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Colorado River Update: Our Fight With Denver Water Ain’t Over Yet!

Hi Friends of the Colorado River,

First, it ain’t over till it’s over, and our fight with Denver Water ain’t over yet!

Recall, Denver Water is building the tallest dam in Colorado in Boulder County right now, a project that will divert a new ~5 billion gallons of water out of the Colorado River every year. We fought them every step of the way for the last 12 years, and then we fought them in court for two years. Last year, a federal district court judge “dismissed” our lawsuit, but just last week, the federal court of appeals overturned the previous ruling. Now, the whole legal process is in limbo.

It’s unclear what will happen next, but we are working closely with our attorneys and co-plaintiff partners to consider every option available. Denver Water is constructing the dam right now, a project that has caused a huge amount of conflict and acrimony for the ~1,000 homes and thousands of people in the surrounding mountains. The Colorado Sun reported on the story this week, including a letter from the Boulder County Commissioners describing how the construction project is ruining the quality of life of neighbors and the neighborhood.

Read the Colorado Sun story here. 

Everyone involved has a lot of questions, including us, about what the options are for continuing to oppose this massive river-destroying project. Stay tuned here over the next 40 days as decisions are made about next steps in this long battle.

At the same time that Denver Water is building this massive dam, the entire Colorado River system is collapsing with historic lows at reservoirs downstream, extreme acrimony among stakeholders, and federal intervention by Congress and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. We’ve said it for 10 years, and we’ll say it again — it’s INSANE to be building more dams and diversions on the Colorado River, and our “No New Dams and Diversions” program fights this insanity everywhere all the time. We will do what we can with this new legal situation with Denver Water, for sure.

Second, our “Save The World’s Rivers” campaign was in full swing last week! We attended the third “European Rivers Summit” in Brussels, Belgium, and gave a presentation about our “TELL THE DAM TRUTH” campaign. About 175 river protection activists from across Europe attended the Summit, their young hearts and minds earnestly grappling with the threats and opportunities to save Europe’s rivers.

We are partnering with Patagonia and Earthjustice on our Tell The Dam Truth campaign which is petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require that large dams and reservoirs across the U.S. report their greenhouse gas emissions. Europe is facing the same crisis as the U.S. — dam builders are lying to the public by saying that hydropower is “clean energy” when the science and facts are clear that hydropower does emit significant greenhouse gases and can emit as much, or more, greenhouse gases as a coal-fired powerplant.

Read about our petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and our Tell The Dam Truth campaign by clicking here.

Stay tuned for all of the action! 

It’s your support that keeps us working hard. 

You can donate online by clicking here. 

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