Colorado River Update! Lake Mead hits “trigger point” for shortages

Hello Friends of the Colorado River,

The water supply situation continues to deteriorate across the Colorado River basin as Lake Mead — the largest reservoir in the U.S. — hit its lowest point in history this week. Further, the lake is expected to decline even more as the summer plays out. The mead12321lake hit the “trigger point” of 1,075 feet above sea level, which may cause the first official “shortage” to be declared on the Colorado River in the next year or two.

This shortage would force cutbacks in water deliveries to Arizona, Las Vegas, and Southern California. In this EcoWatch article, I call this decline the “condor in the coal mine,” and continue, “The health of the river and water supplies across the Southwest U.S. are continuing to decline. People are literally draining everything.” What can be done to fix this mess?  As I’ve written elsewhere, we need to 1) stop all new proposed diversions out of the river so it doesn’t get worse, 2) dramatically ramp up conservation efforts, like those noted in this report titled “The Hardest Working River,” and 3) the federal government and the states need to negotiate a new Colorado River Compact that doesn’t drain the river.

OK, now you want some more bad news?! Just a few days ago the State of Wyoming announced that they are proposing to take a massive new amount of water out of the gasdrillingColorado River system to be used for “energy development” and other needs they haven’t yet identified.

The proposal would be the largest new diversion of water out of the Green River in decades — ~150,000 acre feet — which would no longer flow into the Colorado River, and would surely cause trouble downstream as the levels in Lake Mead continue to drop. Further, of course the diversion would continue the draining and ecological destruction of the health of the river system from Wyoming all the way to the Gulf of California. As I’ve noted before in other articles, all of the upstream states — Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico — are proposing to further drain the system and imperil the health of the river.

OK, how about a little good news!  In addition, to helping us advocate to protect and restore this imperiled river system, you can also get out there on the rivers and enjoy HSM7them while we still can! The rains in May and June in Colorado have caused a lot of runoff in the rivers and streams in Colorado, and in the Colorado River, and so the rafting is great!

There was good rain in Wyoming too, and so the Green River through Dinosaur National Monument is also flowing well. In conjunction with our great friends at O.A.R.S. Adventure Travel, Save The Colorado is offering a Green River raft trip in late August. The Green is still a beautiful river — a float through Dinosaur National Monument will renew your vigor to fight the dam builders in the future. The raft trip is August 23 – 26, all details are posted here. I’ll be there, as will renown California river advocate, Mark Dubois, to enjoy the sun and rapids and talk about the great river systems of the Western U.S.

LET’S GO RAFTING! Save The Colorado trip: August 23 – 26

Hi Friends — Let’s Go Rafting!

Our great friends at O.A.R.S. Adventure Travel are offering an exclusive, non-profit-rate raft trip for Save The Colorado friends and supporters on the Green River in Utah! This 4-day Gates_of_Lodoretrip is a fundraiser for Save The Colorado and will support our work to protect and restore the Colorado River and its tributaries like the Green River.

Dates: August 23rd – 26th, 2015
Cost: $849

The trip will feature the famous “Gates of Lodore” landscape, the weather will be very warm, and your companions on the trip will be great friends of the river! The Gates of Lodore, deep within Dinosaur National Monument, is recognized as one of North America’s most beautiful river canyons. An archeological treasure chest, Lodore also offers a wealth of beauty, history, and recreation. Rippling red and brown sandstone is contrasted against the deep green trees and grasses that grow along the river and up the canyon walls, feeding local bighorn sheep. Ancient fossils co-exist with prehistoric American petroglyphs in these canyons. Then there is the river itself—first navigated by Major HSM7John Wesley Powell on his famous descent that lead him through the Grand Canyon, the Green has long been a legendary whitewater run. Big-wave rapids are exciting for experienced boaters, but not so formidable as to discourage first time rafters.

Join special guests Mark Dubois (founder of Friends of the River) and Gary Wockner (founder of Save the Colorado) on a trip which will directly benefit the Colorado River and its tributaries. By joining this trip you are joining the force to support the non-profit organization, Save the Colorado, and one of nature’s greatest rivers.

This trip has a limited number of seats available, so contact us soon! The trip is fully supported by OARS — great food, excellent guides, and awesome fun!

