Colorado River

***Help Save the Colorado River: Pledge Now to the Change the Course Campaign!***

The freshwater team at National Geographic believes the principle of motivated individual action can help to restore the flow of the Colorado River.  Together with the Bonneville Environment Foundation and Participant Media, National Geographic has created the “Change the Course” campaign.


April 8, 2015--West Slope could use own water plan, managers say (Grand Junction Sentinel)

might not be enough for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to be considering a statewide water plan, said water managers and growers on Tuesday. “Maybe the West Slope needs to have one, too,” said Larry Clever, general manager of the Ute Water Conservancy District.


April 7, 2015--Colorado in Grand Canyon rated No. 1 endangered river (Arizona Republic)

The Grand Canyon stretch of the Colorado tops American Rivers' 32nd annual list of endangered rivers because of cumulative threats to scenery and spring water from commercial and residential development plans, and from a push to restart major uranium mining.


SWCD’s Annual Seminar

The Southwestern Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) 33rd Annual Seminar was conducted in Durango on April 3rd. There were more than 175 in attendance. After opening remarks and introductions, a preview of the new documentary, the Great Divide, was provided by Harvey Productions.


Conservation: Projects Aim to Remove Salt Cedars Along the Colorado and Verde Rivers

The growth of invasive salt cedars within the flood plains of the Verde River in Arizona has become a serious impediment to the flow of water into the Colorado. Extracting salt cedar from riverbeds and replacing it with native grasses is an enormous undertaking, but one that could have a dramatic impact on Colorado River water flows. At least that is part of the thinking behind conservation projects proposed to repair habitats along both of the rivers. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced three such conservation projects as part of a $1.2 billion, five-year enterprise included in the massive 2014 farm bill. About 35 percent of the overall funding will be dedicated to projects such as this along the Colorado River.


Expert: Overpopulation and City Expansion Result in Colorado River Water Shortages

According to a mid-February Grand Canyon News story, experts say conservation efforts like not watering lawns, taking shorter showers, turning off faucets, and not washing your vehicle are not going to help in a long-term solution for water shortages along the Colorado River Basin. According to John Weisheit, Conservation Director for Living Rivers, the only thing that will stop water from disappearing is to put the brakes on population growth and city expansion. Living Rivers, located in Moab, Utah, is an educational organization dedicated to conservation, preservation and restoration of the Colorado Plateau and is considered by many to be the voice of most non-governmental organizations located in the Colorado Basin areas. For the last 15 years Living Rivers has said the Colorado River Basin area is going to run out of water. According to Weisheit the only solution is to inform the public that the Colorado River water supply is gone in the West and there is no room for further business or residential opportunities. While population control may seem like a drastic measure, even if a solution to slow down the shortages were presented right now, it would take years to get underway and even then may not make a difference. "It's not something that can be fixed in one year--it'll take 30 years," Weisheit said.


Report: Colorado River Water Evaporation Increases Due to Climate Change

A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation predicted an 8 percent increase in irrigation demand on the lower half of the Colorado River Basin and a 10 percent increase in evaporation from Lake Mead by 2080. The upper half of the Basin, above Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, is expected to see demand for agricultural water jump by almost 23 percent, while Lake Powell loses 7 percent more water to evaporation than it did during the last half of the 20th century. The estimates are based on a projected temperature increase of about 5 degrees across the region.


Study: Economics of the Colorado River

A new Arizona State University study commissioned by Protect the Flows and released in January 2015 revealed that hanging in the balance of the health of the Colorado River system are more than $1.4 trillion in economic activity, $871 billion in wages, and 16 million jobs. Put into perspective, an estimated 64.4 percent of the combined value of each Basin state’s output of goods and services could be lost if Colorado River water is no longer available to agriculture, businesses, industry, and  residences. The results breakdown by state as follows:


April 5, 2015--California drought could impact Western Slope (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Even before California declared mandatory water restrictions last week, water purveyors in the Golden State were paying top dollar for water already in the state.


April 2, 2015--Colorado mountain snowpack low at 69 percent, raising water concerns (Denver Post)

Colorado's mountain snowpack is running low — around 69 percent of average — raising concerns about low streamflow during summer and potential strain on water supplies. A relatively hot, dry March took a toll, melting away snowpack from 87 percent at the end of February.

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