Hello Friends of the Colorado River,
Last Sunday, history was made in the Colorado River Delta as the gates of Morelos Dam were opened to allow a “pulse flow” to once again run down the river. It had been more than ten years since water was released from the dam just south of the border in Mexico. Due to an unprecedented international agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, this water will flow for another 8 weeks with high flows this upcoming weekend. Media from around the U.S. have written stories about the historic agreement and water release. Here’s a nice article from National Geographic describing the agreement between the U.S. and Mexico and the goals of the release. After the pulse flow runs its course, another effort to create a “base flow” of ongoing water is being moved forward by a coalition of groups called “Raise The River.” The effort is led by Robert Redford and the Redford Center who highlighted the issue in their 2012 film, Watershed. You can learn more about Raise The River here.
Over the next few weeks, scientists will be studying the release of water, watching where it goes, and seeing if it reaches all the way to the Gulf of California. Whether it reaches the sea or not, the historic release of water will provide extraordinary benefits to the parched ecosystem in the Colorado River Delta by rejuvenating wetlands, bird habitat, and breathing life into the plants and trees along its route. Stay tuned for more information about the pulse flow in the Delta. If you keep an eye on our facebook page (click here), we post stories and photos several times a day. Or you can follow us on twitter to see the updates.
Unrelated to the Colorado River Delta agreement, on Sunday Save The Colorado was also proud to sponsor this full-page ad in the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, Colorado. The ad “thanks” U.S. Congressman Jared Polis for his efforts to derail the “Water Rights Protection Act” that is moving through the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Polis stood up strong against this bill that could be used to gut the federal government’s ability to protect and restore rivers on behalf of the American people. We discussed this bill in a previous press release here and it has gotten a lot of media coverage (see Denver Post story here). While the bill passed the U.S. House, we are hoping that it is completely derailed in the U.S. Senate where, in our opinion, stronger river protectors hold office.
Our petition to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is motoring along, now with over 3,500 signatures! Click here to sign if you haven’t already! We believe Los Angeles can and should do a lot more to conserve water in this drought. The intense drought in California and the Southwest U.S. is still moving forward. On this issue, Save The Colorado’s Gary Wockner spoke on a panel in Palm Springs last weekend along with several California water specialists, including a keynote address from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. The Colorado River is the main source of water for Palm Springs and the surrounding valley, as well as much of Southern California. While the area has weathered this drought by using Colorado River water, the ongoing drought along the entire Colorado River ecosystem will likely affect Southern California in the future. Here’s a good TV news story about the Palm Springs event featuring Wockner and the Colorado River’s role in the Palm Springs area.
Thank you for your support! Stay tuned for more updates!