Raise the River is a unique partnership of five U.S. and Mexican non-governmental organizations committed to restoring the Colorado River delta. Members include Pronatura Noroeste, Redford Center, Sonoran Institute, The Nature Conservancy and National Audubon Society

Interim Monitoring Report

Colorado River Limitrophe and Delta Environmental Flows Monitoring Interim Report

In the News

Restore the Colorado River Estuary (video)

(July 25, 2017) — Sonoran Institute celebrated Colorado River Day by releasing this (impressive!) 4-min. documentary about the fresh lagoons of the Colorado River estuary and the incredible, hard work being done to restore this life-giving ecosystem — watch and share! From: Sonoran Institute/YouTube

Why new infrastructure is a smart investment for the Colorado River

(July 21, 2017) — Innovative projects are key to improving the resilience of water supplies in the basin’s seven states, writes Ted Kowalski of the Walton Family Foundation’s Colorado River basin initiative. From: Water Deeply

The Walton Family Foundation recently announced that it will invest 20 million dollars to protect the Colorado river 

(July 12, 2017) — Environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy on the radio, reporting about the impact that the money might have, as well as some of the threats facing the Colorado. Featuring comments by Ted Kowalski, and reporting on the negotiation of Minute 32X. From: Aspen Public Radio/The Dial 

Water for people or nature is a false choice. We need to think bigger to protect the world’s water

(July 11, 2017) — Thoughtful article by Guiulio Boccaletti of The Nature Conservancy on how growing populations and limited water resources are increasingly in conflict. But “water for people or water for nature” is a false choice—when it comes to problems like water security, we have to think much, much bigger. From: World Economic Forum

— Also here: 

Walmart family funds Colorado River restoration

(July 10, 2017) — Reporting on the Walton Family Foundation’s pledge to donate $20 million toward conservation programs. Includes talk on the renegotiation of Minute 32X, and the restoration work taking place in the Colorado River Delta. From: Aspen Public Radio

Executive Summary—Water and Birds in the Arid West: Habitats in Decline

(July 5, 2017) —Summary of thnew report published by the Audubon Society, which includes the Colorado River Basin as a focal geography. Includes links to download the Summary & Full Report in pdf format. From: Audubon Society

— Related:  An op-ed in the LA Times on the subject & report by Audubon CEO.

Walton Family Foundation pledges $20 million to Colorado river conservation

(June 26, 2017) — Report on the WFF’s $20M pledge to support the Colorado River, and longer-term commitment of $100M by 2020. This features comments by Ted Kowalski.  From: The Denver Post

Green Giant: Where’s Walton Been Sending its Environmental Funding?

(June 27, 2017) —An overview of the grant recipients and program priorities of the WFF, including its commitment to funding work in the Colorado River.  From: Inside Philanthropy

Foundation to Put $20 Million into Restoring Colorado River

(June 28, 2017) — Reporting on the WFF’s commitment of $20M over the next 2 years, and up to $100M by 2020, in finding solutions to the Colorado River’s diminishing water supply, supporting the renewal of Minute 319, and restoring the region’s environment. Featuring comments by Ted Kowalski. From: Arizona Public Media

Grants Roundup: $35 Million From Walton Fund Supports Colo. and Miss. River Conservation

(June 28, 2017) —Brief reporting on WFF’s $20M in grants supporting the Colorado River, and a link to their giving philosophy. From The Chronicle of Philanthropy; Related: WFF’s giving philosophy

How collaboration can save the Colorado River

(June 22, 2017) — A personal account of how the interests of ranchers and farmers can align with conservation groups working to find creative solutions to the problems of the Colorado River. From High Country News

Climate change is shrinking the Colorado River

(June 13, 2017) —Story by Udall and Overpeck on their research showing how climate change is contributing to the reduction in river flow on the Colorado River. From The Conversation

Saving Great Rivers

(Summer 2017) — Feature story on how Nature Conservancy scientists around the world work within river systems to help people and nature thrive together., highlighting their work with the Colorado River, Taylor Hawes, director of TNC’s Colorado River program, and the Walton Family Foundation. From The Nature Conservancy Magazine

Earthworks on the Colorado River

(June 16, 2017) — Behind-the-scenes insights on the newest episode of EARTHWORKS from VICE Impact, featuring Gaby Gonzalez, Environmental Education Coordinator at Sonoran Institute and the Sonoran Institute’s work in the Colorado River Delta. From the Sonoran Institute Blog

Infrastructure investments must prioritize the Colorado River, one of the hardest-working rivers in the world

(June 7, 2017) — Opinion piece by the Walton Family Foundation, and a link to its recently-released white paper to guide a plan for the infrastructure needs of the Colorado River. The paper highlights 15 projects across the basin that are deemed essential for securing one of the most important – and over-tapped – waterways in the country. Featuring their collaborative work with The Nature Conservancy. From the Washington Examiner

World Water Congress report

(June 1, 2017) — A summary of key topics discussed at the World Water Congress, an event which took place in Cancun, Mexico recently, organized by the International Water Resources Association. The article highlights the discussion on the Colorado River system cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico. A key goal of the World Water Congress is to bridge the disconnect between scientific knowledge and policy choices. From the Arizona Department of Water Resources website; Related: World Water Congress Event website:

The Colorado River and Its Unnatural World

(May 24, 2017) — The prolific author and New Yorker contributor David Owen details what has happened to the Colorado River in his new book, Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River. The core conundrum of the Colorado in Owen’s view is efficiency. Using less water to flood fields or lawns means more water to build suburbs in desert cities. From The New York Times.

