Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
Drought, dams, pipelines, paddleboard races, and climate action plans — Save The Colorado keeps track of it all! And, we’re right in the middle of the action! What are the Top Seven Stories this week, and what are we doing about it? Here’s a rundown:
1. Can climate action plans stop megadrought and save the Colorado River? Climate change may be the #1 threat to the Colorado River — in fact, December through February was the warmest on record for the Southwest U.S. — but what are cities across the Southwest U.S. doing about it? Check out my recent post in Ecowatch here where I summarize the city climate action plans across the basin. Here’s the good news — San Diego and Fort Collins have both committed to 100% renewable energy and a few other cities have committed to 80% reductions in carbon emissions. Save The Colorado tracks and supports climate action plans as one of our programmatic activities.
2. California is in its 4th year of drought and water managers are starting to plan for worst case scenarios. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California just announced that they are starting a large-scale advertising campaign to boost water conservation across the region. This campaign is in addition to the $100 million the District has already committed for rebates for water-saving appliances. Read the story here. Save The Colorado tracks water conservation programs and works with local groups in Southern California who are pushing water agencies to conserve more water.
3. State legislatures are now in session across the basin and are making decisions (most of them bad…) about dams and water management. The Utah legislature is considering a bill to support a statewide sales tax to help fund the multi-billion dollar boondoggle of the Lake Powell Pipeline (read about it here). The Colorado legislature is considering a bill to study a massive pipeline from the Missouri River to bring water across the great plains to Colorado (read about it here). And on the bright side, the New Mexico legislature is considering bills to clamp down on the Governor’s Commission that pushed through the Gila River Diversion (read about it here). Save The Colorado keeps track of these legislative bills and communicates with the public and the media about their impact on the Colorado River ecosystem.
4. Want to have some fun this spring — try a Stand Up Paddleboard race! Save The Colorado is supporting two paddleboard races that are coming up. The first is with the Los Angeles Waterkeeper, called Stand Up For Clean Water, on April 18th in Malibu (click through here to register). The second is on the Colorado River itself, called the Back of Beyond Stand Up Paddle Race, in Moab on May 9th. (click through here to register). The Back of Beyond race is generously donating some of their proceeds to Save The Colorado — go team!
5. Deadbeat Dams is published! Former Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Dan Beard, has just published a book that will very likely have everyone in the Colorado River basin talking. Titled, Deadbeat Dams: Why we need to abolish the Bureau of Reclamation and tear down Glen Canyon Dam (click here to visit the book’s website), the book has gotten several rave reviews including from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who said, “Deadbeat Dams is a courageous book and much needed… Dams kill rivers – Deadbeat Dams restores rivers and our hope for a sustainable future.” Save The Colorado believes that Deadbeat Dams is a must-read and an important part of the conversation about the future management of the Colorado River basin.
6. What are we doing for the International Day of Action for Rivers? We’re having a party! Save The Colorado is once again joining The Environmental Group of Boulder County, Colorado, in the Rocky Mountain River Celebration. We are raising money to protect the river and will be joining friends and colleagues — including famous nature writer, Craig Childs — at Upslope Brewing in Boulder (click here to see the invitation). If you are in or around Boulder on Saturday, March 14th, join us! You can also listen to this short radio interview on KGNU about the Celebration (click here to listen).
7. What’s going on with the Colorado Water Plan? Save The Colorado is in the trenches, fighting against the powers that be to push this plan in a better direction so that it focuses on water conservation and river protection. I just wrote a stinging rebuttal to a column written by the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, James Eklund. Published in Denver’s Washington Park Profile, my rebuttal points out the “false information” that Eklund is spewing to the public. Eklund’s column is here, and you can read my rebuttal here. We have to keep them honest and force them to protect our rivers!
Finally, what can you do to help Save The Colorado River? Join our organization by buying a t-shirt! Then, please send us a photo of you wearing your t-shirt so we can post it on our facebook page. All the cool kids are doing it!
Thank you for your support, and please stay tuned for all the weekly action!