Stakeholder engagement has been touted as an effective means to address difficult natural resource challenges. Engagement has the promise of creating more effective long-term solutions by bringing local and scientific knowledge and allowing resource managers to collectively define and champion solutions. How-ever, these outcomes are far from certain, are resource and time intensive, and require expertise not always available to organizations tasked with addressing resource issues. Scholar-ship on engagement has been limited by a lack of a coherent theoretical approach to explaining what changes in people be-cause of engagement and robust data to document those changes. The Water for Agriculture project addresses these gaps by developing a theory of change associated with engage-ment and testing this theory empirically in relation to managing water in agricultural landscapes. The project is working in part-nership with 5 communities in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Arizona to develop a collaborative engagement process and study the impacts of the process on participants, on partner organizations, and on biophysical outcomes. This talk will pro-vide an overview of the theoretical model, outline the research design, describe the engagement processes to date, and high-light preliminary insights.