Raise the River is a unique partnership of six 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, Restauremos el Colorado, A.C., and the National Audubon Society,
Final Minute 319 Monitoring Report
- Interim Monitoring Report (May 19, 2016): Colorado River Limitrophe and Delta Environmental Flows Monitoring Interim Report
2017 Accomplishments Report
Minute 323 Adoption
In the News
Restoring the Colorado: Bringing New Life to a Stressed River
(February 14, 2019) — Part V concludes the series, Crisis on the Colorado, and discusses the ecological impact of the disappearing Colorado River. It prominently features the work of the Raise the River coalition of partners, and Francisco Zamora, of Sonoran Institute. From Yale360/Environment
EDITORIAL: Growing Water Smart? Part Three
(February 13, 2019) —An examination of the Las Arenitas Wetlands Project as a solution to a poorly functioning wastewater treatment plant and an example for other communities to follow. Featuring the work of Francisco Zamora and the Sonoran Institute. From the Pagosa Daily Post, part of a 4-part series
What is Happening With the Colorado River Drought Plans?
(February 7, 2019) — An update on where the Drought Contingency Plan stands: Five states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nevada — have completed their plans, as has Mexico, which is a party to the Agreement. However, California and Arizona are still pending to complete their portions to put forth a final agreement for signing. Despite the flurry of activity surrounding the January 31 deadline imposed by Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, the two states were deemed by the Bureau as to have not have done enough for the deal to be considered “done.” Burman has issued a new deadline of March 4 for those states to finish the plans. A complete rundown is provided. From AZPublicMedia News
In Era of Drought, Phoenix Prepares for a Future Without Colorado River Water
(February 7, 2019) — In Part IV of the series, Crisis on the Colorado, a look at the progressive and aggressive steps Phoenix is taking to prepare for a time when they can no longer depend on water from the Colorado River. Includes quotes from Taylor Hawes, of the Nature Conservancy’s Colorado River program. From Yale360/Environment
Running Dry: New Strategies for Conserving Water on the Colorado
(January 31, 2019) — Part III of the series, Crisis on the Colorado, examines various measures and strategies for conserving Colorado River Water, and features the leadership of the Nature Conservancy. TNC’s Taylor Hawes is quoted, saying, “Our goal is that whatever solutions we come up with for people also work for nature.” From Yale360/Environment
As a shortage looms, groundwater takes on added importance in the Colorado River Delta
(January 22, 2019) — A look at the potential impact of groundwater shortages on restoration efforts in the Delta, featuring Osvel Hinojosa/Pronatura, Eloise Kendy/Nature Conservancy, Jennifer Pitt/Audubon, Gaby Coloca/Pronatura and our work in the restoration sites of Laguna Grande, Miguel Aleman, and El Chausse. From AZCentral
On the Water-Starved Colorado River, Drought Is the New Normal
(January 22, 2019) — Part II of the series, Crisis on the Colorado, looks back at the water-sharing legislation and climate mis-calculations which have led to the over-allocation of Colorado River water for too many years. Compounded by climate change impacts, strict cutbacks appear imminent, as the basin states work to create a Drought Contingency Plan. From Yale360/Environment
The West’s Great River Hits Its Limits: Will the Colorado Run Dry?
(January 14, 2019) — The Colorado River Basin has been locked in the grip of a nearly unrelenting drought since 2000, and the two great water savings accounts on the river — Lake Mead and Lake Powell — are at all-time lows. An officially announced crisis could be at hand in the coming months. The first in a 5-part series of articles exploring the Colorado River Water crisis. From Yale Environment 360
Colorado River Delta Report Provides Restoration Road Map
Four growing seasons after the engineered spring flood of the Colorado River Delta in March 2014, the delta’s birds, plants and groundwater continue to benefit, according to a report prepared for the International Boundary and Water Commission by a binational University of Arizona-led team. From TheWaterNetwork
2019 Will Be a Big Year for Water
(January 4, 2019) — A look at five key issues that relate to water — and specifically to the Colorado River — that will be at hand during 2019. It is poised to be a year of reckoning on the Colorado River, which supplies water to 40 million people and 5.5 million acres of farmland. From EcoWatch
Bird Abundance Increases in Colorado River Delta after 2014 Pulse Flow, New Report Says
(December 17, 2018) — Collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico—supported by a coalition of nonprofits including Audubon — lead to a 20% increase in bird abundance and a 42% increase in bird diversity, according to a new study from the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). From the Audubon Blog
Four Years After Water Released Into Colorado River, Benefits Continue
(December 17, 2018) — A report released on Friday provides the findings of a team of scientists who have been monitoring the impacts of a planned release of water into the bone-dry delta of the Colorado River in 2014. Four years later, the environmental benefits continue… From Arizona Public Media
UA Report: Colorado River Delta Restoration Efforts Are Succeeding
(December 16, 2018) — Radio story on the new University of Arizona report that documents how the efforts to restore the Colorado River Delta are working, with birds, plants and groundwater continuing to benefit four growing seasons after an engineered flood of the delta, as well as other deliveries of water through December 2017. From NPR/KJZZ
Resultados de los flujos ambientales en el Bajo Río Colorado y su Delta
(14 de diciembre, 2018) — La Comisión Internacional de Límites y Aguas entre México y los Estados Unidos ha publicado el “Informe Final del Acta 319 sobre el Monitoreo de los Flujos Ambientales en el tramo limítrofe del Río Colorado y su Delta”. El Pionero
Colorado River Delta Report Provides Restoration Road Map
(December 14, 2018) — A report prepared for the International Boundary and Water Commission by a binational University of Arizona-led team provides solid scientific information showing that the delta’s birds, plants and groundwater continue to benefit after the engineered spring flood of the Colorado River Delta in March 2014. From University of Arizona News
Science Daily: Colorado River Delta report provides restoration road map
(December 14, 2018) — Four growing seasons after the engineered spring flood of the Colorado River Delta in March 2014, the delta’s birds, plants and groundwater continue to benefit, according to a report prepared for the International Boundary and Water Commission by a binational University of Arizona-led team. From Science News
Collaboration Drives Results for Colorado River Delta Restoration
(December 14, 2018) — A first-hand account of what it has been like being a member of the Science Team measuring the results of the 2014 Pulse Flow and subsequent water deliveries into the Colorado River Delta by Karen Schlatter. “As a result, going forward under a new 9-year binational agreement that was signed in September 2017, water flows will be used to ensure that the people of the river have recreational and cultural benefits, in addition to the benefits to critters and plants.” From Sonoran Institute Blog
Collaboration for the Colorado River Delta
(December 14, 2018) — Raise the River’s announcement of the release of scientific findings, and complete backgrounder on the Minute 319 Environmental Flows Monitoring Final Report. From the Raise the River Blog
A larger issue looms over short-term Colorado River plan: climate change
(December 14, 2018) — With the water level in Lake Mead hovering near a point that would trigger a first-ever official shortage on the Colorado River, representatives of California, Arizona, and Nevada are trying to wrap up a plan to prevent the water situation from spiraling into a major crisis. Looming over the negotiations is a long-term issue that is intensifying the strains on the river: climate change. From AZCentral
Raise the River: Binational collaboration on the Colorado River
(December 6, 2018) — Audubon Western Water Webinar on the Binational Collaboration on the Colorado River Delta, featuring Jennifer Pitt; From Audubon Arizona YouTube
On Hope, Birds, and Tacos
(December 3, 2018) — First person account of touring the Ciénega de Santa Clara, referred to as the last great wetland of the Colorado River Delta, by Karyn Stockdale. “There’s more work to be done in the Colorado River Delta, but we are witnessing the positive change envisioned years ago that is bringing back the river and birds that depend on these riparian and wetland habitats.” From the Audubon blog