Colorado River deemed threatened

(April 19, 2017) — Additional reporting on the America Rivers annual endangered rivers list, which places the Lower Colorado River at the top, detailing the reasoning behind the ranking as being a result of the challenges the river faces due to chnages in US government policies. From Boulder City Review.

 American Rivers Report: Lower Colorado River tops most endangered list … again

(April 18, 2017) — Reporting on the America Rivers annual endangered rivers list, which names the Lower Colorado River as the most threatened river, due to the significance of the river to human and natural communities, the magnitude of the threat to the river and its nearby communities, and a major decision that the public can help influence in the coming year — which is the renewal of Minute 319. The Colorado River has been designated America’s most endangered river four times since 2003. From Grand Canyon News.

Beware the Wet Year

(April 14, 2017) — This editorial from American Rivers urges readers to not be complacent despite the wet year — and underscores how smart water management and innovating sharing are still needed to sustain the Colorado River basin. From American Rivers.

Business leaders call for global action to reverse the fragmentation of nature

(April 13, 2017) — A first ever, corporate “Call to Action” from The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to conserve connected landscapes, making the business case for connectivity conservation in its new report. From the Leonardo DeCaprio Foundation.

Colorado River tops nonprofit’s endangered list

(April 12, 2017) —  The nonprofit American Rivers has put the Lower Colorado River at the top of its annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers list in an effort to celebrate recent accomplishments and encourage the Trump Administration to provide the leadership, support, and funding needed to finalize a drought contingency plan. From the Arizona Daily Sun.

These are the nation’s most ‘endangered’ rivers; top dishonor goes to the Lower Colorado River

(April 11, 2017) — Story on the annual report of the most endangered rivers by environmental group American Rivers, citing the Lower Colorado River tops this list, due to the fact that the demand for its water far outstrips its supply. It also reports on the organization’s efforts to reach out to Latino communities about preserving the Colorado River, as one-third of the nation’s Latino population lives in the river basin.  From USA Today.

To These Pastors, Saving the Colorado River Is a Divine Command

(April 16, 2017) —  A story on how Hispanic evangelical pastors have begun to preach a gospel of salvation for the struggling Colorado. These pastors, who connected through word of mouth and informal networks are organizing around a shared Christian belief in being stewards of the earth, sharing conservation tips in their sermons: From the New York Times.

What a River Can Teach Us; Sonoran Institute Blog 

(March 2017) A beautiful story on the impact nature can have on individuals—in this case, an introverted student, who opened up when participating in a visit to the restoration site in Colorado. From the Sonoran Institute Blog.

Stanford ranks states in the Colorado River Basin on water rights transfers

(March 28, 2017) — A new report from Stanford’s Water in the West program assesses progress among states in the Colorado River Basin with respect to environmental water rights transfers, a legal tool that enables water rights holders to voluntarily transfer their water to rivers, streams, and wetlands to benefit the environment and potentially generate revenue; with downloadable research report. From Stanford News.

Report: Climate change a growing factor in fall of Colorado River

(March 14, 2017) —A recent study on the declining Colorado River flows by Overpeck and Udall of Colorado State University found that — while numerous factors contribute — global warming accounted for anywhere from one-sixth to one-half of the decline in Colorado River flows. From Grand Canyon News.

Shaping the 2014 Colorado River Delta pulse flow: Rapid environmental flow design for ecological outcomes and scientific learning

(March 9. 2017) — From members of our Coalition Partners Eloise Kendy and Jenn Pitt, a Case Study on the results of the Minute 319 Pulse Flow, which documents the tradeoffs in designing the program, which led to a flow design that best met the needs of all parties while fully meeting the needs of none. From Science Direct.

Leveraging environmental flows to reform water management policy: Lessons learned from the 2014 Colorado River Delta pulse flow

(March 9, 2017) — From members of our Coalition Partners, a scientific paper on the lessons learned from the Minute 319 Pulse Flow. Included among the key findings were that ecological restoration is possible, even with this small water volume; and that active restoration site preparation and management were key to ecological success. From ScienceDirect.

The Colorado River Is Being Sapped By The Heat

(March 7, 2017) — The Colorado River is being sapped by rising temperatures and its fate is worse than most forecasters realize, according to a new study looking at the effects of climate change. The study concluded that no matter how much it rains or snows, the heat alone is taking a significant toll through evaporation and thirstier plants. From Colorado Public Radio.

Climate change is already reducing flows in the Colorado River, scientists report

(February 27, 2017) —  Experts are warning that the Colorado River — which has been battling drought for the past 15 years — is still facing serious long-term challenges, with the prospect of future warming causing the river’s flow to decline by as much as 35 percent by the end of the century, according to a new study.  From the Washington Post.

A Better Way to Meet America’s Needs: Invest in Nature

(March 3, 2017) — “Conserving our nation’s natural resources is not a partisan issue, and it is not a luxury. Nature is essential to our wellbeing and it offers solutions to some of the greatest economic and security challenges we face.” From The Nature Conservancy Blog.

West’s challenge is still water scarcity, wet winter or not

(February 23, 2017) —  States in the Colorado River basin have been turning a page toward a new era of water management. With climate change affecting water supplies already strained by urban growth, states in the Colorado River basin are being forced to innovate and adapt. From the Christian Science Monitor.

Colorado River Flows to Keep Shrinking as Climate Warms

(February 20, 2017) — New research published by The University of Arizona and Colorado State University is the first to show the large role that warming temperatures are playing in reducing the flows of the Colorado River, according to authors Bradley Udall of CSU and Jonathan Overpeck of the UA. From the University of Arizona News

On the Brink: A Colorado River Q&A with Michael Connor

(February 16, 2017) — Michael Connor, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, has joined the Walton Family Foundation as an Environment Program Fellow. He addresses major issues facing the Colorado River basin, sustainable water management and river restoration in this Q&A feature. From the Walton Family Foundation Blog

Saving the Colorado River before the water runs dry

(February 10, 2017) —The importance of the new administration giving immediate attention to the management and fate of the Colorado River, including working with Mexico to extend and expand the provisions of the 2012 Colorado River agreement that expires at the end of 2017. From The Hill

With new administration, is decades-old treaty with Mexico in danger?