Click here to see the full details of the trip including itinerary, gear, and travel arrangements:

Please contact Emily Kay, below, to book the trip!
Emily Kay, Reservations Specialist
The O.A.R.S. Family of Companies | PO Box 67, Angels Camp, CA 95222
Phone: 209-753-4790, Email:

duboisThank you for your support!



Colorado River Update: Take Action To Protect The Grand Canyon!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

A quick action alert for you to jump on: The U.S. Forest Service is considering public comment on a massive new housing development on the South Rim of the Grand Screenshot (291)Canyon. This development proposes to quadruple the number of houses, environmental impacts, and congestion at the South Rim. The development is opposed by many major environmental groups — even the U.S. Park Service has called the development a “threat to the Grand Canyon” (see story in Los Angeles Times here).

Our friends at the Sierra Club have created this handy action alert that you can click through to send an email to the U.S. Forest Service. As the Sierra Club states, “The development will transform the area into a bustling resort complex that will strip the land of its quickly depleting resources, and impact the quality of life for local residents and surrounding wildlife. AND, we still don’t know where the water will come from!” Please click through here to send an email to the Forest Service protesting this development.

And now for all the rest of the Colorado River news! First, the level of Lake Mead continues to drop, which is causing increasing calls for action throughout the Southwest mulroy-123U.S. Into that mix, the news service, ProPublica, has launched a major, provocative, multi-part series of stories about the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the problems facing water management in the Southwest U.S.

The first story was titled, “Holy Crop,” and focused on unsustainable cotton farming in Arizona. The second story just posted today is titled, “The Water Witch,” and focuses on former Las Vegas Water Czar Pat Mulroy. Question: Is it part Pat Mulroy’s fault that Lake Mead continues to plummet?

Second, the water wars in Colorado continue to heat up as Colorado moves forward with its “Water Plan” and as two water agencies, Denver Water and Northern Water, move forward with their proposals to build two new dam/reservoir/diversion projects that would drain even more wgfp-cleanwateractwater out of the Colorado River. Both of the projects are expected to be hotly contested — we are fighting to stop Denver’s “Moffat Project” and Northern Water’s “Windy Gap Firming Project” through the permitting process. It makes no sense to be planning to even further drain the Colorado River thus imperiling the health of the river as well as water supplies for Arizona, Nevada, and California. Colorado needs to stop the madness. Read our latest commentary about the Colorado Water Plan here (“Hijacking the Colorado Water Plan),” and about one of the proposed dam/reservoir projects here (“Will Colorado Violate The Clean Water Act?)

Finally, amidst the amazing drought in California, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California just committed to spend $350 million to remove lawns throughout their service area. Will this drought signal the final, inevitable, and necessary “Death of the Lawn” in the Southwest U.S.? See the story in the LA Times here.That’s real money, and maybe hope for saner water policies throughout the region.

Thank you for your support and stay tuned!



Will Colorado Violate The Clean Water Act?

For Immediate Release
May 28, 2015
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Colorado’s Draft Permit For The Windy Gap Firming Project Violates The Clean Water Act And Further Drains West Slope’s Colorado River

Denver — Today, Save The Colorado sent extensive comments to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment informing them that their “draft 401 water quality certification” for the Windy Gap Firming Project (Project) fails to comply with the Clean Water Act (the comment letter is posted here). The comment letter was sent in response to the “public comment period” for the State’s water quality certification process for the project.

Save The Colorado found extensive problems with the draft permit from the State, including:

1. The draft permit almost completely relies on the fatally flawed Final Environmental Impact Statement from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for the Project.

2. The draft permit did almost no independent scientific analyses of the water quality problems that would be caused by the the Project as required by the Clean Water Act.

3. The draft permit fails to address the water quality problems the Project would cause in Grand Lake, to Colorado River temperatures, to nutrient pollution in the Colorado River, and to streamflow quantity in the Colorado River.

In fact, the State’s draft permit squarely says, “A separate alternatives analysis was not performed for the purpose of the 401 Certification, instead a summary of the alternatives selection and screening done for the FEIS is provided here.” (Tech report, page 37)

“This draft permit fails to comply with the U.S. Clean Water Act,” said Gary Wockner, E.D. of Save The Colorado. “We call upon the State of Colorado to either complete its mandated analyses independently, or suspend the certification process until the numerous shortcomings in the Final EIS identified by Save the Colorado and others are addressed.”

Unfortunately, the State’s draft permit falls directly in line with Governor Hickenlooper’s 2013 Executive order to create the Colorado Water Plan which also requires State departments to “streamline the state role in the approval and and regulatory processes regarding state water projects.” (page 3)

The Windy Gap Firming Project proposes to further drain the Colorado River in Grand County, Colorado, and pipe the West Slope water under the continental divide to slake the growth of small cities along the northern Front Range. Save The Colorado has previously commented on the extensive damage the Project would cause (see letter here) and argues that better alternatives focusing on water conservation and water-sharing agreements farmers are cheaper, faster, and easier to implement.

“The Windy Gap Firming Project would further drain and destroy the Colorado River and violate federal law,” said Gary Wockner. “The Colorado River is already on the brink of destruction, from the top to the bottom — it needs to be protected and restored, not further drained.”





Colorado River Update: Is MEAT killing the Colorado River?

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

It’s time for a little controversy! I’m sure you’ve all been following the storm of news out of California and the Southwest U.S. about the drought and dwindling water supplies. In California, some of the wrath of the public and policymakers has focused on ca-waterthe meat industry — specifically on the cattle and dairy farms, and the alfalfa-hay industry that feeds them. Across the Colorado River basin — throughout all 7 states — over 75% of the water diverted out of the Colorado River is for agriculture. In some states like Colorado, nearly 90% is diverted out for agriculture, with a significant portion of that used for growing hay and corn which is fed to cattle in “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” (CAFOs, also known as feedlots), and then the animals go to slaughterhouses where the meat is shipped all over the planet.

Further, some of the hay that is grown in Imperial Irrigation District of Southern California as well as in all of the seven states is shipped to China to feed the burgeoning dairy industry there. Making this even more problematic is that the hay is often shipped free of charge in the ginormous container ships that come to the U.S. loaded with Chinese retail merchandise and would otherwise go back to China empty.

Folks in the vegetarian and vegan movement are very quick to make claims about the o-PAMELA-PETA-570water use, pollution, animal cruelty, abysmal labor conditions, etc. in the meat industry. The amount of water needed to produce one hamburger is also ginormous compared to the amount of water to support a vegetarian diet. As just one example, take a look at this New York Times column, “Meat Makes The Planet Thirsty.” Here’s another story in Business Insider titled, “One chart sums up the real problem in the California drought — and it isn’t almonds.” (click through to see a great chart — in short, “food for cows” consumes massive amounts of water in California and across the Southwest U.S.)

Finally, what would the world be without People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)? They have long advocated for a vegan diet and have taken hold of the drought in California and across the Southwest U.S. to advocate for a vegan diet. In that vein, this week PETA ran this Very Provocative advertisement with Pamela Anderson. (Click through here to see the Huffingpost story on this ad.)

We’d like to know YOUR opinion on this topic. Is meat killing the Colorado River? Should we all stop eating meat? We’ve created a forum on facebook to discuss this — click through here to our facebook page and leave us your thoughts.

Media Advisory: Denver Water’s “Moffat Project” Postponed, Again

Save The Colorado

May 18, 2015

Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notified Save The Colorado that the “Record of Decision” for the “Moffat System Collection Project” has been postponed again, now with a target date of “Fall 2015.”

Save The Colorado has extreme concerns about how this project would further drain gross-damand destroy the Colorado River, waste water in Denver and its suburbs, and subsidize bad water policy across the state of Colorado and the Southwest U.S. Further, the project would increase the height of Gross Dam in Southwest Boulder County by 125 feet, creating a massive wall of cement, the building of which would be the biggest construction project in the county’s history.

We are eagerly awaiting the release of the Record of Decision so that we can see if it permits this fatally flawed project that would drain another ~20,000 acre feet of water out of the entire Colorado River system at the very tip-top of the basin and pipe it under the continental divide over to the ever-sprawling Denver megalopolis. The “Moffat Project” would be the first new project in over two decades to potentially get permitted/built to drain more water out of the river.

If this project got built it would make Lake Mead drop that much faster, but yet Denver Water continues its fallacious flurry of p.r. about how they are trying to protect water supplies throughout the system. Further, Denver Water is proposing and threatening to build even more “Trans Mountain Diversions” in the future.


Colorado River Update: Lake Mead Hits Historic Low!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

The big doom-and-gloom news in the water world this week is that America’s former largest reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas on the Colorado River, hit a historic Screenshot (257)low on last Sunday. The reservoir serves water to the states of Arizona, Nevada and California, providing sustenance to nearly 20 million people and crops that feed the nation.

All the news stories and pundits blame the historic draining of Lake Mead on drought and/or climate change, but I’m going to take a different tack on this story. The reservoir hit a historic low because the entire Colorado River water supply system has been grossly mismanaged. Further, the gross mismanagement is escalating as the upstream states plot their next moves to further drain the reservoirs imperiling the economy of the region as well as degrading the health of the Colorado River.

For nearly two decades every water supply agency in the Southwest U.S., including the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation which manages the Colorado River system, has known 110715_matt_mead_250that the river is “over-allocated”—i.e., that more water is taken out than flows in. Yet, almost nothing has been done to stem the decline which is likely to get worse as climate change progresses. Finally in 2013, the Bureau of Reclamation publicly created the “Colorado River Basin Study” that, sure enough, said the system is in severe decline and offered a bunch of ideas on how to address it. However, few of those ideas have been enacted as the nation watches the reservoir drop and Nevada, Arizona and California still take almost all of their full allotment of water out of the river.

Even more malevolently, the level of water in Lake Mead is partly driven by how much water flows into it from the upstream states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. At the same time that Mead hit a historic low, those three states are not only still taking all of the same water out of the system, they are aggressively planning to build even more dams and reservoirs that divert more water. The three governors to the left can make or break this entire system. Consider:

  • In Colorado, Denver Water is proposing to build a larger dam/reservoir, Northern Water (which supplies water to Northern Colorado) is also proposing to build a new reservoir, and the State of Colorado is going through a planning process to build billions of dollars worth of water projects, all of which would further drain the Colorado River ecosystem.
  • In Utah, state and local planners are moving forward with a massive pipeline proposal out of the Colorado River at Lake Powell, and the state government is going through a planning process that proposes to put more dams on every river in the state.
  • In Wyoming, water planners are aggressively trying to start two reservoir projects that would further drain the Green River which flows into the Colorado, and are planning more water diversion projects in the future.

All of these projects are being proposed so the upstream states can get the last legally allowed drops of water out of the system before it collapses in the near future. This water management is a kind of “Mutually Assured Destruction” escalating the water war across the Southwest U.S.

If there is a slight bright side here it’s that the states have agreed to some “trigger” points in Lake Mead—levels to which if the reservoir drops, the states will start taking out less water, led first by Arizona. Those triggers will likely be hit in the next 12 to 18 months. Further, water agencies in Nevada, Arizona and Southern California have also agreed to some new conservation measures that will take less water out of the reservoir.

But that’s not enough. Here’s the bold action that needs to be taken:

  1. Every water supply agency needs to agree to water conservation measures that stabilize the system right now, before it reaches trigger points and collapse scenarios. The conservation measures should occur in cities and on farms across the Southwest U.S. If the water supply agencies won’t do it, the federal government—which has the authority—needs to step in and get it done.
  2. No water supply agency should propose to take one more new drop of water out of the Colorado River system. Instead of Mutually Assured Destruction, we need Multi-Lateral Disarmament. All of the proposed projects should be stopped—if the agencies won’t stop them, then the federal government should. If the federal government won’t do it, then the court system should as these projects go through permitting processes and get hit with inevitable lawsuits.
  3. The health of the Colorado River needs to addressed for the first time in history. At the top of the system in Colorado, the river is nearly drained and even more endangered by proposed dam projects. In the middle section of the river in Utah and Arizona, the dams have completely degraded the ecosystem leading to multiple endangered fish and a massively disrupted flow regime and ecology. At the bottom of the system, the Colorado River is still drained bone dry—all 5 trillion gallons drained out before it reaches the Gulf of California creating a holocaust of environmental degradation.

