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The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis for the Colorado River

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

We marched! On Sunday I had the good fortune to join my fellow river advocates in the Waterkeeper Alliance to march for climate justice in the streets of New York City. Over waterkeeper-climate-small400,000 people strong, the march was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. We sent a message to our leaders, saying that it is time to act on climate change now. A few days later in his speech to the United Nations, President Obama said, “Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we don’t hear them. We have to answer the call.” Amen! The climate crisis is a water crisis — rising sea levels, drought, floods, cataclysmic storms, all are coming our way due to climate change. I posted this blog in EcoWatch, take a read, “The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis.” The Colorado River ecosystem has been especially hard hit by drought. We are now in our 15th year of an ongoing drought, and parts of our ecosystem in California are experiencing the worst recorded drought in history. Further, scientists say this drought is likely to get worse, not better.

And they want to drain the river even more! Crazy as it sounds, at the very same time that the Colorado River continues to shrink and the levels in the reservoirs continue to gila-123drop, water planners across the Southwest U.S. are planning to build even more dams and reservoirs. Nevermind that building a reservoir won’t make it rain, they are planning on taking even more water out of an already degraded system and further debilitating the river we all love and cherish. In New Mexico, the State is considering a major diversion out of the Gila River which flows into the Colorado River. In Colorado, Denver Water is considering another diversion out of the headwaters of the Colorado River to be piped over to Denver. And in Utah, a crazy idea is being considered to take a large amount of water out of the river to fuel and cool a proposed nuclear powerplant. And there’s even more proposals than that! The U.S. has seen cataclysmic storms on our coasts and heatwaves across the midwest, but perhaps nowhere is climate change gripping an ecosystem as in the long-term drought across the Southwest U.S.

And so that’s why I marched! The streets were alive and crawling with humanity that wanted to protect our climate, our rivers, our planet, our economy. If you were there too, march-123that’s awesome and thank you! If not, here’s some petitions you can sign to help tell our elected leaders to protect and restore our rivers and ecosystems, not further drain and deplete them. 1. Sign this petition to Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado telling him to focus on alternatives to dams in the Colorado Water Plan. 2. Sign this petition to Governor Martinez of New Mexico and tell her to protect the Gila River. 3. Sign this petition to the State Engineer of Utah telling him to not allow the massive diversion of water for the Green River Nuclear Powerplant. Recall again, President Obama said, “Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we don’t hear them. We have to answer the call.” Only by speaking out will our elected leaders pay any attention to us at all. We need to create a movement of people that can lead and then force our elected leaders to follow us. The people lead, the politics follows. The climate crisis is a water crisis and we can fix it.

Thank you for all of your incredible support!

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