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Colorado River Update: The New York Times Asks, “Is Lake Mead Doomed”?

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

Here’s this week’s updates for our work protecting and restoring this amazing river system.

First, New York Times columnist, Tim Egan, wrote this week about the demise of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam near Las Vegas. His piece, “Hoover Dam Made Life in the West Possible, Or So We Thought”. has been the talk of the West as it explains the drought and climate change that has crippled water managers across the Colorado River basin.

At the exact same time, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reported that the amount of water flowing into Lake Powell upstream of Lake Mead would be the second lowest in history. Both massive reservoirs are on the brink of collapsing if the weather and climate doesn’t shift in a wetter direction, and there’s zero indication that shift will occur.

As we’ve stated time and time again, with the demise of these reservoirs and the impacts of climate change, it’s totally insane to be proposing and building more new dams and reservoirs, but yet that’s exactly what water managers in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are proposing to do.

As a response, we continue our diligence and hard work opposing these proposed new dam projects including the Gross Dam expansion in Boulder County, CO; the White River Dam in Rio Blanco County, CO; the Whitney Reservoir in Eagle County, CO; the Lake Powell Pipeline in southern Utah, and the Fontenelle Dam expansion in Wyoming. Those are the biggest proposals we’re fighting, but there’s actually over a dozen more. The bad dam ideas never stop, and we never stop fighting against them.

If you’d like to learn more about the Gross Dam expansion battle, here’s a video presentation I gave to PLAN Boulder County in March. You can learn all about Save The Colorado’s work, as well as the details of the Gross Dam expansion (the video link is here on PLAN Boulder County’s website).

Second, our “Rights of Nature” program continues to motor along as we talk to more towns and cities in Colorado and Utah. We’re hoping to have two resolutions  registered in the near future that can potentially get passed by local communities to establish Rights of Nature for their watersheds (stay tuned for that!). Check out this video presentation (here on our Facebook page) I gave at the University of Denver Water Law conference in April about our new Rights of Nature program.

Finally, we’ve started a strategic collaboration with a group in the northeast U.S. and Canada named, “North American Megadams Resistance Alliance”. In early May, I gave a video presentation to nearly a hundred people about the “The Myth of Clean Hydropower”. The northeast U.S., especially Maine and New York, are under extreme pressure from “Hydro Quebec” to allow massive electricity lines through wild landscapes and rivers to serve the metastasizing New York City megalopolis.

Not only will these electricity lines irrevocably harm natural habitat and rivers, they would also cause even more Greenhouse Gas emissions from the hydropower in Quebec. Take a look at the video here on Youtube to learn more about “The Myth of Clean Hydropower” and “Why Hydro-Electricity is a False Solution to Climate Change.”

We are busy! And we greatly appreciate your support.

It’s YOUR SUPPORT that keeps us working! You can donate online by clicking here.

Thank you!

Gary Wockner
Director, Save The Colorado

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