States voice shared goal for helping Colorado River basin
(November 9, 2018) — Failure is not an option for the state representatives up and down the Colorado River Basin who met to address the threat of drought to water supplies through a suite of proposed new agreements, as talks on the DCP continued. From The Daily Sentinal
Environment Report: Tribes Want a Say in the Colorado River’s Future
(November 5, 2018) — The Colorado River Ten Tribes Partnership is asking for a seat at the table for tribes to be part of the ongoing discussion about the future of the Colorado River. From the Voice of San Diego
Why a Chinese community settled in the Mexican desert
(October 27, 2018) — While not related to our work in the Delta, this tells the story of how a community of Chinese came to settle Mexicali, after their work in completing the railroad for the Colorado River Company was completed, and they were driven out of the U.S. It details their contribution to the growth of agriculture in this region, and accounts for why there exists a vibrant Chinese community in northern Mexico. From DialogoChino.net
Colorado’s east-west water divide poses risks for completion of a Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan
(October 21, 2018) — A disagreement over how to implement Colorado River conservation adds a hurdle to final completion of the Colorado River Drought Conservation Plan. The dilemma for the seven-state DCP is it’s generally accepted that federal legislation only happens if all seven states (and therefore their 14 U.S. senators) agree. From Inkstain
Unnatural wonder: A 16-day journey to the heart of the Colorado River
(October 20, 2018) — A 30-minute video of a 16-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, interviewing scientists, government officials, and guides to discuss the ecology of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. From the Arizona Republic
Pronatura Noreste produjo 35 000 árboles nativos para la restauración del Río Colorado
(October 15/2018) — Además de producir 35,000 árboles y arbustos nativos que se utilizarán este otoño en las actividades de reforestación, Pronatura Northwest A.C. promueve un programa de voluntariado que vuelve a conectar a la comunidad con la conservación y los espacios naturales… / In addition to producing 35,000 native trees and shrubs which will be used this fall in reforestation activities, Pronatura Northwest A.C. promotes a volunteer program that reconnects the community with conservation and natural spaces… From ProNatura Noroeste Blog
When In Drought: States Take On Urgent Negotiations To Avoid Colorado River Crisis
(October 14, 2018) — Featuring comments by Jennifer Pitt, reporting on negotiations for the drought contingency plans in the Upper and Lower Colorado River basins: Water managers are attempting to boost reservoir levels with a suite of agreements under the umbrella of “drought contingency planning.” The premise is simple: Cut water use now, and use that saved water to bump up Powell and Mead to help to avoid bigger problems in the future, when supplies are likely to be even tighter. From NPR
Colorado River states OK tentative plan to slow reservoirs’ decline
(October 10, 2018) — That’s why collaborative efforts like this are so important to long-term water security across the Southwest, said Taylor Hawes, Colorado River program director for The Nature Conservancy. “We are facing evolving challenges in the basin as temperatures increase, precipitation declines and more people move to the region. We must keep our foot on the pedal to ensure we can develop the solutions we need ahead of a more serious crisis.” From the Las Vegas Review-Journal
Western states release proposed Colorado River agreements for drought-stricken Colorado River
(October 10, 2018) — Reporting on the release of draft agreements for proposed drought-contingency plans for the Upper Basin states — Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — as well as the Lower Basin states — Arizona, Nevada and California. “This news puts us closer than we’ve ever been to a more secure water future for the Colorado River,” Jennifer Pitt said in a statement. “Arizona is the last piece of the puzzle before the Drought Contingency Plan is a done deal.” Ted Kowalski, of the Walton Family Foundation’s Colorado River Initiative, said the announcement of draft drought-contingency plans “is a significant milestone for a healthy Colorado River.”From Brinkwire/The Arizona Republic
Western states release proposed Colorado River agreements for drought-stricken Colorado River
(October 10, 2018) — Reporting on the release of draft agreements for proposed drought-contingency plans for the Upper Basin states — Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming — as well as the Lower Basin states — Arizona, Nevada and California. “This news puts us closer than we’ve ever been to a more secure water future for the Colorado River,” Jennifer Pitt said in a statement. “Arizona is the last piece of the puzzle before the Drought Contingency Plan is a done deal.” Ted Kowalski, of the Walton Family Foundation’s Colorado River Initiative, said the announcement of draft drought-contingency plans “is a significant milestone for a healthy Colorado River.”From Brinkwire/The Arizona Republic
Ciénega de Santa Clara y El Río Colorado
(September 23, 2018) — An examination of the impact of climate change and human activity; as well as the factors that damage the biodiversity of the Ciénega de Santa Clara and the Colorado River. From Televisa / Foro TV
The Threat of the West Running Dry
(September 20, 2018 ) — Karyn Stockdale writes of the collaborative work being done by the Audubon Society and its Western Water program to help ensure the security of future water supplies – while also sharing with the birds and wildlife that rely on water-dependent habitats. In it, Minute 323 and the work of Jennifer Pitt are mentioned. From The Audubon blog
The Colorado River is headed for a water shortage
(September 15, 2018) — OpEd co-athored by Julie Hill-Gabriel of the National Audubon Society, urging the implementation of strategies already developed to address the risks and uncertainties of a dry future along the Colorado River. These will require continued coordination among state, federal and local parties to help improve conditions within the Colorado River Basin. From The Hill
Shortage on the Colorado River is Imminent, but a Catastrophic One is Not
(September 13, 2018) — Analysis by Jennifer Pitt, on what is needed to arrive at a solution; “The problem is clear, and one significant step toward a solution, the DCP, is teed up for Arizona to embrace. People, birds, and Arizona’s sustainability depend on it.” From the Audubon Blog
More Conservation, Cooperation Vital to Our New Era of Water Shortages
(September 13, 2018) — In this article authored by Ted Kowalski, he writes: “Though the challenges we face on the Colorado River are significant, there are clear solutions. But we have to update how we use and manage our water. The Colorado River is overallocated and future water supplies are less reliable. Continued conservation and innovative partnerships are essential to avoid a crisis in the near future.” From WaterDeeply
Drought Contingency Plan to ease pain of water shortage
(September 10, 2018) — “By working together, Arizona, California, Nevada, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and now Mexico (through the recent treaty update known as Minute 323), we can chart a path forward so one state alone does not feel the brunt of shortage…” From Mohave Valley Daily News
Study: Colorado River Flows Decreased 15% in Last Century
(September 7, 2018) — A new study identifies a decrease of 15 percent in the streamflow of the Colorado River in the last century, with higher temperatures indicated as the primary reason. From KNAU Arizona Public Radio
Paddling the Colorado’s headwaters reveals a wrung-out river
Audubon unveils bird-themed beer to raise awareness for Colorado River supply
(August 17, 2018) — Audubon Arizona unveiled the Rain Crow IPA, a beer named after the threatened western yellow-billed cuckoo, as a new and creative way to spread its conservation message on behalf of the Colorado River, which serves some 40 million people in seven states and Mexico. From the Arizona Republic
Across Borders: Restoring the Colorado River Delta
(August 16, 2018) — As a part of their Seeds of Opportunities series, this wonderful profile of Yami Carrillo showcases her role in conservation work being conducted in the #Colorado River Delta, together with the collaborative work planned under Minute 323 to increase water security for Colorado River users on both sides of the border. From the Walton Family Foundation website.
