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Colorado River Update: “MOMENT OF RECKONING”

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

It’s your support that keeps us working hard. You can donate online here.

Yesterday was a big day in the history of the Colorado River. At a U.S. Senate Committee hearing, the Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation made perhaps the strongest statements ever by a sitting Commissioner about how the Colorado River system is collapsing. One witness who provided testimony said we are at a “moment of reckoning”. And, the Commissioner, Camille C. Touton, said water use needed to be cut by “2 to 4 million acre feet” by next year.

Commissioner Touton also said, “the challenges we are seeing today are unlike anything we have seen in our history”, and said that the Bureau of Reclamation “has the authority to act unilaterally to protect the system, and we will protect the system.”

You can read the story here in the Los Angeles Times about the Senate Committee hearing.

As the drought and crisis escalates, Save The Colorado is in the thick of the battle proposing solutions and moving forward with programs to protect the flow of water in the river as well as the ecosystem and wildlife species that depend on the river for survival.

First, our NO MORE DAMS AND DIVERSIONS campaign continues to race forward. We bird-dog and fight against every proposed new dam, diversion, and pipeline. It’s INSANE to be building more dams/diversions/pipelines as the system collapses.

Second, our TEAR DOWN GLEN CANYON DAM campaign is in full swing. We believe that Glen Canyon Dam is a relic that is actually dragging the system down with it. We’ve sued to have it decommissioned, and we launched a contest to have it torn down or re-engineered so that Glen and Grand Canyons can be rewilded.

Third, our RIGHTS OF NATURE FOR RIVERS campaign is working to ensure that NATURE itself has a stronger voice in how the Colorado River and all of its tributaries are managed. We are currently working with local governments in Colorado to give more local watersheds Rights of Nature.

Finally, our SOLUTIONSwhich are posted here on our website — include a consequential change to the water allocation process so that the Colorado River Delta, the Native American Tribes, and the Water Users themselves can all equitably receive water in the future.

As the crisis unfolds, we are thrilled to have our dam-fighting work highlighted in the influential media/advocacy outlet, World War Zero. Titled, “Hydropower Now a Fleeting Source of Energy”, the story (posted here), describes our work with Patagonia and Earthjustice calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to add dams and reservoirs to its Greenhouse Gas reporting program. In the story, I say: “It’s likely that replacing Glen Canyon and Hoover Dam hydropower with natural gas-fired power plants would not increase GHG emissions,” stated Gary Wockner, co-founder and executive director of Save The Colorado. “Further, replacing Hoover Dam electricity with natural gas would likely decrease GHG emissions, while replacing both hydropower facilities with wind or solar would almost certainly reduce GHG emissions.”

We greatly appreciate your support! Stay tuned here for all of the action. You can also follow us on twitter here and stay up on the day-to-day progress of our work and all the stories impacting the Colorado River and other important rivers across the planet.

Please donate online by clicking here.

Thank you!
Gary Wockner, Director, Save The Colorado

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