(February 8, 2017) — A discussion on the possible reactions and repercussions of Colorado River management under more a challenging relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. From KSAT 

Trump-Mexico clash seen as threat to critical water talks

(January 30, 2017) —Deteriorating relations between the Trump administration and Mexico could complicate negotiations over Minute 32x, if Colorado River issues between the United States and Mexico are unable to be separated from other binational issues. From E&E News

Conservationists Embrace New Environmental Tool: Water Leasing

(January 20, 2017) — An in-depth look at the creative way water leasing is helping conservationists leverage these tools for environmental purposes. Our coalition partners Osvel Hinojosa of Pronatura Noroeste, The Nature Conservancy, Sonoran Institute and the Colorado River Delta Water Trust are featured. From Ecosystems Marketplace

Big unfinished business for Trump: Colorado River deals, the shrinking Salton Sea

(January 20, 2017) — Outgoing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell laid out a game plan for averting serious water shortages along the Colorado River in a 10-point directive, underscoring the importance of concluding the agreement between the U.S. and Mexican governments to share in reduced water deliveries. From The Desert Sun

Secretary Jewell Directs Continued Work on Crucial Colorado River Basin Water Agreements

(January 18, 2017) —Outgoing U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued a Secretarial Order directing the Department of the Interior and its bureaus to continue collaborative efforts to finalize important drought contingency actions and build on recent progress to complete “Minute 32X” – a long-term Colorado River bi-national cooperative agreement with Mexico. From The North Denver News

The next administration must protect the Colorado River Basin

(January 6, 2017) —Opinion piece from the independent Colorado River Future Project with specific recommendations to the new administration concerning the issues that must be addressed immediately to continue on a path of water security in the Colorado River basin. From The Denver Post

Arizona, Mexico Making Progress on New Colorado River Treaty

(December 28, 2016) — Optimistic update on Minute 319 renewal negotiations; From Arizona Science & Innovation

U.S. and Mexico push to extend accord on Colorado River

(December 16, 2016) — Report on the renegotiation efforts of Minute 32X, including a mention that the Trump transition team was asked for comment, yet did not respond. From the San Diego Union-Tribune

Pronatura Noroeste recibió el Premio al Mérito Ecológico 2016

(December 6, 2016) — Report on the awarding of Mexico’s Ecological Merit Award to Pronatura Noroeste on December 4 — congratulations!!! From the Pronatura Noroeste Blog

Trump win churns U.S.-Mexico water talks

(November 26, 2016) — Negotiators from both nations are hustling to finish a new agreement for sharing water from the Colorado River — before President Barack Obama leaves office. From Politico

Drought, Climate Change, and Existential Threats in the Colorado River Basin

(November 20, 2016) — Overview of issues impacting the shortage of water in the Colorado River basin, and efforts to solve this problem. From Mountain Town News

The Trump effect on U.S.-Mexico water talks

(November 21, 2016) — Negotiators are pressing to finish a new water-sharing between the U.S. and Mexico – the current agreement expires at the end of 2017, and the pressure is rising ahead of potential supply cuts that could kick in in 2018 along the river that provides the lifeblood of much of the American southwest. From Politico

Colorado River Delta Ecosystem Blooms After Historic Water Release

(November 11, 2016) — It has been proven that the Colorado River Delta has benefited from the releases of water that resulted from and agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. Help ensure this corporation on behalf of this region continues. Read, and be sure to take the action suggested at the end of the article to help encourage further flows…From the National Audubon Society Blog

Our Response to the 2016 Presidential Election

(November 10, 2016) — Excellent thought piece by coalition partner, Sonoran Institute. Included is the perspective on the pending renegotiation of Minute 319. From the Sonoran Institute Blog

Opportunity for recovering population of Yellow-billed Cuckoo

(November 2, 2016) — A report on the August 2016 workshop on Training Monitoring Techniques for the endangered Yellow-billed Cuckoo species, by Pronatura Noroeste in collaboration with Southern Sierra Research Station and Sonoran Joint Venture. From the Pronatura Blog

Study: Next US President Must Act Fast on Colorado River

(November 1, 2016) — Reporting on The Colorado River Future Project, a research study by the University of Colorado of policy- and decision-makers It cites as among the most urgent needs being to extend the pact signed in 2012 between the U.S. and Mexico — Minute 319. The study also states that treaty negotiations involving the International Boundary and Water Commission are “at a decisive stage, and should not be derailed by unrelated political considerations.”  From VOA

Two Years Later, Water Release Continues to Bring Life to Colorado River Delta

(November 1, 2016) —Two years following the 2014 release of one-hundred-six-thousand acre-feet of water from Morelos Dam near Yuma into the parched Colorado River Delta — part of a joint environmental effort between the U.S. and Mexico —researchers say the results are positive. From KAWC News/BBC

Top Four Scientific Results of the Pulse Flow

(October 31, 2016) —Highlights of the Interim Report issued by the International Boundary Water Commission, United States and Mexico sections, outlining the scientific results to date of the 2014 “pulse flow” of water into the Colorado River Delta. From The Nature Conservancy Blog

UA Scientists study effects of 2014 ‘pulse flow’ in the Colorado River Delta

(October 29, 2016) —The International Boundary and Water Commission reported on the beneficial impacts of an engineered flood of the Colorado River delta in 2014. Scientists from the UA, as well as from the Nature Conservancy and the Sonoran Institute, contributed to the report. From The Daily Wildcat

Colorado River River Delta Still Thrives 2 Years after Dam Flow

(October 28, 2016) Two growing seasons after the water release, a monitoring team has found it supported bird life and plant life while recharging the groundwater in the delta. From Arizona Public Media

Ever wonder what Minutes have to do with Water?

