Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
Welcome to our first post of 2015! There’s lots of new information and action coming forward — it should be an exciting year around the management of the Colorado River. First, just last week an economic study out of the Dept of Economics at Arizona State University indicated that water in the Colorado River brings in over $1 TRILLION of economic activity to the seven states in the Southwest U.S. including Southern California. That’s REAL money, an eye-popper that ought to get the attention of decision-makers across the region.
The study, funded by business/environment organization Protect The Flows, hopes to raise awareness about the impacts of drought and climate change. The study said that if the flow in the river drops just 10%, it would cost the region $143 billion and 1.6 million jobs. Check out the story in the Wall Street Journal here.
It’s great to have a business voice out there advocating to keep the river flowing. In addition, it brings into sharp focus the second big issue the Colorado River is facing in 2015 — proposals for EVEN MORE dams that would further deplete flows. Check out this column I wrote in EcoWatch last week, “Stop The War Against The Colorado River.” At the same time that the health of the river and business success is dependent on keeping the river flowing, the upstream states — Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico — are proposing tens-of-billions of dollars in new dam projects that would further drain the river.
These proposed projects would dramatically deplete the river, further endanger protected species, and negatively impact the recreational economy as well as the mainstream economy of the downstream states. At Save The Colorado, we advocate for NO MORE DAMS, and in 2015 and beyond we will be doing whatever we can to stop this war against the Colorado River that threatens so many of the amenities we all value.
Third, an interesting update on one of the issues we advocated for last year. Recall that the most endangered porpoise in the world, the vaquita, is struggling to survive in the Gulf of California where the Colorado River used to meet the sea? I wrote a blog post about the vaquita here back in 2014.
Just last week, the Mexican government announced that they would start using DRONES to keep an eye on fisherman in the Gulf so as to make sure the fisherman are not catching and killing the endangered vaquita. Check out the article in the New York Times here. Mexican officials call the eco-drones “permanent aerial patrols” to help ensure the protection of the vaquita. What do you think of this idea? We like it — it’s a good use of technology that may help save this imperiled species.
Finally, we encourage you to support our efforts to protect and restore the Colorado River by donating to Save the Colorado! Our online donation link is here. We will keep the news and action items flowing and try to do everything we can to keep the river flowing too.
Thank you for your support!!