Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
A quick action alert for you to jump on: The U.S. Forest Service is considering public comment on a massive new housing development on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This development proposes to quadruple the number of houses, environmental impacts, and congestion at the South Rim. The development is opposed by many major environmental groups — even the U.S. Park Service has called the development a “threat to the Grand Canyon” (see story in Los Angeles Times here).
Our friends at the Sierra Club have created this handy action alert that you can click through to send an email to the U.S. Forest Service. As the Sierra Club states, “The development will transform the area into a bustling resort complex that will strip the land of its quickly depleting resources, and impact the quality of life for local residents and surrounding wildlife. AND, we still don’t know where the water will come from!” Please click through here to send an email to the Forest Service protesting this development.
And now for all the rest of the Colorado River news! First, the level of Lake Mead continues to drop, which is causing increasing calls for action throughout the Southwest U.S. Into that mix, the news service, ProPublica, has launched a major, provocative, multi-part series of stories about the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the problems facing water management in the Southwest U.S.
The first story was titled, “Holy Crop,” and focused on unsustainable cotton farming in Arizona. The second story just posted today is titled, “The Water Witch,” and focuses on former Las Vegas Water Czar Pat Mulroy. Question: Is it part Pat Mulroy’s fault that Lake Mead continues to plummet?
Second, the water wars in Colorado continue to heat up as Colorado moves forward with its “Water Plan” and as two water agencies, Denver Water and Northern Water, move forward with their proposals to build two new dam/reservoir/diversion projects that would drain even more water out of the Colorado River. Both of the projects are expected to be hotly contested — we are fighting to stop Denver’s “Moffat Project” and Northern Water’s “Windy Gap Firming Project” through the permitting process. It makes no sense to be planning to even further drain the Colorado River thus imperiling the health of the river as well as water supplies for Arizona, Nevada, and California. Colorado needs to stop the madness. Read our latest commentary about the Colorado Water Plan here (“Hijacking the Colorado Water Plan),” and about one of the proposed dam/reservoir projects here (“Will Colorado Violate The Clean Water Act?“)
Finally, amidst the amazing drought in California, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California just committed to spend $350 million to remove lawns throughout their service area. Will this drought signal the final, inevitable, and necessary “Death of the Lawn” in the Southwest U.S.? See the story in the LA Times here.That’s real money, and maybe hope for saner water policies throughout the region.
Thank you for your support and stay tuned!