Niños conocen más del Río Colorado
(July 31, 2018) — In honor of Colorado River Day, last week our Yuli Dimas of Pronatura Noroeste gave an educational talk to young students participating in the program of summer workshops organized by the local public library. From Tribuna de San Luis Rio Colorado
Water is at the heart of Colorado life
(July 26, 2018) — So much of our quality of life in Colorado centers around – or is made possible by — a healthy Colorado River. As we mark Colorado River Day and as outdoor industry leaders gather in Denver to discuss the future of the industry, we must take this opportunity to reflect on the hardest working river in the West and to reaffirm our commitment to initiatives that sustain the health of the Colorado River. From: Daily Sentinel (op-ed byJill Ozarski of the Walton Family Foundation, regarding the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market)
Artificial wetland in Sonora desert to help replace those that have been lost
(July 10, 2018) — Reporting on the return of migrating birds to the Colorado Delta, thanks to the Cucapá artificial wetland in Sonora. Featuring Pronatura. From Mexico News Daily
Reforestan Río Hardy
(July 6, 2018) — Coverage of the community day of tree planting (over 500!) in the Rio Hardy, which took place on Thursday, July 5. Organized by Sonoran Institute, it served as a project demonstration for the “Fondo para la Conservación del Delta del río Colorado”. From La Voz de la Frontera
The Colorado River Delta Is Proof of Nature’s Resiliency
(June 28, 2018) — After a decades-long decline, a dying wetland gets a second chance, with the help of cross-border collaboration between the United States and Mexico. An excellent recap of the efforts of RtR in the Colorado Delta, featuring coalition team members Jenn Pitt, Francisco Zamora, Karen Schlatter, and Yuli Dimas — as well as other project supporters. From onEarth by NRDC
At the U.S.-Mexico border, avoiding a water war [Opinion]
(June 20, 2018) — Trump must now name a new U.S. IBCW commissioner. The job may be obscure, but the stakes could not be higher. Finding the right new IBWC commissioner will require the president to let competence triumph over campaign slogans, and to admit that when it comes to issues of consequence, we need Mexico as much as Mexico needs us. piece by Stephen R. Kelly, a former U.S. diplomat who served in Mexico. From the Houston Chronicle
Ted Kowalski: Longterm solutions needed to keep our water flowing
(June 15, 2018) — “While the challenges facing the Colorado River are significant, this does not mean that there aren’t solutions — there are. But we must improve how we use and manage the water resources of the Colorado River Basin.” From the Arizona Daily Star (op-ed)
Ecología pese a fronteras
(May 17, 2018) — Story on Minute 323, including our coalition’s work in the environmental aspects of the agreement. From NorteAmerica.mx
Hell or high water — Solutions on the Colorado River
(May 15, 2018) — Guest column by a board member of Western Landowners Alliance and Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, giving a perspective of potential conservation actions for the Colorado River. From the Journal-Advocate
What Another Dry Winter Means for Colorado and the West
(May 14, 2018) —With Colorado is facing a severe water shortage, this article takes a look at what that means for rivers, wildfires, and the future of water use in the West. From 5280.com
Why restoring the Colorado River Delta matters
(May 11, 2018) — Karen Schlatter of Sonoran Institute’s Delta Program honors International Migratory Bird Day (May 12) by explaining the benefits to habitat and wildlife that the pulse flow and our restoration actions have had in the Colorado River Delta. From Mother Nature Network
Despite Trump, Water Agency Fosters Cross-Border Cooperation Between U.S. and Mexico
(April 18, 2018) — commissioners — Ed Drusina and Roberto Fernando Salmón Castelo — made a show of unity and cooperation between the two countries, through the agreement to share the Colorado River during drought and to fund conservation measures in Mexico. from the Texas Observer
Why Taoism & Environmental Restoration Are Made For Each Other
(April 18, 2018) — Drawing parallels between Taoism and conservation, one of the examples provided is the restoration work in the Colorado River Delta, including the pulse flow. From 71Republic
New Report Explores Arizona’s Relationship with the Colorado River, Highlights Need for Latino Engagement in Its Protection
(April 12, 2018) — A new report from Hispanic Access Foundation finds that the implementation of water policies in Arizona, especially those designed to protect the Colorado River, will likely be more successful if the state’s Latino communities are engaged in the process. As the fastest growing segment in the state, Latinos possess qualities that make them influential environmental stewards and have demonstrated the willingness and abilities to lead on conservation issues. From Hispanic Access Foundation; Download Report.
Plantan más de mil árboles a los márgenes del Río Colorado
(April 7, 2018) — Reporting on the success of the recent ‘Semana de la Reforestación en Laguna Grande’ which took place on April 7, with 150 volunteers planting more than 200 native trees in our Laguna Grande restoration site. From La Voz de la Republica
In northwestern Mexico, Osvel Hinojosa opens channels for water’s return to a dry Delta
(March 30, 2018) — Beautiful profile of Osvel, Pronatura Noroeste, and their work to restore the Colorado River Delta. “For me, the Colorado River, it’s a symbol of hope,” he says. “It is the lifeline of western North America. It is a very resilient ecosystem.” From Walton Family Foundation Blog
Intel, Arizona Diamondbacks put water solutions on tap
(March 27, 2018) — Drought, and an imbalance between water demand and supply, continues to plague the Southwest. Arizona’s main source of water, the Colorado River, on which 2 million jobs in the state and over $100 billion in labor income are dependent annually, is threatened. Fortunately, many businesses in Arizona are leading the way in leveraging their voices on water as well as creating a positive impact on the ground. From GreenBiz.
(VIDEO) River Sisters Partnership between Denver and San Luis Rio Colorado
(March 23, 2018) — Video of the joint signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver and Mayor José Enrique Reina Lizárraga of the City of San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico to establish the River Sisters Partnership. The River Sisters Partnership will work to strengthen the protection and restoration of the Colorado River. From YouTube
ONG binacionales se alían a favor del rescate del Río Colorado
(March 21, 2018) — Authorities from Mexico and the United States, together with social and environmental groups and NGOs signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week to establish the River Sisters Association, benefiting restoration work in the Colorado River Delta. The objective of the Association is to create an exchange of goodwill leadership and binational collaboration projects that promote the restoration of the Colorado River and recognize the hydrological, economic, and social interdependencies of Colorado River users from the headwaters of the river to the sea. From La Cronica
What the US can learn from Cape Town’s water crisis
(March 10, 2018) — This OpEd by Taylor Hawes speaks to the lessons we can learn from the Cape Town water crisis, and what all levels of government need to do to take action. From The Hill
Two Nations One Water Summit looks at possible solutions
(March 3, 2018) — One panel at last week’s water summit highlighted the Minute 323 agreement as a global model for managing shared watersheds. Featuring Carlos de la Parra, his role in the negotiations for Mexico, and his advice to summit participants, “You need to get together more often.” From AlbuquerqueJournal
‘Two Nations One Water’ Border Summit Draws 300 Water Leaders
(March 2, 2018) — Last week’s ‘Two Nations One Water: U.S.-Mexico Border Water Summit’ brought together more than 300 water industry experts and researchers to explore water strategies for the border’s future. Speakers and participants engaged on topics such as drought, the Colorado River Agreement – Minute 323 — and research on innovative technologies including water reuse and desalination. From El Paso Herald-Post
When rivers, or at least their remnants, return
(March 2, 2018) — A story of hope for the Delta, detailing the projects where Mexican and American activists (RtR coalition partners) have worked together in restoring the Colorado River’s historic channel for about a decade. Featuring Jennifer Pitt. From NM Political Report
Here’s exactly how much less water is in the Colorado River because of climate change
(February 22, 2018) — “The study’s conclusion: “Warming alone could cause Colorado River flow declines of 30 percent by midcentury and over 50 percent by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated.” From AZCentral
Colorado’s Snow Pack and the Need for Conservation
(February 20, 2018) — Years like the one we’re in, where snow has been scarce reminds us all about the importance of water conservation. Snowpack in the Colorado Rockies acts as water storage and about eighty percent of Denver’s water comes from this mountain snowpack. From Weather Nation
Looking for lessons along the Colorado River
(February 19, 2018) — The Colorado delivers water to more than 36 million people in seven states and two countries. Its waters carved the Grand Canyon and, far more recently, allowed the growth of Sunbelt cities like Phoenix and Tucson. New Mexico gets its slice of the Colorado, too. From NM Political Report
Water in the West
(January 23, 2018) — Water in the West is a series of stories about the people working to address threats to water supply in the Colorado River basin and find conservation solutions that make economic sense for people and communities. From the Walton Family Foundation YouTube Channel
Ted Kowalski: We must act now to protect the future of the Colorado River
(February 18, 2018) — OpEd featuring Ted Kowalski: “The decisions we make in 2018 can protect future generations and revitalize the health of the Colorado River. At the Walton Family Foundation, we know it’s possible to implement these solutions. Moreover, we’re committed to supporting decisions to improve water management within the Colorado River Basin.” From the Arizona Daily Star
For A Few Weeks The Colorado River Reached The Ocean. Will It Happen Again?
