Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
The water wars are escalating across the Southwest U.S.! First and foremost, the drought in California is intensifying (read the story in the LA Times here) which is putting an increased strain on the Colorado River. Recall, Southern California gets about 1/2 of its water from the Colorado River and as the rest of the state suffers from drought, more pressure is put on importing water from elsewhere. This pressure has led to several newspaper stories over the past couple weeks that focus on the declining water levels in Lake Mead — which stores water for Southern California — and how the state is addressing the threat.
This excellent article in the Palm Springs Desert Sun titled “Vanishing Water” focuses on climate change, Lake Mead water levels, and the implications for California. Taking it one step further, this long editorial in the L.A. Times ratchets up the rhetoric, calling it a “Water War” over Colorado River water between California and Arizona. At the same time, an in depth article appeared in the Arizona Daily Star about how this water war will likely hit Arizona first, threatening water supplies for Tucson first and foremost.
Are Colorado and Wyoming fueling the water war? At the same time that the “lower basin states” — Arizona and California — grapple with their war, the “upper basin states” — Colorado and Wyoming — are throwing gasoline on the fire by proposing to take even more water out of the river before it ever reaches Lakes Powell and Mead. As I’ve noted in this blog several times, the State of Colorado is creating a “Colorado Water Plan” that proposes to dam, drain, and divert even more water out of the Colorado River.
On that note, last week I published this editorial in the Denver Post titled, “Colorado’s Water Plan Is Being Hijacked.” (it’s great, of course! 🙂 ) In addition, Denver Water and other Northern Colorado water agencies are planning even more dams and diversions out of the Colorado River. One proposal called the “Moffat Project” recently released its Final Environmental Impact Statement which was assailed by Boulder County, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and our organization, Save the Colorado, for its negative impacts on the Colorado River (read the story in the Boulder Daily Camera here and the Summit County Voice here) . If Colorado isn’t bad enough, the State of Wyoming is proposing its own “Wyoming Water Strategy” to get even more water out of the Colorado River ecosystem. Governor Mead’s statements in this newspaper article suggest he’s planning a large network of new dams and diversions, all of which would further dam, drain, and destroy the Green and Colorado Rivers.
And now you’re asking: Do ya have any good news, Gary?? I know, it’s all bad news this week! Here’s one small bit of good news. Save The Colorado’s Facebook page just hit 20,000 fans! Thank you for following us and staying up on these very important issues. Keep up the Faith and the Fight!