems to ensure clean and affordable water for all people as a human right.

Food & Water Action works by aggressively lobbying people and their legislators, supporting political candidates that will make a difference, engaging voters to strengthen our democracy, and grassroots organizing to address threats to our most essential resources. Our work is founded on the understanding that our democracy must work for people, not powerful corporations. In short, Food & Water Action’s work is based on our analysis that it takes a movement of educated and engaged people to overcome the overwhelming power of money in our political system. As a result, our organizing model is based on creating powerful campaigns with people and local groups that are directly impacted by a problem and then developing strategies and tactics to influence decision makers to support (or oppose) a given policy change. We then link these more localized or state campaigns to larger national issues. While all elements of an advocacy campaign are important, grassroots and community organizing is at the heart of all of our work.

Since our founding, Food & Water Action has grown - thanks to the support of our members and supporters - to more than 125 staff in 14 US States (including DC) and satellite operations in Central America and Europe. FWA has an online activist base of over 1,000,000 people and a volunteer network of real world activists linked to our field offices. Our organizers do the necessary grassroots education and mobilization so that regular people in their local communities can take action around specific national, state, and local issues in order to protect the health and safety of our food and water sources. We also aggressively lobby legislators on issues that are important to protecting our food, water, and climate and support political candidates that will make a difference and engage voters to strengthen our democracy. While FWA’s mission is focused on long-term systemic changes that will result in healthy food and clean water for all, we develop shorter-term campaigns to take on pressing national, state and local issues to help protect people right now where they live. Our sister organization, Food & Water Watch, supports our campaigns with research, policy advocacy, and broad-based communications to our supporters to educate and unite.

An important goal as an organization is to build up and support grassroots organizations, train community leaders, and help them work to build powerful campaigns to hold elected officials accountable and make real changes in people's lives. While our ultimate effectiveness is measured by the campaigns we win (e.g., a ban on fracking in New York or a water bottling plant stopped in Oregon’s Cascade Locks), we know these policy victories can take years. We also see part of our effectiveness in the lasting grassroots organizations and diverse leadership developed through our campaigns. Because of the time periods involved, we track our interim progress through metrics that show institutional strength as well as campaign-related activities, such as: • Membership and donation growth • Number of resolutions passed • Number of email actions taken • Number of "press hits" • Number of letters to the editor and community commentaries • Number of social media shares • Number of community events • Number of research materials produced • Number of volunteers and coalition partners recruited

Food & Water Watch's accomplishments in our major programs include: Climate & Energy: -Worked to get OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act introduced in Congress. It is the strongest climate change bill ever at the federal level, and would mandate a just transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2035. That bill helped set the foundation for efforts around a Green New Deal. -Passed more than 500 local resolutions against fracking and stopped the construction of many new fossil fuel projects like pipelines and export terminals (e.g., in New York and New Jersey, among other places). -Banned fracking in 4 states (New York, Washington, Vermont, and Maryland). The movement to ban fracking and move off of fossil fuels is now a powerful and growing global movement that is linked up with global advocacy to stop climate change. has now become a nationwide ideal and Food: -Launched a Factory Farm campaign , with a focus to ban factory farms that produce huge amounts of waste, anti-biotic resistant bacteria, and drive small, independent farms out of business. -Organized a successful campaign to convince the FDA to ban the use of arsenic in chicken feed, making Maryland the first state to prohibit the chemical’s use in poultry production. This is now a ban at the national level as well. -Blocked imports of processed chicken products from China. The FDA rarely inspects imported food despite a well-documented pattern of chemical adulteration and unsafe drug residues. Water: -Introduced The Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability (WATER) Act. This bill was first introduced in 2016, and we got it reintroduced in 2018, and we now have at least 75 co-sponsors for this important legislation that will protect clean public water, dedicate federal funds for water infrastructure upgrades to replace lead pipes in homes and schools, increase access to safe water and sanitation for small rural and tribal communities, and make water service safe and affordable for all. -Prevented Nestle from opening a water bottling plant in multiple towns along the Columbia River Gorge in both Washington and Oregon. -Pressured the Baltimore City Council to amend the City Charter to declare the sewer system and water supply system as “inalienable”, prohibiting their sale and lease. -Worked with dozens of communities across the country to prevent the sale of local water systems to private water companies. -Through our political work, last cycle, we got over 100 candidates to commit to supporting bold climate legislation — and many candidates including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Deb Haaland, who we worked to elect, have followed through on that commitment. At the state and local level, earlier this year we helped elect new city council members in Denver who are champions of our ban on fracking.

External Reviews



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable