Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
Cities and governments around the basin often use “sky is falling” language when referring to the need for more dam, reservoir, and pipeline projects. But, the facts often reveal that the sky is not falling, and if these governments would just enact common-sense water conservation and growth planning tools, their water supply needs could be met without spending billions on new projects.
In Utah last week, the Utah Rivers Council — led by Zach Frankel — strongly made that point when they brought “Chicken Little” to a State water planning meeting. The Utah Rivers Council and several of our partners in Utah are fighting the proposed “Lake Powell Pipeline,” a wildly expensive proposed boondoggle that would drain an additional 100,000 acre feet of water out of the Colorado River system and use that water to fuel and subsidize (and practically flood) new sprawling population growth in Southwest Utah. Good work Zach and URC! Read the full article in the Deseret News here. The Salt Lake Tribune also editorialized against the pipeline — read that editorial here.
Robert Redford’s “Watershed Movie” continues to roll through the major cities in the Southwest U.S. These past two weeks, we were in Phoenix and Tucson for premiers of the film. Both events were very successful — hundreds of people attended, signed the petition to restore water to the Colorado River Delta, and received free Save The Colorado posters!
Led by the Sonoran Institute, both of these events partnered with conservation groups in Arizona including the Environmental Defense Fund, the Tucson Audubon Society, and others. At the Phoenix event, renowned environmental reporter, Shaun McKinnon of the Arizona Republic, moderated the expert panel discussion after the film. The Tucson screening included a great interview of producer Jaime Redford in the Arizona Daily Star here.
Occasionally we try to keep you informed about other related river restoration issues around the U.S. At this time, the “tip of the sword” in our community’s movement to protect and restore rivers is occurring in San Francisco and Yosemite National Park. In the November election, San Francisco voters will determine whether the City should embark on progressive water supply solutions including conservation, recycling, stormwater reuse, and groundwater development, all as an alternative to the 100-year-old environmental disaster that dammed and drowned Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.
Interestingly, although San Francisco is known as one of America’s most progressive cities, its cousin cities to the south — Los Angeles and San Diego (both of which use Colorado River water) — are already trying to implement water conservation, recycling, and reuse programs. San Francisco lags far behind. The “Restore Hetch Hetchy” campaign is trying to fix that problem, and it has backing from prominent groups and people. Take a look at this video starring actor Harrison Ford.
Thank you for your support!