Hi Friends of the Colorado River!
This past week saw two significant actions in the Colorado River ecosystem. First, U.S. Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, held an awards ceremony for the team of international collaborators that negotiated “Minute 319” between the U.S. and Mexico. The ceremony gave the Department of Interior’s “Partners in Conservation” award to several groups including the Sonoran Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund (read EDF’s blog post here), both of which are very active in restoration efforts in the Colorado River Delta. Sometime in 2014, the U.S. and Mexico are expected to release the first ever “pulse flow” of water back into the dry riverbed of the Colorado River in the Delta. Recall, for over a decade the Colorado River has been drained bone dry south of the border — all 5 trillion gallons of water diverted out to cities and farms in the U.S. and Mexico. This historic agreement will be widely reported on and Save The Colorado will be bring the news to you. For now, we again Thank Secretary Jewell and we look forward to the Department of Interior’s ongoing efforts to protect and restore the Colorado River.
Second, the state of California is gripped in one of its worst droughts in history, prompting California Governor, Jerry Brown, to declare a state of emergency last week. Southern California — including LA, Orange, and San Diego counties — gets about half of its water from the Colorado River, and all three counties had record dry spells in 2013. Governor Brown called it a “MEGA-DROUGHT” and is encouraging wide-scale water conservation throughout the state. The environmental news service, EcoWatch, posted this blog this morning, highlighting the connection between the drought and the water used for fracking in the state of California. In addition, Save The Colorado offered this comment in the blog: “The entire Southwest U.S. is gripped in an extended drought, including Southern California, all of which depends on flows from the Colorado River,” said Gary Wockner at Save The Colorado River Campaign. “If this is the ‘new normal’ of climate change, then we need to develop a likewise ‘new normal’ of water conservation and efficiency that also focuses on keeping our rivers—as well as our communities—healthy and thriving.”
Finally, for a little fun, we offer this music video to all of our friends dealing with the drought in California and throughout the Southwest U.S. Titled, “Shower with a friend,” the song highlights the Colorado River and creative interpersonal steps you can take to decrease your water use. Click here to watch on YouTube. Enjoy!
Thank you for your support, and stay tuned for more Colorado River news and action!