Hi Friends of the Colorado River!
With another drought looming throughout the Southwest U.S., water conservation is making all of the news. First, two conservation groups, Citizens for Dixie’s Future and Western Resource Advocates, just rolled out a new report titled “The Local Waters Alternative To The Lake Powell Pipeline.” This report highlights that Southwest Utah cities can get 60% of the water they need for the future just by conserving. The report serves as an alternative to the proposed environmentally destructive Lake Powell Pipeline, and provides hard scientific analysis about the role water conservation can and should play if cities across the Southwest U.S. continue to grow. Here’s the website for the report, with the Executive Summary available here. Please keep up the great work in Southwest Utah!
Second, as drought continues to grip the Front Range of Colorado and the headwaters of the Colorado River, cities from Colorado Springs to Denver to Fort Collins have instituted lawn watering restrictions. It’s important to remember that throughout Colorado and the Southwest U.S., watering lawns accounts for about 50% of residential water use. Not only do we need to stop this wasteful watering (and mowing and fertilizing) of lawns, we need to switch to xeriscape landscapes. In the meantime, to protect water supplies and river flows, lawn watering restrictions are the best stop forward. The drought is so severe in Colorado that Denver Water says 8 feet of snow is needed in the mountains over the next 2 months to ward off the restrictions. Here’s the Denver Post article discussing the gripping drought and watering restrictions.
Third, a new voice is emerging in the Southwest U.S. from a group of young farmers who support agricultural water conservation as a means to protect agriculture as well as healthier streamflows in rivers. In this editorial that was published in the Grand Junction Sentinel, Kate Greenberg with the National Young Farmers’ Coalition reaches out to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, pushing his “Start With Conservation” message. The editorial (click through to read it here) is titled “Colorado’s Young Farmers Ready To Join Governor In Conservation” and highlights the petition Start With Conservation — if you haven’t signed the petition on Care2.com’s website, please click through and sign it so that the Governor knows that farmers and river enthusiasts both want him to focus his administration on water conservation.
If the spring continues to be this dry, all the news that’s fit to print may be about drought and endangered rivers. Stay tuned for more information and how you can help.
Thank you for your support!