Skip to content

Colorado River Update: Our SOLUTIONS Are Making Front Page News in Washington D.C.!

Hi Friends of the Colorado River,

TOMORROW IS COLORADO GIVES DAY, OUR BIGGEST FUNDRAISING DAY OF THE YEAR. We’re spending the day celebrating that our SOLUTIONS to the collapse of the Colorado River are making Front Page news in Washington D.C.!


FIRST, as the federal and state governments struggle to stop the collapse of the Colorado River, the Washington Post ran a front-page story that included comments from our boardmember, Dan Beard, who is a former Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. In 2015, Dan wrote a book titled, Deadbeat Dams: Why We Need To Abolish the Bureau of Reclamation and Tear Down Glen Canyon Dam. His prediction has proved point-blank true — climate change is causing the collapse of the river and Glen Canyon Dam can’t be sustained with less water in the river.

There simply is not enough water in the Colorado to keep all of the dams operational, but the federal government is doing everything possible — including now starving the Grand Canyon of water — to try to keep Glen Canyon Dam alive. Dan Beard hits a home-run when he tells D.C. readers and power brokers:

“Everybody keeps running around saying how can we prevent Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam from collapsing. My question is: Why should we prevent it from happening?” — Dan Beard

Over the next 8 months, the federal government has to make a final decision about the future of the river, and we will keep our foot on the gas pedal arguing for DAM DECOMMISSIONING as the Nature-Based Solution to the chaos on the Colorado River. The public — that’s you and all of us! — will also get to comment on the feds’ decision, and we’ll be reaching back out to you soon to let you know how and when to comment.

SECOND, a few days ago the influential political news site, Daily Kos, also ran a story about our SOLUTIONS to the chaos on the Colorado River. Back in March, we created a SOLUTIONS policy statement, and it continues to resonate as the river-management chaos intensifies.

Right now, agencies that divert water out of the river are allocated a set amount of water no matter how much water is flowing in the river or stored in the reservoirs. This policy is destroying the entire river system and needs to change. Our policy solution is to allot water based on the percentage of water available, not a set amount, which would be a sustainable long-term solution. I told Daily Kos:

“Colorado River allocation needs to be based on how much water is in the river each year, so all the entities would get a percentage of what’s available. That is an actual long-term solution. If they just do a short-term 2 million acre-feet band aid, all it will do is stabilize the system where it’s at for right now which is on the edge of the apocalypse.” — Gary Wockner

See more about our SOLUTIONS by visiting this page on our website. We created a concise summary of real sustainable solutions that don’t just kick the can down the road but rather SOLVE the crisis on the river.

Finally, our Rights of Nature for Rivers campaign continues to make news. Our federal laws protecting rivers in the Colorado River basin are weak and need to be changed. Rights of Nature for Rivers starts moving that ball in a better direction where local communities can establish rights for a river to flow through their town rather than be drained and degraded by powerful investors and Wall Street interests.

The news site, The Revelator, mentioned our work and highlighted that we’ve so far helped three Colorado communities establish Rights of Nature for local Watersheds. In addition, we’re working with more communities and hope to see more success in 2023.

As you consider your year-end giving and your donations for Colorado Gives Day, please know that we have all of our paddles in the water and are pounding against the rapids to make real change in the Colorado River system. We’re a small scrappy environmental organization whose budget is 1/10th of the bigger groups, yet we get more media attention than any other group working to protect and restore the Colorado River. Further, our solutions that promote REAL CHANGE are inspiring people and groups across the U.S. and across the world.

You can make a real difference by donating to Save The Colorado!


Thank you for your support!!

Gary Wockner
Director, Save The Colorado



Back To Top