Gross mismanagement needs to be replaced with bold action, and then the doom and gloom news stories would be replaced with hope for a brighter future.

Stay tuned for more news you can use — we will let you know how you can take action!  Thank you for your support!


Colorado River Update: Can We Save California?

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

Two updates this week:  First, can we save California? The devastating California drought has generated myriad responses, and into that ring Save The Colorado throws ca-drought1its recommendations. This week, we published a blog titled, “Four Ways To Beat The California Drought and Save The Colorado River.” Here are our four recommendations: 1) Jerry Brown’s drought restrictions should become permanent. 2) Southern California should become a worldwide leader in stormwater and wastewater management. 3) Enormous efficiencies can be made in Southern Calfornia’s agricultural sector. And 4), use some of Southern Calfornia’s water to restore the Colorado River Delta.

As you may know, all of Southern California — farms and cities — gets water from the Colorado River, and the drought that is impacting California is occurring across the Southwest U.S. The drought in California may feel like it’s causing extreme circumstance in the short term, but with innovative thinking and investments, the drought may become an opportunity for the state to lead the entire Southwest U.S. forward towards resilience. In a world with a changing climate, resiliency will be measured in efficiency and adaptability. Southern California may feel a bit of squeeze at the beginning, but it will blossom into a new and more efficient and thriving economy and culture more in tune with its surrounding environment. Take a read of our blog in EcoWatch here.

Second, take action to stop the proposed Tar Sands Mine near the Colorado River in Utah! With many eyes focused on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline controversy that would move tar sands mined in Canada to the gulf coast, there is a tar sands IMG_5111-771x575project gaining speed in eastern Utah that is being overlooked. A Canadian company with the name “U.S. Oil Sands” hopes to mine tar sands from tens of thousands of acres of land in Utah, which is estimated to have more than 50% of all tar sands in the United States. Tar sands is the dirtiest form of energy on the planet. Extracting, refining and burning tar sands produces three to five times as much CO2 as petroleum, which contributes dramatically to climate change. Tar sands mining could make our rivers and aquifers toxic, poisoning the drinking water for millions of people who depend on the Colorado River basin. The Colorado River system is already stressed from over-use, and polluting and using vast amounts of water to mine tar sands and oil shale is a dead-end for everyone.

Save The Colorado is working with a big coalition of groups from Denver to Los Angeles to address this threat to the Colorado River ecosystem. The State of Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining (DOGM) should not approve the Revised Notice of Intent for Large Scale Mining at PR Springs. DOGM is accepting public comments until May 18. You can click through here to send an email to the DOGM asking them to REJECT this terrible idea. Please speak up for the Colorado Basin and a future free of dirty fossil fuels by clicking through here

Thank you for your support! Please stay tuned for more updates!

Colorado River Update: Is the California drought the “new normal?”

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

Over the last few weeks, all eyes have focused on California and the epic drought that is hammering the state. You may have seen the news that Governor Brown issued an brown-drought-abcexecutive order that all residential water agencies need to decrease their water use by  25%. This order falls in a long line of drought and water conservation measures that the state and cities have taken over the last 2 years. But will it be enough? And is it fair?

Recall, all of Southern California receives water from the Colorado River. In fact, Southern California and the farms in Imperial County east of San Diego, are the single biggest user of Colorado River water, consuming a quarter (1/4th) of the entire flow of the river!

As California struggles through this drought, a firestorm of controversy has erupted over how the Governor’s order impacts, or doesn’t impact, various water users. As three examples: 1) activist groups throughout the state are calling for an end to fracking — that high-water use technique to extract oil and gas. If people are forced to take shorter showers, should water be used for fracking? And 2) what about farming? Various groups and stakeholders are claiming that while the Governor cutback homeowners’ water use, high-water crops like almonds and pistachios continue to proliferate across the state. Sally-Jewell-010Further, parts of California are still growing rice (which is a crop made to grow in monsoon areas), and are still growing massive amounts of alfalfa hay that is shipped to China to feed dairy cows. Finally, 3) other groups have asked the Governor to clamp down on the bottled water industry. ABC News discusses some of these issues in this TV segment here which includes a lengthy interview with Governor Brown.

