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Colorado River Update: Lawsuits and Chaos Swirl as Everyone Awaits the Feds’ Decision

Hi Friends of the Colorado River,

It’s hard to keep up with the chaos around the Colorado River as the states battle with each other and everyone awaits a decision from the federal government. First, one big lawsuit is playing out at the U.S. Supreme Court where the Navajo Tribe is against the State of Arizona. The New York Sun covered the story and highlighted our work as well. As all of the battles inch forward, as well as this lawsuit, we’re trying to keep our focus on the ecological health of the river in all of our communications and actions. We told the Sun:

“Battles like this court case are going to become the norm and we are going to see more chaos. Right now every single drop of water is drained and the river is bone dry and doesn’t even reach the Gulf of California.” 

After all, it’s the health of the river from which all human endeavors and economies get their water for survival. And further, the health of the river supports the non-human world — all the fishes and critters — as well as the Living River itself.

Second, amidst all of that chaos are the “corporate vultures” trying to invest in what they call the ‘liquid asset’ of Colorado River water in order to make profit as the price of water rises and the amount of water falls. The Public News Service wrote a piece about this ongoing chaos that also supported our work.

Again, as the vultures circle, we try to bring the focus back to the ecological health of the river itself. We told the Public News Service, ““There’s been less and less water in the river, so we’re seeing dramatic negative impacts to the ecological health of the river itself. Fish species are being impacted. Riparian habitat, wildlife habitat, wetlands, etc, they’re all being impacted.”

Finally, Mother Jones magazine also covered the Colorado River chaos, specifically focusing on the uncertainty hanging over Glen Canyon Dam. The Bureau of Reclamation itself is considering tunneling around the dam, or through the dam, to reconnect the Colorado River as the water level in Lake Powell drops lower and lower.

We continue our long, steady drumbeat arguing that Glen Canyon Dam itself is a big part of the problem and should be decommissioned. Doing so, would help save Lake Mead and give all the parties involved in the chaos a few more years to negotiate about the big cuts that must happen in order to re-balance the river.

As the chaos plays out, it’s the human users of water that seem to get all the attention, while we keep our eye on the health of the river itself. As we await the Bureau of Reclamation’s decision, we have also placed our official comments in the legal record (posted here), so that we can take legal action if we need be to speak for the river and its fishes and critters that depend on the river for survival.

Thank you for your support. It keeps us working hard!

You can donate online by clicking here.


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