(October 26, 2016) — There’s been a lot of news coverage on a recent report about our historic work in the Colorado River Delta. Just hearing about it? Our newest blog post answers your FAQ’s and gets you up to speed with our groundbreaking environmental project. From Sonoran Institute

Manmade Flood Gives Life to Colorado River Delta

(October 26, 2016) —A profile of our Colorado River program & how it is restoring life to the Delta; From Circle of Blue

Colorado River Delta flood keep paying off

(October 26, 2016) —Two growing seasons after the engineered spring flood of the Colorado River Delta in 2014, the delta’s birds, plants, and groundwater continue to benefit, according to a new report. From Futurity

A River Ran Through it and Brought Life, At Least for a While

(October 24, 2016) U.S. Geological Survey scientists are studying the effects on the environment of the 2014 pulse flow of water into the into the mostly dry delta of the Colorado River along the U.S.-Mexico border, as part of a historic, bi-national collaborative effort. From United States Geological Survey (press release)

More birds, new trees after Colorado River ‘pulse flow’

(October 24, 2016) —Fresh stands of cottonwood and willow trees rising in the Colorado River Delta are evidence of the lasting environmental benefits an eight-week “pulse flow” of water deliveries to the area more than two years ago, according to a newly released report by U.S. and Mexican scientists. From The San Diego Union-Tribune

‘Farming Nature’ helps restore Colorado Delta cottonwoods, willows

(October 24, 2016) — The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) published a study indicating that pulse flows in the Colorado River Basin could help restore the native environment: the study finds that native flora and fauna could return to the long-dried-out Colorado River channel. Jennifer Pitt from the National Audubon Society is quoted. From Arizona Daily Star

Pulses of Water Bring Life to the Famished Colorado River Delta

(October 21, 2016) —The Colorado River is one of the world’s most endangered rivers. But recent pulses of water have started to bring life back to the famished region. From National Audubon Society

Two Years After the Colorado Pulse Flow — An Abundance of Life

(October 21, 2016) —Two growing seasons after the 2014 engineered “pulse flow” release of water by the International Boundary Water Commission to help restore the Colorado River delta, it appears that birds, plants and groundwater in the delta have indeed been benefitted from it. From Earth Island Journal

Colorado River Delta still benefiting from flood experiment

(October 21, 2016) —The Colorado River Delta captured in a 2004 image from the International Space Station. Via NASA Earth Observatory. From Summit County Citizens Voice

Celebrating the Mexicali Fluye Project

(October 21, 2016) — The Sonoran Institute’s new and innovative program is transforming Mexicali’s drainages from dumping grounds to community assets. From Sonoran Institute

Colorado River Delta Flows Help Birds, Plants, Groundwater

(October 19, 2016) — Two growing seasons after the 2014 engineered spring flood, the delta’s birds, plants and groundwater continue to benefit, according to a report by a binational, UA-led team. From UA College of Science – University of Arizona

The future of water in the Southwest

(October 4-10, 2016) — A three-part series examining the work ASU is doing to protect water as a resource in the arid West. Part 1 looks at the current situation and how we got here; Part 2 explores science and research, and Part 3 discusses law, policy, challenges — and some good news. From ASU: Part 1Part 2Part 3

Sonoran Institute y su misión de volver a la vida el delta del río Colorado

(October 10, 2016) — Desde hace 20 años la asociación civil Sonoran Institute viene trabajando en la zona, los sitios de restauración están ubicados en el valle de Mexicali, donde se han plantado miles de árboles nativos con ayuda de voluntarios, escuelas y sociedad en general. From SCIRE

Pay to save: Commission offers $1.8 million to leave Colorado River untouched

(October 7, 2016) — The Upper Colorado River Commission will fund $1.8 million in pilot projects if Colorado River users in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming are willing to reduce their consumptive use of the water. The effort is testing what works in a drought. From Desert News Utah

Why We Fight Over Water, and How We Can Save Ourselves

(September 19, 2016) — This article discusses John Fleck’s new book Water Is for Fighting Over: And Other Myths About Water in the West, his background in environmental reporting, and his research on the Colorado River Basin. From Outside

Death by Drops: The Compounding of Water Loss

(September 16, 2016) — This interview with Peter McBride focuses on McBride’s passion for water conservation, from dubbing himself a  “reductionarian” to offering suggestions on how to conserve water at home. From GearJunkie

Maybe the West’s Water Wars Aren’t as Bad as You Think

(September 20, 2016) — A review of John Fleck’s new book, Water Is for Fighting Over: And Other Myths About Water in the West and interview with Fleck detailing how the book illustrates how states, communities, and water rights holders have learned that the winner-takes-all approach to water management is a losing proposition. From Wired

Pronatura wins Mexico’s Ecological Merit Awards

(September 14, 2016) — Article congratulating Pronatura on this award, and detailing its work in protecting birdlife, and their many other achievements in conservation. From BirdLife International

Mexico’s SEMARNAP Announces Winners of 2016 Ecological Merit Awards /Semarnat da a conocer resultados del Premio al Mérito Ecológico 2016

(August 31, 2016)— ProNatura Noroeste awarded the 2016 Ecological Merit Award in the category of Social/Community…congratulations! From the Mexico Government’s website, Gob.mx.