What is Save The Colorado’s response to all of this? First, we encourage everyone to not think of the California drought as a temporary phenomenon, but rather as the “new normal.” We are in an extended drought in the Southwest U.S., and NASA scientists tell us that this drought could evolve into a MEGADROUGHT due to the impacts of climate change. Over a year ago, Sally Jewell who is Secretary of Interior, referred to the Colorado River drought as the “new normal” and we agree with her.

Second, the ongoing drought in the Colorado River basin and the extreme drought in n-JOHN-HICKENLOOPER-large570California continues to highlight how insane it is to propose diverting even more water out of the already extremely depleted Colorado River. As we have noted to you several times, the biggest threat to the Colorado River has come from the upstream states—Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico – with their proposals and plans to take even more water out of the river. Specifically, in recent water planning processes, Colorado proposed $20 billion worth of dam and reservoir projects, Utah proposed at least $15 billion, Wyoming proposed “10 dams in 10 years” and New Mexico endorsed a billion-dollar water project. It’s like these states are engaging in Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), where every stakeholder is fighting to get the last river-destroying drops of water out of the system. Save The Colorado oppose all new projects that want to take more water out of the Colorado River.

What can you do to help? Two things:
1. May 1st is the deadline to send in comments opposing the State of Colorado’s Water Plan. This plan proposes a massive number of new dams and water projects across the state costing billions of dollars. Please click through here to send an email to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

2. Join Save The Colorado! By joining our organization, you help us get legal standing to fight these bad water projects all across the Colorado River basin. And when you join, we send you a t-shirt. Click here to join and get a t-shirt.

Thank you for your attention and support! Stay tuned for more action!

April 1st Press Release: Upper Colorado River Basin Governors Want NO More Dams

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2015
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Upper Colorado River Basin Governors Switch Positions,
Call For No New Dams or Diversions and For Healthy River Flows

Colorado River, USA: Today in a joint statement, the governors in the Upper Colorado River basin switched their long-held positions and plans and called for no new dams or diversions on the Colorado River and its tributaries in order to ensure healthy river flows. The statement comes on the heels of an extended 15-year drought in the Colorado River basin, including the worst drought in history in California, and also in response to NASA scientists whose recent report warned of a MEGADROUGHT due to climate change in the Southwest U.S.. Each governor issued a similar statement, “There will be NO new dams and diversions in my state. Our rivers should be healthy and run as freely as possible.”

“We’re excited to see these governors change their positions and face the reality of drought and climate change throughout the Southwest U.S.,” said Gary Wockner, Executive Director of the Save The Colorado River Campaign. “These Upper Basin states were on track to spend tens-of-billions of dollars or more of taxpayer dollars to build hundreds of new river-destroying projects. The new approach by these forward thinking Western leaders will protect the river and water supplies for future generations of people and hundreds of species of fish, birds and animals.”

The statement from the governors represents a dramatic change in their positions. Over the last 12 months, the biggest threat to the Colorado River has come from the upstream states—Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico – with their proposals and plans to take even more water out of the river. Specifically, in recent water planning processes, Colorado proposed $20 billion worth of dam and reservoir projects, Utah proposed at least $15 billion, Wyoming proposed “10 dams in 10 years” and New Mexico endorsed a billion-dollar water project. Most of these proposed projects would take additional water out of the Colorado River before it gets to Lakes Powell and Mead. Water levels in both lakes are at historic lows and dropping with no end in sight.

Previous statements made by water officials in these states made it seem like the basin was heading for a fight over water in the Colorado River. Colorado’s lead water official recently said, “If anybody thought we were going to roll over and say, ‘OK, California, you’re in a really bad drought, you get to use the water that we were going to use,’ they’re mistaken.” And the lead water official in Utah recently stated, “It’s necessary to put dams on all rivers in Utah.”

“April 1st, 2015 (APRIL FOOLS DAY!) will be seen as a historic turning point in water management across the Southwest U.S.,” said Gary Wockner. “The vision, leadership, and stewardship of these governors will be seen as a beacon of hope to establish a clear priority to ensure rivers are healthy and flowing for individuals and communities in the West for generations to come.”

The four governors issuing the statement are John Hickenlooper from Colorado, Matt Mead from Wyoming, Gary Herbert from Utah, and Susana Martinez from New Mexico.