Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
“When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”
Scientists, government agencies, environmental activists, and news reports have all agreed — the Colorado River is in a hole. A prolonged 15-year drought, encroaching climate change, and massive human mismanagement have caused the Colorado River to be at its most degraded state in history. Water levels in the main reservoirs — Mead and Powell — are at their lowest level in history, and all predictions for future water levels and river flows indicate more degradation.
But, insanely, the Upper Basin states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico are still digging, as all four states are proposing and planning for even more dams and diversions of water out of the Colorado River and its tributaries.
Save The Colorado’s policy is “No New Dams and Diversions” and we are committed to fighting all of the proposals on the table right now!
In Colorado, we are leading the fight and rapidly putting together a legal team and resources to fight two projects — the Moffat Project and Windy Gap Project — that would dam and divert more water out of the Colorado River. Both of these projects are at the very end of the permitting stages, and we are gearing up for major legal battles. We are also deeply engaged in the Colorado Water Plan process, trying to make sure it does not support more dams and diversions.
In Wyoming, we are keeping close tabs on the State’s plan for “10 New Dams in 10 Years,” and if any of those proposals move forward on the Green River or other tributaries of the Colorado River, we will be right on top of them. We are also monitoring the “Fontanelle Dam Expansion” on the Green River so that when it triggers a permitting process, we will engage head on.
In New Mexico, we have provided outreach support to the local groups fighting the proposed Gila River Diversion which is a tributary to the Colorado River. When that project triggers a permitting process, we will engage to help fight it.
In Utah, we are helping local groups gear up to fight the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline, a massive boondoggle to drain a large amount of water out of the Colorado River to slake the never-ending thirst of population growth in the southwest part of the state. We are also monitoring the State’s water planning process, the director of which said he wants “dams on every river in Utah.”
In every one of these fights, we are also focusing on alternatives that would better meet the water supply needs of the local communities. In nearly every case, alternative water supply options including conservation, efficiency, recycling and reuse, and working with farmers is a faster, cheaper, and easier way to get new water that doesn’t further drain and destroy the amazing Colorado River system.
Save The Colorado is engaged in several programmatic activities in addition to fighting dams. We fight dirty energy and climate change, work to protect habitat including the Grand Canyon, and promote dam removal whenever possible. And on that note, our action item for this week is to reach out to Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva and thank him for introducing the Grand Canyon Watersheds Protection Act into the U.S. House. The Act would finally ban uranium mining in the Grand Canyon watershed and provide additional protections for that amazing resource forever. Click through here to our Facebook page to “like” and “Thank” Congressman Grijalava.
Thank you for your support and stay tuned for all the action!