Desert Alive

(August 23, 2016) — Personal account by Gabriela Gonzalez-Olimon of the Sonoran Institute, on how a student trip to the Colorado River Delta led to her journey to help reclaim the beauty of what was once one of the largest estuaries in the world. From the Sonoran Institute Blog

Investing Our Way Out of the Global Water Crisis

(August 22, 2016) — Report and white paper on how finance, farming and freshwater conservation are becoming increasingly connected; includes the Colorado River Delta. From The Nature Conservancy

‘Climate change is water change’ — why the Colorado River System is headed for major trouble

(August 19, 2016) – Experts agree that they must be a collaborative effort among all the beneficiaries of the Colorado River system, following a new report issued by the Bureau of Reclamation on future impacts of the drought on the Colorado River system. Featuring comments by Raise the River coalition partners Jennifer Pitt, the National Audubon Society’s Colorado River project director, and Taylor Hawes, The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado River program director. From The Washington Post

Smarter Water Decisions Could Help End the West’s Dry Run

(Summer 2016) — Overview of Audubon’s work to help ensure that new water-saving rules protect and restore habitat for birds and other wildlife, and speaks about their work in the Colorado River Delta. From Audubon Magazine

Honor the Colorado River by protecting it

(July 24, 2016) — Celebrating and reflecting on what this mighty river means in our daily lives and to our history, in honor of Colorado River Day. From The Daily Sentinel

Partnering to sustain the Colorado River for people and nature

(July 24, 2016) — An opportunity for innovative, collaborative approaches for increased partnerships between government, producers, recreational interests and conservation groups on behalf of the Colorado River. The Montrose Press story is here

¡agua! 

(Julio 2016) — Story on the Colorado River Delta, and Raise the River’s work to restore it, featuring an interview with Francisco Zamora. Read the story, from Frontera Norte

The Colorado River’s unexpected carbon footprint

(July 26, 2016) — Flooding a dry riverbed restored vegetation, but released unexpected methane and carbon dioxide, leading researchers to observe that the cost of drying out rivers are greater than we knew. Read the full story from High Country News, here

Building a New Future for the Colorado River

(July 12, 2016) — Overview of the National Audubon’s Colorado River Project, and interview with its new Director, Jennifer Pitt, on how we can work together to save the river — also speaking to the importance of restoring the Delta. Read the full story on the Audubon Blog, here

Tracking cultural ecosystem services: water chasing the Colorado River restoration pulse flow

(July 2016 edition) – Using the Colorado River “pulse flow” as an example, this research paper tracks the two-way feedbacks between humans and environmental flows. Read the full report from Science Direct, here 

Restoring the Colorado River Estuary

(June 2016) – An overview of what the Sonoran Institute and their partners are doing successfully in the Colorado River Delta’s estuary to help restore one of the great wetlands of North America. Read the full story, on the Sonoran Institute Blog, here

Sally Jewell sees progress in Colorado River talks

(May 5, 2016) – Interior Secretary Jewell sees important progress on a new bi-national accord for the Colorado River. Read the full story from The Desert Sun, here

NatGeo photographer talks fresh water at MPAC 

(April 21, 2016) – NatGeo photographer talks fresh water at MPAC, and connects attendees in New Jersey to the Colorado River. Read the full story and watch the video on USA Today: Daily Record, here

A River’s Return

(April 2016) – A look at the progress and impact of the return of water to the Colorado River Delta, one year after the pulse flow. Read the full story from Edible Baja Magazine, here

How much drinking and fighting can the Colorado River take? 

(April 1, 2016) – Essay on the state of the Colorado River. Read the story from CNN, here

How water markets and impact investment can help save the Colorado River

(April 2016) – Interview with Season Martin, water projects director for the Colorado River Program. Read more from The Nature Conservancy Blog, here

Saving the Colorado River, One Wave at a Time

(February 25, 2016) – Audubon’s work to help protect the Colorado, featuring Jenn Pitt. Read more, from Audubon, here

It’s Time to Restore the Flow of our Planet’s Life-Giving Waters

(February 11, 2016) – Highlights the restoration/flows taking place in the Colorado River Delta. Read more from ENSIA, here

The Deal That Brought the Colorado River Back to the Sea

(January 26, 2016) Recap of Minute 319, and how it led to the pulse flow. Read the full story from Yes! Magazine, here

Eloise Kendy: Raise The River Update

(January 8, 2016) – Update on the progress in the Colorado River Delta since the pulse flow. Read more from The Nature Conservancy, here

Lifeline in a Desert – The Colorado River in Three Stories

(December 18, 2015) – A broadcast sharing stories of the Colorado River, including the story of the pulse flow. Listen in, from Utah Public Radio, here

 Fly to Save the Earth

(December 2015) – How an army of volunteer pilots help conservationists survey an endangered planet. Read the full story, from Air & Space Smithsonian, here

Univision: Colorado river: Hispanics to the rescue

(September 17, 2015) – A stunning and comprehensive multi-part story on how the Hispanic community is contributing to the restoration of the Colorado River, featuring members of the Raise the River team. Watch the video and read the full story from Univision, here

New Belgium Brewing Flies the Delta

(July 23, 2015) – Lighthawk takes key participants up in the air to see the progress in the Colorado River Delta, to support New Belgium Brewing’s Corporate Support. Read more, on the Lighthawk blog, here

A River’s Return

(July-August 2015) Cover story on how the Colorado River Meets its Delta. Read the full story on Edible Baja Arizona, here

Sustainability Stories – Minute 319

(July 9, 2015) – While stories of water conflict and shortage seem all-too-common, there are some great examples of progress out there that keep us paddling. Read more on the New Belgium Blog, here

Mexican canal lining brings cross-border dividends

(July 4, 2015) – Farmers like Neftali Torres Campos have been waiting for decades for the lining of Canal Revolución, which conveys water from the Colorado River to their fields south of the Arizona border. Read the full story from the San Diego Union Tribune, here

The River’s Return

(June/July 2015) – The quiet resurrection of the dry Colorado River. Read the full story from The Nature Conservancy Magazine, here

From the Mississippi to the Tigris: River restoration lessons travel far

(June 2, 2015) The Colorado River Delta offers lessons on river management in other parts of the world. Read the story from the EDF Blog, here

Flying the Colorado River Pulse

(May 27, 2015) – Recollections from volunteer pilot Bob Allen on his flights surveying the Colorado River Delta. Read more on the Lighthawk blog, here

Where the River Runs Dry

(May 25, 2015) – The Colorado and America’s water crisis. Read the full story from The New Yorker, here

One year later, a look at a historic agreement that reconnected the Colorado River with the Gulf of California

(May 14, 2015) – Since 1960, the Colorado river hasn’t reached the Gulf, except during a few very wet years. That changed last year… Read the full story from Tucson News Now, here

Mapping the Colorado River Delta – a recognition that Mexico is a part of the basin

(May 13, 2015) – On the heels of the enormously successful Minute 319 environmental pulse flow down through that Mexican Delta, a quiet recognition that the Colorado River Basin is a thing changed. Read the full story from Inkstain.net, here

Good News from the U.S.-Mexican Border

(May 3, 2015) – No, that wasn’t a mirage. It was actually water—the Colorado River—flowing through a desert riverbed that hadn’t seen it in decades. Read the full story from AllGov, here

Eloise Kendy: One Year Later

(May 2015) – Conservancy scientist Eloise Kendy travels a familiar road to see the results of last year’s historic water release. Read the full story, from The Nature Conservancy, here

River Network Announces 2015 River Heroes Award Winners

(April 28, 2015) – Five leaders from the river and water conservation community have been recognized by River Network for their exceptional personal and professional achievements in support of healthy rivers – including our own Jennifer Pitt, for her work as Colorado River Project Director, Environmental Defense Fund.  Read the full story from the River Network, here

US-Mexico water pact brings life back to Colorado River’s parched delta

(April 27, 2015) – A single pulse flow of water reconnects the ‘American Nile’ with the Sea of Cortez for the first time in decades. Read the full story from Al Jazeera America, here

Colorado River Pulse Flow ‘Has Long-Lasting Effects’

(April 15, 2015) – One year ago the governments of the U.S. and Mexico worked together on a historic project to send water down the parched Colorado River Delta in Mexico. Read the full story from Arizona Public Media, here

Move the Ocean

(January 29, 2015) – Robert Redford & Will Ferrell in Colorado River Spoof: Raise the River vs. Move the Ocean. Read more, on Democracy Now, here

Eloise Kendy: Six Months After the Pulse Flow

(January 2015) – Conservancy scientist Eloise Kendy returns to the Colorado River Delta to see the results of the historic release of water. Read more, from The Nature Conservancy, here

Vegetation Response to Lower Colorado River pulse flow in 2014

(December 23, 2014) – It was 2000 the last time the Colorado River reached the Sea of Cortez, and over that time there has been a decline in the amount of healthy vegetation along the lower reaches of the river. Watch the video, from LandSat/NASA, here

With Water Life Returns to the Colorado River

(December 19, 2014) – Last spring, on the eighth day of the release of Colorado River water into its channel at the US-Mexico border – an event known as the “pulse flow” – I witnessed something extraordinary… Read the full story, from National Geographic, here

Saving the Colorado River Delta, One Habitat at a Time

(December 15, 2014) – A trickle of water is being returned to a few parts of the dried-out delta—and those parts are blooming. Read the full story, from National Geographic, here

Special water delivery benefits Colorado River Delta

(Dec. 10, 2014) A binational effort aimed at reviving parched wetlands in the Colorado River Delta in Mexico through special deliveries of water has met with initial success, according to a report released Wednesday. Scientists from the United States and Mexico are noting recharged aquifers, increased vegetation and an increased presence of migratory birds in open water areas since last spring’s “pulse flow,” which infused 105,392 acre-feet of water from Lake Mead into the delta during an eight-week period, the report states. Read the entire San Diego Tribune article

Initial Progress Report – Colorado River Pulse Flow – International Boundary and Water Commission: US and Mexico

(December 4, 2014) Based on ongoing monitoring efforts tracking the results of the Pulse Flow, this initial progress report from a bi-national commission reports on the effects and impacts it has had to date on the Colorado River Delta.  Read the entire Progress Report

Down by the River

(November – December 2014) – A story recalling the past, when the Sonoran Desert city of Yuma, Arizona, was a true river town. Read how the town has changed, with the departure of its indigenous residents and because of the current reality without water in its river.  Read the full article from Orion Magazine here

A River Resurrected

(November 26, 2014) – For the first time in more than 60 years, the Colorado River has reunited with the Sea of Cortez. Named one of the magazine’s Top Stories of 2014.Read the full story from Discover Magazine, here

When A River Doesn’t Run Through It – Pete McBride talks about his work on the Colorado River and the Ganges

(November 26, 2014) – Photographer and filmmaker Pete McBride is a lover of rivers. His work has focused on rivers around the world. In the United States, McBride’s photos and films have centered on the Colorado River, reminding us that the entire Southwest depends upon the Colorado River watershed. Read the full article from Earth Island Journal here