(February 7, 2018) — The pulse flow brought a striking visual reminder of what happens when water is removed, and then reinstated to its natural channel, and since then, people have asked if it will happen again…Featuring Francisco and Jenn, this story is part of a project covering the Colorado River, produced by KUNC and supported through a Walton Family Foundation grant. From KUNC
To save our oceans, let’s start with our rivers
(February 6, 2018) — A case for protecting river flows in order to preserve the health of our Oceans, using Mexicali and the Colorado River Delta as an example. From High Country News
Winter heat wave bakes the Southwest, bringing renewed worries of severe drought
(January 31, 2018) — The Colorado River provides water for seven western states and Mexico. Heavily overallocated and ravaged by years of drought, the river is also under growing strains due to climate change. From USA Today
Traversing the mighty Colorado River
(January 22, 2018) — It is the story of a Colorado River novice setting out to make sense of this great and imperiled Western river by tracing its length from source to sea and … He starts in a chartered airplane over the river’s Rocky Mountain headwaters, ends in a borrowed truck in its delta in Mexico, and proceeds in spurts by… From High Country News
The Business of Planting Trees: A Growing Investment Opportunity
(January 2018) — This new report from the Nature Conservancy,demonstrates that the restoration economy is at the take-off stage, with new business models, advancing technology and political will being shown by governments, as it presents case studies of 14 innovative enterprises across eight countries. From the Nature Conservancy
Forget Bitcoin, Planting Trees Can Offer Amazing Returns
(January 15, 2018) — Recent technologies have paved the way for faster, cheaper, more efficient tree planting, allowing rapid reforestation of broad areas of land. This article cites the Nature Conservancy’s new report on the Business of Planting Trees, and references its identification of four emerging themes in the restoration economy: technology, consumer products, project management and commercial forestry. From RealLeaders
Dry start to winter prompts ugly forecast for Colorado River
(January 3, 2017) — The first forecast for the Colorado River is in, and the outlook for the coming year is bleak. The National Weather Service’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center predicts the river will flow at about 54 percent of its average volume during the key runoff period from April to July. From theLas Vegas Review-Journal
Water leaders across Colorado stepping up efforts to educate public about resources
(December 29, 2017) — Two years after the Colorado Water Plan was unveiled, river basins, basin roundtables, nonprofits, and river-related organizations are stepping up efforts to achieve one of the plan’s main goals: water education. From The Aspen Times
Water Dominates Environmental News in 2017 and 2018
(December 26, 2017) — The U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement (Minute 323) to share river water and shore up the levels on Lake Mead. Both countries have agreed to take cuts in the events of a shortage and will leave water in the reservoir during times of surplus. From Arizona Public Media
New Reasons to Have Hope for The Salton Sea
(December 25, 2017) — In this op-ed, Allison Harvey Turner of S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and Barry Gold of Walton Family Foundation applaud California legislators and leaders for taking action on the Salton Sea, and urge continued action and investment to stem environmental disaster. From Water Deeply
Preparing for a drier future along the Colorado River
(December 22) — Managers of water agencies in California, Arizona, and Nevada have signaled their interest in finalizing a deal under which they would take less water from Lake Mead in an attempt to head off severe shortages. Shortages are expected as recent research has projected, using climate models to estimate a business-as-usual scenario of greenhouse gas emissions, that without changes in precipitation, warming will likely cause the Colorado River’s flow to decrease by 35 percent or more this century. From the Desert Sun
Pueblo’s Broderick to lead Colorado River group
(December 18, 2017) — Jim Broderick was elected president of the Colorado River Water Users Association at its meeting in Las Vegas last week. The presidency is a two-year term that rotates among states. “The continued collaboration of the seven states, tribes and the country of Mexico is important, not only for the state of Colorado, but for all of those who rely on the Colorado River’s water supply,” said Broderick. From The Pueblo West View
Progress on new drought plan in Colorado basin is slow going
(December 16, 2017) — Even though serious negotiations are ongoing, however, the draft Drought Contingency Plan required for the implementation of Minute 323 is far from completion. From the San Francisco Chronicle
Climate Chaos & Local Resiliency – Water Solutions in the American West
(November 20, 2017) — Seven stories of the people who are charting the course for climate resiliency and water justice in the American West, including *Raise the River: Bringing hope back to the Colorado River Delta”. From Carpe Diem West
Protecting rivers and watersheds gets a $30 million boost from Enterprise
(November 13, 2017) — The foundation arm of Enterprise Rent-A-Car is donating $30 million to The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to preserve and protect rivers and watersheds in the U.S. and internationally, including supporting their work in the Colorado River Delta. From St Louis Post-Dispatch
Enterprise Donates $30 Million To TNC River Conservation Efforts
(November 13, 2017) — The Nature Conservancy is kicking off a five-year project, funded by a $30 million donation from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, to improve rivers and regional watersheds across North America and Europe. From National Geographic
Analysis: What a new report on climate science portends for the West
(November 13, 2017) — Take-aways applying to the Western U.S. from the latest federal government update on its National Climate Assessment (part of the 2018 report.) The report focuses on the science of climate change, and describes how greenhouse gas emissions are affecting the U.S. today, and will continue to do so in future if we continue on the current trajectory. From The Colorado Independent / High Country News
Water Update: Minute 323
(November 1, 2017) — Recap of Minute 323, including water flows: ”The environmental flows in Minute 323 are planned to be set to work in the restoration of the Delta. It was great to see the river reach the sea but the conservationists want to concentrate flows like irrigators do for maximum yield.” From Central Colorado Magazine
Rising temperatures sucking water out of the Colorado River
(October 31, 2017) — A new study by the US Geological Survey finds the river’s flow has shrunk by about seven percent over the past 30 years, equal to approximately 24 percent of the total amount of California’s annual Colorado River allocation. From 89.3KPCC
The Ecosystem Response to Restoration: Birds in the Colorado River Delta
(October 25, 2017) — The Arizona Western Rivers Action Network held a webinar this week, on our restoration work in the Colorado River Delta, featuring Osvel Hinojosa. A WRAN Webinar/YouTube
Simulated Flood Injected Life Into Thirsty Colorado River Delta, New Data Shows
(October 25, 2017) — A look back at the spring 2014 pulse flow, its effects, and discussion on how the new update to the 1944 treaty signed this year allows for more pulse flows when Mexico stores surplus water. From KUNC
Water Managers Seek Certainty in Colorado Basin
(October 20, 2017) — A summary of the Colorado River District’s annual seminar, held September 15, especially pertaining to the collaborative efforts to bring greater certainly to water resources in the Colorado River. From NewsDeeply
U.S. And Mexico Reach Agreement On Colorado River Water Use
(October 17, 2017) — Overview of M323, including the key aspect of the agreement to give some water to restoring the Colorado River Delta in Mexico, and a discussion of the Walton Family Foundation’s support of this provision. From Utah Public Radio
U.S. and Mexico Sign Agreement to Manage Colorado River
(October 13, 2017) — Karl Flessa, a geosciences professor at the University of Arizona, says, “Restoration in the delta is important because it’s a reflection of society’s values. Yes, we need water for agriculture, yes, we need water for cities, but we also need water for nature.” From KNAU/NPR
Update to U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty Is a Huge Win for Conservation
(October 10, 2017) — Audubon and its partners played a key role in the negotiations for Minute 323, which sets aside 200,000 acre-feet of water for environmental purposes. From Audubon
Where the Colorado River Now Runs Dry, New Hope for Wildlife
(October 10, 2017) — The impact of water on the environment, featuring comments from Jennifer Pitt: “… imagine what a longer-term commitment to more flows can bring back to this ecosystem. We encourage the US and Mexico to commit to more sustained flows and more resources for restoration.” From Audubon
Reprinted in: Public, October 10, 2017
Why a Colorado River reunion with the sea isn’t a guarantee
(October 6, 2017) — To revive a desiccated ecosystem, a U.S.-Mexico agreement looks past ‘pulse flows’— excellent explanation as to why another ‘pulse flow’ is not specifically included in Minute 323. From High Country News
Reprinted, The Journal, October 12, 2017
Deal creates certainty for water users in both countries, invests in critical restoration work
(September 28, 2017) — Minute 323 will increase water security for users in both countries and promote more efficient water management in a fast-growing, increasingly thirsty region. From W-Blog/Walton Family Foundation
Minute 323 agreement between U.S. and Mexico ensures water sharing until 2026
(October 3, 2017) — “Through negotiations, there was a strong interest from all parties in extending the kind of work that was accomplished under Minute 319,” — featuring an interview with Jennifer Pitt. From The Daily Wildcat
Water Use: United States, Mexico Sign Pact Governing Colorado River
(October 3, 2017) — This agreement puts us on a path of cooperation rather than conflict as we work with Mexico to address the Colorado River Basin’s many challenges… From Denver Patch
Doubling our efforts in Delta thanks to Minute 323
(October 2, 2017) — Last week, our efforts to restore the Delta took another momentous leap forward with the signing of Minute 323, the new binational water-sharing agreement between the US and Mexico, from Stephanie Sklar, Sonoran Institute.
