Skip to content

Colorado River Update: We are keeping the river flowing while everything has stopped!

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT: We know that you are all busy and have significant personal concerns about your health and future amidst the coronavirus pandemic, and we want you to know that we remain on the job protecting the Colorado River. If there’s one thing this pandemic can teach us, it’s that natural, healthy ecosystems are not only the backbone of the planet’s health, they are the backbone of healthy human societies and economies. While everything else has stopped, rest assured that we are doing everything we can to keep the Colorado River healthy and flowing!


First, 2020 is going to be a big year as new dam/diversion/pipeline proposals just keep multiplying!

It’s YOUR support that keeps us working. Please donate online here:

There are now TWENTY FOURthat’s right 24 – proposals for new dams/diversions/pipelines in the Colorado River basin that would further drain and deplete the river. Save The Colorado is the only organization that tracks them all, and fights to stop them wherever we can. We are either leading the fight or supporting the fight against every project.

Most recently, we are working with another group to intervene against a proposed $3.6 billion “Pumped Hydropower” project near Lake Powell. The massively expensive project would rely on the future stability of Lake Powell and the Colorado River at the exact time that climate scientists predict that the Colorado River’s flows will continue to decrease, and the exact time that water managers struggle to implement a highly speculative and expensive “drought contingency plan” to stabilize Lake Powell.

We motioned to intervene in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) permitting process against the project, and we sent out a press release titled, “Colorado River Groups Call ‘Climate Denial’ On Pumped Hydro Project“. Further, the Glen Canyon area is one of the sunniest areas of the U.S. where solar power makes much more sense than hydropower. We will continue to fight this project throughout the permitting process arguing that climate change is real and river flows are imperiled.

Second, we continue to be a leading voice in the national press about protecting and restoring the river. In February, Writers on the Range syndicated our column, “The Dam Truth About The Colorado River” in newspapers across the West. Right now, the federal government is developing a new management plan for the river, and we are demanding that the Feds stop proposed new dams and take climate science seriously.

Third, all of our other legal fights are still moving forward including:

  • Federal lawsuit against the Gross Dam expansion in Boulder County, CO.
  • State intervention supporting Boulder County against Denver Water’s lawsuit to avoid a local permit in the Gross Dam expansion.
  • Federal lawsuit against the Windy Gap Firming Project in Colorado.
  • Federal intervention against proposed dams on the Little Colorado near the Grand Canyon.
  • Federal intervention against the U.S. Forest Service to fight proposed dams in the Holy Cross Wilderness in Colorado.
  • Federal intervention against the Department of Interior to fight the Lake Powell Pipeline in Utah.
  • Federal lawsuit against the operating plan for Glen Canyon Dam.

In addition, our battles against other proposed dams in Wyoming and Colorado – even before permitting processes have begun – continue to make news and move the needle of public opinion as well as get attention from decision-makers. You can visit our website and click on “Our Campaigns – Irresponsible Projects” to get the entire list of the 24 proposed dams/diversions/pipelines, as well as the progress of each one. The dam-fighting work in the Colorado River never ends! And we are on top of every single project. Our policy is “No New Dams and Diversions”, and we are taking it to the wall.

Finally as you hunker down in the next few weeks, consider listening to this podcast from The Rewilding Institute, “Gary Wockner: Life of a River Warrior”, in which I describe my adventures saving rivers and fighting dams in Colorado, in the Southwest U.S., and around the planet. I specifically discuss our Glen Canyon lawsuit. The interview is on our website here:

Please take care of yourself and your family, and know that we are hard at work fighting to protect the Colorado River.

Please donate online here:

Gary Wockner, PhD

THANK YOU for your support!

Executive Director, Save The Colorado

Back To Top