Channeling the Colorado River Delta Back From the Dead

(October 15, 2014) – As a matter of geographic trivia, did you ever wonder where the Colorado River drains into the ocean? That’s actually kind of a trick question: it doesn’t. Like too many of the world’s great rivers today — the Ganges, the Yellow, the Nile, for other distressing examples — the Colorado River never makes it to the ocean in any recognizable form. Read the full article from The Huffington Post here

Back on Course

(September 15, 2014) – The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the American Southwest. Can an historic agreement bring back its waters? Read the full story, from Scholastic.com, here

A River Running

(September 4, 2014) – If Boulder Creek dried up, and the bridge on Broadway spanned nothing but an empty stretch of sand, and it stayed that way for decades, eventually people would forget what it had meant to see a stream running there. To have place to put feet in the water, a green bank on which to sit, a surge to seed the cottonwoods and willows downstream, an exhale from the mountains when the snow unpacks itself into melt water each spring. Read the full article from the Boulder Weekly here

Different channels to a ‘living river’

(August 5, 2014) – “You’ve got to deal with people, farmers, companies, everyone,” Sandra Postel told me last week when I asked about the work she’s doing trying to find environmentally sustainable solutions to western North America’s water problems.

In other words, you’ve got to cooperate. Read the full Albuquerque Journal article here

An acting legend explains a problem. A hilarious comedian explains how to fix it — the American way.

(July 24, 2014) – In honor of Colorado River Day, a humorous look at a serious problem, featuring Robert Redford and Will Ferrell. Read more, from Upworthy, here

Well, I’ll Be Un-Dammed: Colorado River (Briefly) Reached The Sea

(July 13, 2014) – For a few weeks this spring, the Colorado River flowed all the way to the sea for the first time in a half a century. And during that window of opportunity, writer Rowan Jacobsen took the paddleboarding trip of a lifetime. Read the full WUWM article here

With help from a flood, scientists and activists nurse a bit of the Colorado River Delta back to life

(June 23, 2014) – About 150 miles east of San Diego, Morelos Dam stops the Colorado River in its tracks right at the US-Mexico border. Here, the last stretch of the once-mighty river is diverted from its natural path into an irrigation canal, bound for Mexican farms. It’s been this way for most of the last half century. But then, for a few weeks this spring, it suddenly wasn’t. Read the full PRI article

Water War Bubbling up Between California and Arizona

(June 20, 2014) – Once upon a time, California and Arizona went to war over water. The year was 1934, and Arizona was convinced that the construction of Parker Dam on the lower Colorado River was merely a plot to enable California to steal its water rights. Its governor, Benjamin Moeur, dispatched a squad of National Guardsmen up the river to secure the eastern bank from the decks of the ferryboat Julia B. — derisively dubbed “Arizona’s navy” by a Times war correspondent assigned to cover the skirmish. After the federal government imposed a truce, the guardsmen returned home as “conquering heroes.” Read the LOS ANGELES TIMES article.

Colorado River Researchers find signs of Ancient, Devasting Floods

(June 19, 2014) – Scientists say it would have been a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. If the Glen Canyon Dam had failed, it would have changed the lives of millions of people and reshaped the history of the American West.  Read the LOS ANGELES TIMES article.

Vanishing Water

(June 15, 2014) – The biggest reservoir in the United States is dropping 1 foot each week. Lake Mead’s rapidly sinking water level is set to reach an all-time low in July, driven down by a 14-year drought that scientists say is one of the most severe to hit the Colorado River in more than 1,200 years.  Read the DESERT SUN article.

Colorado River Delta Begins to Come Back from the Dead

(June 12, 2014) – The temperature had finally dropped below 100 degrees as Juan Butrón and Alejandra Calvo set out toward the bank of the Colorado River, about 10 miles south of the Mexican border town Algodones. Watch the video and read the complete story from KPBS, here

The Day We Set the Colorado River Free

(June 10, 2014) – It’s been more than 50 years since the Colorado River regularly reached the sea. But this spring, the U.S. and Mexico let the water storm through its natural delta for a grand experiment in ecological restoration. As the dam gates opened, a small band of river rats caught a once-in-a-lifetime ride.  Read the OUTSIDE MAGAZINE article.

The River Runs to It… Again

(June 2014) – Thanks to an historic agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, water—and hope—have returned to the Colorado River Delta. Read more, from The Nature Conservancy, here

A Historic Course Change on the Colorado River

U.S. Mexico Experiment Aims to Resurrect the Colorado River Delta

(March 23, 2014)  – The mighty Colorado River, which over millenniums has carved the Grand Canyon, does an unusual thing when it gets south of the Arizona-Mexico border. It dies. The Morelos Dam — sitting on the international boundary — serves as its headstone, diverting nearly all of the river water into an aqueduct that serves agriculture as well as homes in Tijuana. But starting Sunday, the river will flow again, part of an unprecedented experiment by U.S. and Mexican officials.  Read the full LA TIMES article.

Historic “Pulse Flow” Brings Water to Parched Colorado River Delta

(March 22, 2014) – On March 23, 2014, the gates of Morelos Dam on the Arizona-Mexico border will be lifted to allow a “pulse flow” of water into the final stretch of the Colorado River. Officials and scientists hope the water will help restore a landscape that has long been arid but that once supported a rich diversity of life.  Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.

This World Water Day, Something Big to Celebrate

(March 21, 2014) – On Monday, March 24, I leave on a trip to witness an event I thought I’d never see: the Colorado River flowing through it’s delta to the sea. Except in years of unusually high precipitation in it’s watershed, the Colorado hasn’t coursed through it’s delta for most of the last half century.  It’s entire flow – powerful enough to carve the Grand Canyon – is dammed and diverted to supply burgeoning cities and farmlands.  Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.