US, Mexico to share Colorado River water, shore up Lake Mead
(October 2, 2017) — Officials from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday signed a new water pact that brings Mexico in as a full partner on the Colorado River and could boost Lake Mead. From TVN
More Water, More Restoration Bound For Colorado River Delta
(October 2, 2017) — reprint of the Arizona Daily Star article; from Society of Environmental Journalists
Lower Basin states deserve a pat on the back for contingency planning
(October 1, 2017) — I for one, tip my cap to our Lower Basin counterparts for engaging in the sometimes tough conversations about how we best manage the Colorado River for the long-term sustainability of the entire system. From The Daily Sentinel
Colorado River Agreement Reached Between U.S., Mexico
(September 28, 2017 — At a symposium hosted by Santa Fe’s Water Education Foundation this week, representatives of the International Boundary and Water Commission on Wednesday announced the conclusion of a new Colorado River agreement. (Paywall) From KSFR (Santa Fe)
Mexico, US clinch Colorado river water deal – report
(September 27, 2017) — The water-sharing deal that Mexico and the US have over the Colorado River is set to be renewed and expanded. From BN Americas
More water, more restoration bound for Colorado River Delta
(October 1, 2017) – Coverage on the environmental aspect of M323 including pulse flows vs. base flows for effective restoration; featuring interviews with Karl Flessa, Jennifer Pitt, and Osvel Hinojosa (2nd of a 2-part series on M323). From the Arizona Daily Star
Reprinted in: AmericasLatest, October 1, 2017
U.S., Mexico set aside Trump tensions for Colorado River deal
(September 29, 2017) –That deal signed Wednesday was supported by state water agencies and major users in both countries, and sets out procedures to reduce off-take during times of drought that are expected to persist for the foreseeable future. From PoliticoPro (paywall)
US, Mexico share benefits and burdens in new Colorado River pact
(September 28, 2017) — Besides offering certainty and continued environmental restoration, “Most important, it offers a binational, water scarcity contingency plan… From Arizona Daily Star
The resilience of the U.S.-Mexico Colorado River relationship
(September 28, 2017 )— “I am happy to report that collaboration over the Colorado River withstood the test of the recent shock to the U.S.-Mexico relationship, and has emerged resilient.” From JFleck at Inkstain
Arizona Water Resources director joins U.S. & Mexico in finalizing epic CO River agreement
(September 28, 2017) — An overview of the complexity of negotiations behind Minute 323. Summarizing the result as, “The implications of the agreement for helping stabilize and augment Arizona’s water supplies are significant.” From Arizona Water News
U.S., Mexico update international treaty over Colorado River
(September 28, 2017) — In an era when the United States and Mexico aren’t exactly on speaking terms on issues like trade and immigration, there is one issue where both nations are cooperating pretty well: water. From Colorado Politics
Extended U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty Shifts Focus To Lower Basin States
(September 28, 2017) — “While it’s great news for relationships between the United States and Mexico, it places a lot of pressure on the lower basin states Arizona, California, and Nevada to come to an agreement between themselves,”… From KJZZ
Colaboración Binacional en la Cuenca del Río Colorado
(September 28, 2017) — Los acuerdos del Acta 323 contribuyen a la seguridad hídrica en la región y a la restauración del delta del Río Colorado. From Sonoran Institute
US, Mexico Reach Deal to Conserve Colorado River Water
(September 27, 2017) — The two nations and a coalition of charitable foundations also agreed to contribute a total of $18 million for environmental restoration, research and monitoring. AP Sourced, from The New York Times
U.S., Mexico may be at odds, but they’ve reached agreement on managing the Colorado River
(September 27, 2017) — “This agreement provides certainty for water operations in both countries and mainly establishes a planning tool that allows Mexico to define the most suitable actions for managing its Colorado River waters allotted by the 1944 Water Treaty,” Roberto Salmon, CILA; From the Los Angeles Times
Republished:Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: America, Mexico reach agreement on managing the Colorado River
River of opportunity
(September 27, 2017) — A new pact over sharing the Colorado River will get investment flowing. U.S. and Mexican officials on Wednesday set aside broader trade disputes to step up cooperation over the waterway, especially in droughts. That offers greater clarity to the 40 million people who rely on the Colorado. From Reuters
Republished: BreakingViews: River of Opportunity:
Metropolitan General Manager’s Statement Regarding Binational Agreement on Colorado River Deliveries, Storage
(September 27, 2017) — Official statement regarding the conclusion of Minute 323, issued by Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; “Today’s milestone continues the spirit of cooperation and collaboration forged among users of the Colorado River in both the United States and Mexico…” From Business Wire
Our View: Mexico’s Minute 323 water deal should pay off big for Arizona
(September 27, 2017) — Editorial, with the overriding message being: “Minute 323 – in which Mexico conserves water in Lake Mead if Arizona and others do the same – proves that smart water planning has no borders.” From AZ Central/USA Today Network
Reprinted:Water Education Foundation, September 29, 2017
U.S. and Mexico agree to share in Colorado River conservation and possible shortage
(September 27, 2017) — “This agreement puts us on a path of cooperation rather than conflict as we work with Mexico to address the Colorado River Basin’s many challenges,” U.S. Commissioner Edward Drusina said in a statement, “…and is a monumental achievement in collaboration.” From AZ Central/USA Today Network
US, Mexico Sign On to Boost Conservation of Colorado River
(September 27, 2017) — The U.S. and Mexico are willing to share both the risks and the opportunities to improve the Colorado River through investment and management of the shared river system; From Arizona Public Media
US, Mexico to share Colorado River water, shore up Lake Mead
(September 27, 2017) — Officials from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday signed a new water pact that brings Mexico in as a full partner on the Colorado River and could boost Lake Mead; From the Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Latest: US, Mexico reach deal on Colorado River water
(September 27, 2017) — The U.S. and Mexico have unveiled a new agreement to preserve water for millions of households and farms that depend on the overused Colorado River. (AP Reference) From ABC News
US, Mexico reach deal to conserve Colorado River water
(September 27, 2017) — The United States and Mexico unveiled an agreement Wednesday to preserve the overtaxed Colorado River, including spending millions of dollars on conservation and environmental projects and drawing up plans to deal with any shortages amid drought and climate change. (Osval & Ted quoted; AP reference) From USNews & World Report
As also appeared in:
US, Mexico reach deal to conserve Colorado River water; San Antonio Express News, September 27, 2017 — AP reference
US, Mexico reach deal to conserve Colorado River water; The Clay Center Dispatch, September 27, 2017 — AP reference
Millions of People and Birds Benefit from New Water Agreement between U.S. and Mexico
(September 27, 2017) — Treaty expansion provides years of certainty for water users in both countries dependent on the Colorado River, paving the way for collaborative conservation efforts that protect people and birds. From Audubon
US, Mexico reach deal to conserve Colorado River water
(September 26, 2017) — The United States and Mexico have agreed to renew and expand a far-reaching conservation agreement that governs how they manage the overused Colorado River; AP Sourced, from the Washington Post
US, Mexico expand pact on managing overused Colorado River
(September 26, 2017) – Announcement of the planned signing of Minute 323, Minute 323, an amendment to a 1944 U.S.-Mexico treaty that lays out how the two nations share the Colorado River. From the Associated Press
Republished September 27 on Voice of America
Republished September 27 on Yahoo News
Republished September 27 on KNAU/NPR
Republished September 27 on Capital-Journal
Republished September 27 in the Mohave Valley Daily News
U.S., Mexico on Verge of New Colorado River Water Pact
(September 25, 2017) — “The agreement shows how both countries consider water important enough to set it apart from tensions that have flared during the recent U.S. administration over immigration and building a border wall”. From Bloomberg/BNA
U.S. And Mexico Agree On Colorado River Deal
(September 18, 2017) — It is a tough moment for U.S. relations with Mexico … but when it comes to water, the two nations still enjoy a functional relationship. From Water Online
U.S. and Mexico agree to share a shrinking Colorado River
(September 14, 2017) — Discussion of the purpose, history, and importance of Minute 323. From High Country News
U.S. and Mexico set to sign landmark Colorado River water-sharing deal
(September 13, 2017) — Detailing the *tentative* dates and location for the signing of Minute 323, and emphasizing the importance of Minute 323 for water sharing over the next decade, and of cooperative efforts in times of shortages. From The Desert Sun
Imperial Irrigation District: IID board supports continuing international cooperation on Colorado River
(September 13, 2017) — Reporting on the approval by the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors of a series of agreements to Minute No. 323, which are instrumental to the success of the Minute. It points out that by specifically defining reservoir management strategies a higher level of operational certainty results, particularly for lower basin water users. From Imperial Valley NewsImperial Valley News
