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Colorado River Update: Can The Colorado River Sustain More Population Growth?

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

We’ve had another busy week saving the Colorado River and helping to save other rivers across the planet.

First, our column,Can The Colorado River Sustain More Population Growth?” (read here), was published by the national environmental news site, EcoWatch, and pushed out to their half-million followers. In the column, we highlight the negative impacts caused by the fast-growing states in the Southwest U.S., such as the diminished green landscapes, higher prices for urban water, and the draining and dry-up of farms across the region. Can the Southwest and the Colorado River actually sustain more people?

The answer is “yes”, but not without negative impacts to the quality of life for current residents. In addition, more people means more strain on the Colorado River itself which will make it harder and harder to not just protect, but also restore, the health of the river as more and more dams and diversions get built.

Second, our work supporting the group, “North America Megadam Resistance Alliance”, took another step forward as the Energy publication, “RTO Insider”, covered our work highlighting the climate pollution caused by hydropower. In this story titled, “Scientists, First Nations Say Hydropower is Not Clean Energy” (read here), we provided support to indigenous groups in Canada who are fighting megadam hydropower in Quebec. In the story, I say, “If you are trying to replace natural gas with hydropower, you are not getting cleaner energy. If the state and federal agencies follow the science, they will see they are making a huge mistake.”

The science around the climate pollution (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) caused by hydropower is increasingly clear not only in Canada, but also in the U.S. In fact, scientists have estimated that the GHG emissions caused by Lake Mead and Hoover Dam on the Colorado River are equivalent to a coal-fired powerplant producing the same amount of electricity.

Third, our work supporting North America Megadam Resistance Alliance was also highlighted on “Sanctuary Radio Independent Media” (listen here) in New York City. The State of New York is going backwards with its clean energy goals and so we called out the new Governor, Kathy Hochul, for her support of importing dirty hydropower into New York City.

Finally, we were delighted to sign on to a Global Declaration and press conference with over 300 organizations from 69 countries telling the United Nations and governments attending COP26 in Poland that “RIVERS FOR CLIMATE” (read the statement here) must be given attention. COP 26 will meet in Scotland in November, and our “RIVERS FOR CLIMATE” declaration colleagues will attend as well as communicate with the public, media, and stakeholders about how Hydropower is Not Clean Energy. The Global Declaration gained media attention in Brazil, Thailand, and Brazil.

Last but not least, a few of us from Save The Colorado are going on a Grand Canyon raft trip the next two weeks. News reports over the last week are stating that, due to the extreme drought and climate change, there’s a 33% chance that Glen Canyon Dam will stop producing hydropower in the next two years. We’re taking a first-hand look at the Grand Canyon below Glen Canyon Dam before what may be historic changes to the Canyon and Dam in the next few years. We’ll get back in touch with you the week of Oct. 13th with great stories and photographs about our trip!

Thank you for your support! 
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