Water Returns to Arid Colorado River Delta

(March 18, 2014) – On 23 March, operators at the Morelos Dam along the US–Mexico border near Yuma, Arizona, will open the gates and begin releasing water downstream. The goal is to dampen broad swathes of the arid Colorado River delta for the first time in decades, allowing new cottonwood and willow trees to germinate and restore small patches of riparian habitat.  Read the full NATURE article.

Will Ferrell and Robert Redford fight for Colorado River

(March 18, 2014) – Leave it to a comedy A-lister and a legendary actor to help make a PSA-style video about a river basin and climate change worth watching. Read the story, on MSNBC, here

New Hope for the Delta

(March 17, 2014) – Just outside the dusty Mexican town of Carranza, Francisco Zamora wheels his Toyota pickup off the highway and down a gravel road along an irrigation canal. To one side, irregular farm fields flash by, fringed with reeds, sunflowers and an occasional shaggy palm. On the other side lies the bone-dry bed of the Colorado River. Straitjacketed between two levees roughly a mile apart and choked with mean, gray-green tamarisk, or salt cedar, it nonetheless has an emphatic presence – like a prehistoric creature waiting to rumble back to life.  Read the full HIGH COUNTRY NEWS article.

Will Ferrell and Robert Redford Make a Hilarious PSA for the Colorado River

(March 16, 2014) – Everyone knows the fastest way to spread the word about a topic is to get it to “go viral,” especially with an eminently shareable video — and that’s just what happened with the issue of the ever-drying Colorado River when Will Ferrell and Robert Redford teamed up to make a PSA about it. The clip starts out like just about any other issue ad — soaring orchestral music, majestic Planet Earth-style tracking shots of landscape, as Redford calmly and thoughtfully lays out his case for the importance of reconnecting the Colorado River with the ocean.  Read the full BUSTLE article.

Deluge to Bring Wetlands Back 

(March 15, 2014) – A gush of water reminiscent of the spring floods that once slaked lush wetlands here will surge past the dusty U.S. border next weekend and — with luck — carry the Southwest’s grandest river to the sea for the first time since 1998. For half a century, the Colorado River’s great dams and the 30 million people who siphon water from the reservoirs ­behind them have effectively killed the river at Morelos Dam, west of Yuma.  Read the full AZ CENTRAL article.

Water Release May Revive Colorado River Delta

(March 14, 2014) – The Colorado River Delta will bloom once again if everything goes according to plan. Beginning March 23, U.S. and Mexican officials will release more than 105,000 acre-feet of water through the last dam on the Colorado River over an eight-week period.  Read the full IMPERIAL VALLEY PRESS article.

Will Ferrell Takes on Robert Redford for BSSP, Raise the River

(March 13, 2014) – Sausalito, CA-based Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners are rolling out a new campaign today for Raise the River, “an organization that has been working to bring water to the Colorado River and restore it to the Gulf of California.”  Read more, from AdWeek/Media Bistro, here

Robert Redford, Will Ferrell and Kelly Slater Feud Over Best Solution for Restoring Colorado River Delta

(March 13, 2014) Actors Robert Redford and Will Ferrell, along with Professional Surfer Kelly Slater, are lending their creativity and talent to support Raise the River, a campaign designed to help breathe life back into the Colorado River Delta. The campaign aims to raise $10 million by 2017 to restore a 70-mile stretch of river and wetland habitat and to benefit the communities of the long-neglected Delta. Raise the River, working with like-minded partners in the United States and Mexico, is giving the public an opportunity to be part of restoring the Colorado River as the life force of the American West. Click here for more information from RAISE THE RIVER.

Young Farmer Saves Water in Innovative Ways

On a cold and dry December Friday, Zach Hauser is getting ready for a weekend of hunting. The next morning at about 4 a.m., he and a handful of friends will make a nearly three-hour uphill trek into the Arizona woods. There they will tread quietly looking for elk and whitetail deer. On occasion, they come across a mountain lion. They will probably return late the same night, but “if we get something, we might stay the night and sleep on the ground,” Hauser says. “It’s better to carry it back in the morning.”  Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.

A Pulse of Life at the Mouth of the Colorado

(March 10, 2014) – A river bled dry by thirsty cities and farms in two countries will flow once again through northern Mexico later this month in an international experiment in habitat restoration. Beginning March 23, the last dam on the Colorado River will open its gates to unleash a man-made flood that is scheduled to last eight weeks and send more than 100,000 acre-feet of water to the river’s delta, the biggest flood in decades.  Read the full LAS VEGAS REVIEW article.

Colorado River Delta to Receive Infusion of Water

(March 4, 2014) – The United States and Mexico plan to collaborate this month on a pilot project aimed at restoring wetlands in the Colorado River delta in Baja California through a one-time high-volume delivery of river water, a move hailed as historic by environmental groups on both sides of the border.  Read the full U-T SAN DIEGO article.

US and Mexico to Send Water into Parched Delta

(March 3, 2014)  The U.S. and Mexican governments have approved a plan to carry out a historic and vital step in advancing cooperative management of the binational Colorado River. The two governments, acting through the U.S. and Mexican sections of the International Boundary and Water Commission, are moving forward with a pilot “pulse flow” of water into the long-depleted delta of the Colorado River, where water has not flowed regularly since 1960. Read the full SONORAN INSTITUTE release.

Scientists Plan for Grand Experiment in Colorado River Delta

(December 12, 2013) – Once written off as dying of thirst and beyond revival, the delta of the Colorado River is slated to get a rejuvenating flood that for scientists offers a unique opportunity: the chance to study how plants, trees, birds, fisheries, and the vast delta ecosystem as a whole respond to an experimental pulse of river water.  Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.