Revisions proposed for Colorado River water agreements
(September 7, 2017) — Review of key points of proposed Minute 323, and the decision by Needles’ city council to unanimously approve the interim operating agreement for the implementation of Minute 323 and the 2017 Lower Colorado River Basin agreement for Binational Internationally Created Surplus. From the Mohave Daily News/Needles Desert Star
U.S., Mexico nearing deal on Colorado River water allocation
(September 7, 2017) — Discussion of the conservation programs enabled by Minute 319, and the hope for continued allocations for the environment under the pending agreement. From The Daily Wildcat (AZ)
New program aims to integrate land use planning and water management in the West
(September 5, 2017) — Program description and news about the Resilient Communities and Watersheds’ inaugural Growing Water Smart workshop, to take place Sept. 11-13 at the Keystone Policy Center in Keystone, Colorado. The program arose from a fundamental lack of integration between land use planning and water management in the western United States. From the Sonoran Institute Blog
Leveraging environmental flows to reform water management policy: Lessons learned from the 2014 Colorado River Delta pulse flow
(September 2017) — A Scientific report authored by Raise the River team members, including Eloise Kendy, Karl W.Flessa, Karen J.Schlatter, Carlos A.de la Parra, and Osvel M.Hinojosa Huertae, and Yamilett K.Carrillo-Guerrero on the results on the pulse flow — from ecological restoration to social impact. From: ScienceDirect
Turning Towards Solutions (podcast)
(August 21, 2017) —Part of the “We Are Rivers” podcast series; this episode explores how collaborative actions like the Drought Contingency Plan and Minute 319 (the pulse flow) are creating promise and opportunity for sustaining the Colorado River and the people and communities that depend on it. From American Rivers
U.S.-Mexico Colorado River deal is close
(August 1, 2017) — In this blog post by author John Fleck (Water is for Fighting Over), he reports on the progress of the successor agreement (Minute 323), anticipated timing, and expresses that “we are, in fact, in an era of historic collaboration on the Colorado River.”. The Minute 323 Key Terms document is embedded in the post. From: Inkstain
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
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 the new 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
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 1, Part 2, Part 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 vienetrabajando en la zona, lossitios de restauración están ubicados en el valle de Mexicali, dondesehanplantado miles de árboles nativos con ayuda de voluntarios, escuelas y sociedaden 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.
(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
(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
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.
(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
(May 29, 2014) – When it comes to water, there is rarely consensus among agencies, municipalities and environmentalists. Agreement among multiple states and nations? That’s just not something that happens. Until it does. Today, there is water flowing in the Colorado River Delta — where water has not flowed regularly for half a century — all because water managers, conservation organizations and policymakers in both the United States and Mexico were able to find common ground. When this common ground is intersected by an international border, you know you’ve surmounted an obstacle previously considered insurmountable. Read the LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL article.
Colorado River Water Finally Arrives at Gulf of California
(May 27, 2014) – The Colorado River’s healing power was already apparent by the time the water finally reached the sea for the first time since 1998. An experimental “pulse flow” of water released from a diversion dam at the U.S.-Mexican border took more than seven weeks to rush, meander and finally trickle to the Gulf of California. Read the AZ CENTRAL article.
How the Colorado River Finally Reached the Sea Again
(May 20, 2014) – This week, for the first time in decades, the Colorado River flowed to its natural end in the Gulf of California. But it was the opposite of a natural event. The artificially engineered “pulse flow” that pushed the waters all the way to the Gulf required an unprecedented collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico, wading into a complex body of laws around a basic question: to whom does a river belong? Read the GIZMODO article.
A Sacred Reunion: The Colorado River Returns to the Sea
(May 19, 2014) – After coursing through its delta for nearly eight weeks, the fresh waters of the Colorado River have touched the high tides of the salty sea. It is the first time in sixteen years that the Colorado River, which flows 1,450 miles (2,334 kilometers) from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in northwestern Mexico, will have reached its final, natural destination. Read the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Bringing the Colorado River Delta Back to Life
(May 19, 2014) – The Colorado River delta was once a fertile wetland of green lagoons and winding river channels. The fresh waters of the Colorado mingled there, at the southern end of the delta in Mexico’s Baja California state, with the salty waters of the Sea of Cortez. Today, 90 percent of those waters are diverted along the river’s path through the Southwest to provide drinking water to 35 million people and irrigate crops in Arizona and the six other states along the basin. Read the ARIZONA PUBLIC MEDIA article.
Photo Shows Reunion of Colorado River, Gulf of California in Mexico
(May 16, 2014) – A photo taken Thursday shows the Colorado River meeting tidal waters from the Gulf of California for the first time in about 20 years. The river stopped regularly flowing to the sea in the 1960s as dams were built and water was diverted for cities and farms upstream in the United States and Mexico. Read the LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURANL article.
A River Reunited: The Colorado River Reaches the Sea
(May 15, 2014) – This week, the Colorado River will be reunited with the sea – a destination it hasn’t seen in many years – thanks to the “pulse flow.” Scientists monitoring the flow expect the two waters to meet sometime today, during high tide, but it’s actually possible that the river reached the sea last week, as we learned from a handful of adventurers who rode their stand-up paddle boards to the tidal interface. Read the ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND article.
Reunited: Colorado River, Sea expected to meet Thursday
(May 14, 2014) – For the first time in 16 years, the Colorado River will flow all the way to the Gulf of California — thanks to a temporary release of water in March designed to mimic the river’s natural spring flood phase. Read the YUMA SUN article.
The Colorado River Flows to the Sea
(May 14, 2014) – This week, the Colorado River will be reunited with the sea – a destination it hasn’t seen in many years – thanks to the “pulse flow.” Scientists monitoring the flow expect the two waters to meet sometime tomorrow, during high tide, but it’s actually possible that the river reached the sea last week, as we learned from a handful of adventurers who rode their stand-up paddle boards to the tidal interface. Read the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Pulse Flow on Colorado River Delta in Final Days
(May 13, 2014) – The first stage of a pilot project to bring life back to the Colorado River delta will come to a close this weekend. For the past two months, the pulse flow has been flooding parts of the delta in Mexico’s Baja California state Read the ARIZONA PUBLIC MEDIA article.
Colorado Delta Pulse Flow should Connect with the Sea by Thursday, Feds Say
(May 13, 2014) – For the first time in many years, the Colorado River is apparently about to reach the sea. Based on aerial photos taken of the Colorado River Delta, the world-renowned delta pulse flow that started nearly two months ago is likely to connect with the Gulf of California on Thursday, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation official said this morning. Read the ARIZONA DAILY STAR article.
Kayaker able to Navigate Part of Rejuvinated Colorado River Delta
(May 3, 2014) – Nearly 30 years ago, Steve Nelson started kayaking the Colorado River Delta in search of adventure and a journey through history. He ended up falling in love with the place. Read the ARIZONA DAILY STAR article.
Restoring a ‘Pulse’ to the Colorado River Delta
(April 28, 2014) – Last month, a “pulse flow” of water surged 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 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EDUCATION BLOG post here.
The Latest: Colorado River Delta Update
(April 28, 2014) – Over the last 50 years, the Colorado River has rarely reached its mouth in the Sea of Cortez. The giant dams on its main stem and the water demands of some 35 million people have largely dried out its vast delta, which once sustained cottonwood and willow forests and armies of fish and birds. But in November 2012, the U.S and Mexico signed Minute 319, a complex water-sharing agreement that includes an experimental flood to help jumpstart the Delta’s ecosystem, to be followed by smaller releases of water to sustain new growth. Read the HIGH COUNTRY NEWS article.
U.S., Mexico Collaborate on Flood to Boost Colorado River Delta
(April 24, 2014) – For more than 20 years, water from the Colorado River has stopped at Morelos Dam, which diverted its flow into Mexican canals for agriculture and municipal use. But in March, water began rushing through the gates to help regenerate the river’s delta habitats. Read the TUCSON SENTINEL article.
