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PRESS RELEASE: Save The Colorado Promotes Nature-Based Solutions and Climate Action For Colorado River Crisis

For Immediate Release
Dec. 13, 2022
Contact: Gary Wockner, Director, Save The Colorado

Save The Colorado Promotes Nature-Based Solutions and Climate Action For Colorado River Crisis

Comments to Reclamation for SEIS include Decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam and Restoring Colorado River Delta in Mexico

Colorado River, USA: As the Colorado River Water Users Association prepares to meet in Las Vegas this week, Save The Colorado submitted its comments to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec) for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) about the 2007 Interim Guidelines concerning the management of Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Marshlands of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge near Topock Gorge, ArizonaThe comments are due on Dec. 20th, and respond to BuRec’s call to address the emergency created on the river by the rapidly shrinking water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Save The Colorado is strongly encouraging BuRec to take a larger and more holistic view of the Colorado River crisis.

Save The Colorado’s comments (POSTED HERE) state that 1) the ecologically health of the river must be placed at the center of the management of the river, that 2) BuRec must adopt solutions that are long-term, equitable, sustainable, and actually solve the problems on the Colorado River rather than kick the can down the road for a few years by simply tweaking the 2007 Interim Guidelines, and that 3) the river needs to be “fixed” using Nature-Based Solutions that are also “climate action” to mitigate, and create adaptation to, climate change that will further decrease flows in the future.

“The Bureau of Reclamation is setting itself up to simply kick the can down the road rather than fix the problems on the river,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Colorado. “Managers must focus on long-term, equitable, sustainable, solutions that put the ecological health of the river at center-stage and actually solve the problems on the Colorado River.”

Save The Colorado’s long-term, equitable, sustainable solutions include:

  • Stopping all proposed new dams, diversions and pipelines.
  • Decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam.
  • Enacting conservation programs to save Lake Mead.
  • Letting 10% of the river’s total water flow into and through its Delta in Mexico to sequester carbon in Delta wetlands and mangroves.
  • Allocating Native American water rights by subtracting that water from current diversions, not by creating new additional diversions; or by paying tribes to keep their water in the river.
  • Distributing water allocations to all users based on the percentage of total flow available each year, not a fixed amount.

Save The Colorado’s comments note that 2022 is the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact as well as the 100th anniversary of famous conservationist, Aldo Leopold’s, excursion through the Colorado River Delta discussed in his seminal book, The Sand County Almanac.

“For 100 years, the federal government has abused, manipulated, dammed, and extracted Nature in its management of the Colorado River,” said Wockner. “Moving forward, solutions must first and foremost be Nature-Based and ecologically equitable and sustainable so that we heal the Colorado River and adopt its health as the central feature of all management guidelines.”

This press release is posted here.



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