Never before have we deliberately sent water below the Morelos Dam … to benefit the environment, … By abandoning the old framework of ‘who gets what’ and establishing cooperative management of our shared resource, the U.S. and Mexico are achieving benefits for communities and nature alike.

Jennifer Pitt of the Environmental Defense Fund, who helped negotiate the one-time flood, wrote on her blog this month. 

The pulse flow will peak from today through March 30, but water is expected to stay in the river as long as May 18. 

Read more. 

The Case for Reconnecting the Colorado River to the Sea

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Nearly two decades ago, when I first visited the delta of the Colorado River in northwestern Mexico, I became obsessed with the idea that major rivers like the Colorado were running dry. 

I knew what the Colorado Delta had once been—a 2-million-acre expanse of wetlands, lagoons, braided channels, and towering riverside cottonwoods and willows that sustained a myriad of bird and wildlife species. The great conservationist Aldo Leopold had called it a “milk-and-honey wilderness.”

But flying low over the delta on a research trip in 1996, I saw that this once lush and vast aquatic ecosystem had mostly dried out. The freshwater that had sustained it had been siphoned off to growing cities and farms in the desert Southwest. The river stopped flowing 90 miles before reaching the sea.

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Sandra Postel

Takepart.com

Water Flows Into Colorado River Delta in Historic First

Sunday March 23, 2014, at a little after 8 am, the gates at Morelos Dam on the Mexico-Arizona border were opened for the first time in history for the purpose of allowing the Colorado River to flow downstream into its delta to water the plants and animals that live there.  A crowd of more than 100, many from the local community, plus a handful of reporters and water workers from afar, waited just downstream.

A cheer went up when the water began to pour down, first in a trickle, and then a steady gushing flow.  It took a long time for the institutions that manage the Colorado River to make this happen.  Now we have the chance to see how long it takes the river to move downstream, and how far it goes.

Read more.

Jennifer Pitt, Environmental Defense Fund 

Peter McBride, National Geographic

We’ve seen rivers running dry all around the world, from being dammed and diverted, and here’s one ecosystem of great significance that two countries are working cooperatively to try to restore. So many others need restoration too.

Sandra Postel

National Geographic

Read more.