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Colorado River Update: They Should Conserve First, Not Drain The River!

Hello AMAZING Friends of the Colorado River!

If your bank account is running low, do you try to spend more money and drain it faster? Or do you try to conserve your money and cut back on spending?

The answer is a no-brainerwe always try to conserve and cut back first — but that’s not what water managers in the state of Colorado are doing with the Colorado River. In fact, as the river gets further drained and threatened, they are trying to build even more dams and diversions to drain the river even faster.

Two days ago, the news site, Water Deeply, highlighted our work to fight against proposed new dams and diversions in the Colorado River basin. Several of these proposals are in the state of Colorado which is experiencing a rapidly expanding population. We told Water Deeply the point-blank truth:

“Every single city that is trying to further drain a river refuses to do aggressive water conservation,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Colorado.

In fact, dozens of cities are trying to build new dams and reservoirs in Colorado, but none of them are promoting aggressive, well-funded conservation programs. As just one example, “cash for grass” programs are proven to be highly effective at reducing water demand in cities because about 1/2 of all of the water is used to keep the grass green primarily in residential lawns for a couple months in the late summer. These “cash for grass” programs pay homeowners to remove irrigated grass and replace it with xeriscaping. Further, of all of the cities in Colorado trying to build new dams and diversions, only Fort Collins has a “cash for grass” program, but that program is very small and underfunded.

We’re not standing for it! As noted in the article, we’ve led a coalition of groups to sue to stop one of the dam projects and we’re looking at all of the others, too.

One of the projects we have our eye on is Denver Water’s “Moffat Collection System Project”, which would further drain the Colorado River to pipe that water to the Denver area. This project is one of the dumbest of all of the proposals because Denver Water doesn’t even need more water. In fact, they have bragged about how their water use has decreased even though their population has increased.

Check out our new short video (click here) about the Moffat Project. The massive dam expansion to build the Tallest Dam in the History of Colorado would cause untold damage — to the small streams and Fraser River in Grand County, to the Colorado River downstream, to Boulder County where the dam would be built, and to South Boulder Creek! It’s like Denver Water created the most damaging idea they could think of and then pounded it forward.


Save The Colorado is leading the fight against proposed new dams and diversions in the Colorado River basin and we appreciate your support. Stay tuned for more news and action!



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