Nature Responds to Colorado River Delta’s Pulse Flow
(April 21, 2014) – The Colorado River has been flowing in its delta for more than three weeks,thanks to a cooperative effort by the United States and Mexico to deliver a “pulse flow” of water. Read the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Landscapes Transform With the Arrival of the Colorado River
(April 15, 2014) – It’s a rare event to see a river literally form before your eyes. But each day that we ventured out to find the leading edge of the Colorado River as it advanced through its delta during this historic “pulse flow,” we were treated to exactly that phenomenon: a dry, sandy channel that hasn’t seen water in 16 years suddenly became a rivulet, then a stream, then a glorious flowing river. Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Colorado River Basin in ‘a Serious Situation’
(April 15, 2014) – Drought, anticipated population increases and a growing imbalance between water supply and demand have placed Mohave County’s water supply among the most endangered river basins in the country. The Colorado River basin ranked most-endangered river in the country last year by American Rivers, a conservation organization. Read the full DAILY MINER article.
Four Lessons for Water-stressed Regions, from the Colorado River
(April 10, 2014) – I have just returned from a firsthand, and uplifting, look at the pulse flow now pushing its way through the Colorado River Delta. My boots are barely dry from standing at the leading edge. For the past 50 years, dams and diversions have prevented the mighty Colorado from reaching its natural destination – the Gulf of California. Without a doubt, the diversions of water have helped improve the quality of life for many people. But they’ve also created hardship for communities that once thrived along the 100 miles of riverbank from Yuma, Ariz., to the sea. The impact on migrating song birds, fish populations and the wooded riverbanks has been profound. Read the full ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND article.
Update from Colorado River Delta: A Community Gets its River Back
(April 9, 2014) – For more than two weeks, the Colorado River has been flowing in its delta, through more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) of recently bone-dry river channel choked with desert scrub. The flow is all too brief, lasting only eight weeks in all. The United States and Mexico are demonstrating how a “pulse flow” of water can bring environmental benefits to this long-parched reach of the river. The last 100 miles (160 kilometers) of the Colorado are a critical link in the Pacific Flyway, and new habitat can help the hundreds of species of birds that depend on it. Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Water Flows to Colorado River
Bringing the Colorado River Back to Long-Dry Parts of Mexico
Colorado River Progress Flows from Cooperative Spirit
(April 7, 2014) – The Colorado River is an extraordinary river whose currents flow not just in one direction, but in many directions across landscapes and borders, meeting many needs and demands. Last month, the Colorado River began to flow once again toward the Gulf of California as part of an unprecedented agreement to improve the riparian environment of the river and the Colorado River Delta. But even more important than the riparian-area restoration and scientific studies that will result from this effort is that the action is part of a new and historic agreement between Mexico and the United States. This partnership — crafted under a 1944 treaty — demonstrates what can be achieved when neighbors work together. Read the full AZ CENTRAL article.
O.A.R.S. Guides Lead Historic Rafting Descent on the Colorado River “Pulse Flow”
(April 7th, 2014) – A binational group of conservationists from the United States and Mexico, along with several O.A.R.S. river guides, joined together last week for a historic 22-mile rafting trip on the newly revived Colorado River at the U.S.-Mexico border. Read the full PINE TREE article.
Which Controversial Family Foundation is Spending a Fortune to Protect the Colorado River?
(April 7th, 2014) – Since around 2005, the Walton Family Foundation has been pouring funds into environmental issues, with one of its main interests being the Colorado River. As part of the foundation’s freshwater conservation initiative, the funder gave $16.6 million to the cause just last year. Here’s where it went. Read the full INSIDE PHILANTHROPY article.
Monitoring the Pulse of the Colorado River
(April 5th, 2014) – Now in its 14th day, the historic pulse flow coursing through the Colorado River Delta toward the sea is under the careful watch of dozens of scientists who fan out across the landscape to measure and track its vital signs – from flow rates and salinity levels to seed dispersal by native cottonwoods and willows. Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Bringing Water Back to the River
(April 4th, 2014) – The Colorado River was once mighty enough to carve the Grand Canyon, but now human use drains it to a trickle that never reaches the sea. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Osvel Hinojosa Huerta is leading efforts to change that. View the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC video.
Waters Will Flood Part of Colorado River, For Just a Few Weeks
An Emotional Journey: Residents See Colorado River for First Time
(April 4th, 2014) – I saw the Colorado River for the very first time this week. So did this boy, who grew up in San Luis Rio Colorado – a city named after the river – but he has only ever known hot, dry sand to be where today there is cool, clear water. I could imagine his moment of discovery. All of a sudden, there is a river to splash and play in where there was none before. He might be thinking why, from where, how come? Read the full ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND article.
Pulse Flow Benefits Area Wetlands
(April 3rd, 2014) – Mexico’s Colorado River delta isn’t the only wildlife habitat that is benefiting from a temporary increased flow of water down the Colorado River to replicate spring flooding along the river’s riparian area. The cottonwoods and willows and other native vegetation planted in the East Wetlands also are getting a good soaking. Read the full YUMA SUN article.
Colorado River – Explaining the Pulse Flow
(April 3rd, 2014) – The work of Nature Conservancy scientist Eloise Kendy is going to be part of an historic event that will grab the world’s attention. She’s a hydrologist and member of the team that designed the Delta pulse flow—a water release—a key element of the Colorado River bi-national agreement to restore the Delta region. Nature.org sat down with Eloise to learn more about her experience. Read the full NATURE CONSERVANCY article.
Will the Colorado River Delta Pulse Flow Make it to the Sea?
(April 3rd, 2014) – One of the big unknowns of the pulse flow of water currently working its way down the channel of the Colorado River in its delta is whether that water will reach the sea. The mouth of the Colorado River drained historically into the Upper Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), a unique body of water that Jacques Cousteau called “the world’s aquarium.” But with dams and diversions of Colorado River water serving a population of more than 35 million in the United States and Mexico, the Colorado River hasn’t reached its destination regularly since before 1960. Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
(April 2nd, 2014) – UA scientists have joined forces with a binational team to help rejuvenate the Colorado River delta through an engineered flood. A pulse of water was released down the Colorado River to flood water into the delta. The delta is an area which has become completely dry, as shrubs have replaced water. The delta only receives water in years when floods are unusually large. Read the full DAILY WILDCAT article.
Minute 319 Pulse Flow: U.S./Mexico Water Relations
For the first time in almost 20 years, the Colorado River is flowing into northern Mexico – and through a dam that usually stops it. It’s part of an agreement between the Mexican and US governments, as well as non-profits in both countries. It’s called a pulse flow – meaning a temporary release of water.Read the full KAWC article.
(April 1st, 2014) – For one week now, the Colorado River has been flowing into its delta. It’s the first ever deliberate release of water here to benefit the environment. That the river is flowing again in its delta is somewhat astounding, all the more remarkable because it’s happening as the result of cooperation between the United States and Mexico under a new collaborative agreement on river and water management. Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Pulse Flow Already Bringing New Life to Colorado River Delta
(April 1st, 2014) – Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta was all smiles Thursday as he stood on the spillway of Morelos Dam south of the international border and watched the Colorado River flowing in what had been a dry riverbed only a few days ago. But then, it was a momentous occasion for Hinojosa, director of the Water and Wetlands Program for Pronatura Norooeste, Mexico’s oldest and largest conservation organization. In recent years he has been a key partner in bi-national efforts to restore the Colorado River delta as a wetland habitat for birds and other wildlife. Read the full YUMA SUN article.
An Unusual Sight: Water Flows in Mexico’s Colorado River
(April 1st, 2014) – The Mexicans living along the dry bed of the Colorado River near its delta on the Sea of Cortez are seeing something unusual: agua. A release of water from a dam at the US-Mexico border means that water is flowing again toward the parched delta of the shared river on Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, and it is bringing joy. Water hasn’t reached the delta in many years. Read the full CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR article.
US – Mexico Partnership Brings Water to Dry Colorado River Delta
(March 31st, 2014) – It was a sunny day at Mexico’s Morelos Dam, just west of Yuma. It was also a momentous day. Like always, the Colorado River was being diverted, rushing into canals and toward thirsty crops and cities. But some of that water was quietly continuing through the dam and into a usually barren stretch of riverbed that meanders some 70 miles to the ocean. It was the height of the first-ever pulse flow, a temporary release of water meant to rehabilitate the Colorado’s long-barren delta. Read the full KJZZ article.
A Pulse of Life Flows Through the Colorado River Delta
(March 31st, 2014) – Last Thursday, policymakers, water agencies and conservation organizations from the United States and Mexico gathered at the Morelos Dam, which straddles the U.S.–Mexico border, to witness the Colorado River “pulse flow,” and to celebrate the culmination of years of negotiations to restore the Colorado River Delta. Read the full GRIFFIN SCHEIN article.
Now Mostly Barren, Colorado River Once Teemed with Life
(March 31st, 2014) – When high levels of water gushed down the Colorado River last week for the first time in more than a decade, it was a cause for celebration. But amid the revelry, 83-year-old Saul Diaz couldn’t help but remember how it used to be in the 1950s, when he’d spot beavers on the river. He thought about the time he watched a piece of heavy construction equipment fall into the river — and never reappear. Read the full ARIZONA DAILY STAR article.
Historic Water Release Brings Surge of Joy to Colorado River Delta
(March 30th, 2014) – They came to see the river return, a half-century after U.S. dams kept it from flowing into Mexico. Forty-seven-year-old Carlos Bazua drove 30 miles from his home in Mexicali, Baja California. “Since I was a kid, my father told me that long ago there was water, but I do not remember that,” he said. Read the full ARIZONA DAILY STAR article.
Kelly Slater and Will Ferrell want to Move the Ocean
(March 28th, 2014) – What do Kelly Slater and William Ferrell have in common? They’re trying to move the ocean to the wet part of the Colorado River Delta. The problem is that Robert Redford, the Hollywood actor, believes there’s an alternative way of raising small amounts of water in the Delta, in order to restore 2,300 acres of forest and marsh along a 70-mile stretch of river. Redford’s goal is to generate rural economic activities and job opportunities for local people, including river restoration, tourism, recreational hunting, and sport and commercial fisheries. Read the full SURFER TODAY article.
A Colorado Delta Community Reconnects with it’s River
(March 28, 2014) – On Tuesday afternoon, March 25, 2014, word got out that the river was coming. Kids, parents, dogs and teenagers began gathering at the bridge in San Luis Rio Colorado, a border town of about 160,000 people. Young people had never seen the river that gives this town its name flow beneath the bridge. Read the full NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article.
Witnesses to History at Morelos Dam on the Colorado River
(March 28, 2014) – A dozen dignitaries faced a crowd of more than two hundred gathered yesterday at Morelos Dam in the Mexican city of Los Algodones, Baja California, to proclaim the release of a “pulse flow” of Colorado River water to its dry delta a momentous occasion for both the river and binational relations. Read the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC full article.
Four Women Joyride the Flood that will revive the Colorado River Delta
(March 28. 2014) – It was sometime after the river outfitter’s shuttle van had passed through the latticework of gates and fences that guards the steep, hairpinned road to the boat-launch at the base of the Hoover Dam, and possibly right before we realized that we had left our two-burner stove back in Alison’s truck, in the parking lot of a casino hotel towering beigely over an otherwise nearly buildingless swath of desert around Lake Mead. Read the full HIGH COUNTRY NEWS article.
Colorado River Pulse Flow Begins
(March 28th, 2014) – It has been less than a week but U.S. and Mexican officials are already calling it a historic success. On March 23, officials from both countries began to release water from Morelos Dam to the Colorado River Delta, some 70 miles downstream. That last stretch of the river has not seen any water in decades. Read the full IMPERIAL VALLEY PRESS article.
Water, Wildlife Surge Back into Once Parched Colorado River Delta
(March 27th, 2014) – Osvel Hinojosa knew that an infusion of water would bring the Colorado River delta back to life. But in just a few days, a U.S.-Mexican experiment to revive the delta environment has exceeded his expectations.The water is running deeper, faster and wider than anticipated in a channel that was once bone-dry. Hinojosa has spotted hawks, egrets and ospreys flying above the newly flowing water. He’s even seen beavers. Read the full LA TIMES article.
Can the Colorado River Flow to the Sea?
(March 27, 2014) – Last Monday, in the town of San Luis Río Colorado, in the Mexican state of Sonora, hundreds of people gathered below a bridge that spans the dry channel of the Colorado River. The polka-beat of Ranchero music mixed with sound of laughter across the sandy basin. It was a party of all ages and everyone waited for the guest of honor: agua. Read the full OUTSIDE ONLINE article.
United States and Mexico Celebrate Partnership for Historic Release of Colorado River Delta
(March 27, 2014) – Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor and Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Anne Castle today joined other senior officials of the United States and Mexico to celebrate a historic first-time intentional release of water—called a “pulse flow”—from Morelos Dam near the U.S.-Mexico border. The water release—which began on March 23, reaches its peak today and will continue until mid-May— is part of a broad package of joint cooperative treaty actions to ensure the Colorado River system is able to continue to meet the needs of both nations. Read the full ENEWS PARK FOREST article.
Water Returns to Dry Colorado River Delta
(March 27, 2014) – Yesterday, I paddled down a brand new river. The Colorado River is running swiftly in its delta, where it hasn’t flowed for much of the past half century. A growing population, extended drought, and tremendous institutional inertia have all contributed to the demise of what was once known as a landscape of a thousand green lagoons. Read the full ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND article.
Water Surge to Restore Colorado River Delta
(March 27, 2014) – An unprecedented cross-border delivery of water from the Colorado River earmarked for environmental purposes is being sent to Mexico as part of a binational effort to restore some of the last remaining wetlands in this parched but biologically important region. Read the full U-T SAN DIEGO article.
Water Pulses Across U.S. – Mexico Border Through Historic Cooperation
(March 27, 2014)- Today, policymakers, water agencies and conservation organizations from the United States and Mexico are gathered at Morelos Dam, which straddles the U.S.–Mexico border, to witness the Colorado River “pulse flow,” and to celebrate the culmination of years of negotiations to restore the Colorado River Delta. Read the full SONORAN INSTITUTE release.
Colorado River Delta Flooded for Experiment
(March 27, 2014) – The Colorado River rushed past the U.S.-Mexican border this week for the first time since the late 1990s, a river reborn and rolling over desert sands on its way to a reunion with the Gulf of California. Read the full AZ CENTRAL article.
Colorado River Begins Flooding Dried Up Delta on the Border, Brings Hope to Thousands
(March 27, 2014) – Colorado River water has begun pouring over a barren delta in northwest Mexico, the result of a landmark agreement between the U.S. and Mexico that is being celebrated Thursday. The gush of water in Mexico is an effort to revive the last 70-mile stretch of the river into the Sea of Cortez, which dried up decades ago. Read the full FOX NEWS LATINO article.
Taylor Hawes: Colorado River: Hope for the Hopeless?
(March 27, 2014) – “The Colorado River is a lost cause,” they said. Today, the dam will be opened even more to emulate a spring flood. People on both sides of the border will celebrate our ability to reach a broad agreement that encompasses environmental benefits that are so important to us. Read the full story from The Nature Conservancy, here
Restoring a Once Mighty River that has Slowed to a Trickle
(March 26, 2014) – Can you name the river that rises in a US state at the western edge of the Great Plains and travels 1,400 miles, passes through five US states and Mexico, and is being celebrated for an agreement between the two countries that includes environmental benefits for the first time ever? Read the full PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL article.
Change the Course to Restore One Billion Gallons of Water to Colorado River Delta
(March 26, 2014) – Change the Course, a freshwater restoration movement, will restore 1 billion gallons of water to the Colorado River Delta to support the revitalization of wetland habitats in what was once one of the planet’s great desert aquatic ecosystems. Change the Course is spearheaded by the National Geographic Society, Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and Participant Media. Read the full PHYS.ORG article.
The Case for Reconnecting the Colorado River to the Sea
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.” Read the full TAKE PART article.
Water Being Sent to Parched Colorado River Delta
AZ Illustrated Nature: Monday, March 24, 2014
(March 24, 2014) – The U.S. and Mexico are holding a historic “pulse flow” of water on the river, which will allow the water to flow into a delta of the river that has been depleted for decades. The project is part of a “groundbreaking agreement” known as Minute 319. View the ARIZONA PUBLIC MEDIA video.
(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.