Hello Friends of the Colorado River!
San Diego — bad actor of the week! We are working with conservation groups throughout the Southwest U.S. to protect and restore the Colorado River for future generations of people and for the river and its wildlife. In that capacity, we focus on highlighting good and bad actors who are impacting the health of the Colorado River. Unfortunately the bad actor this week is the City of San Diego which gets about 1/2 of its water from the Colorado River. At the same time that California Governor Brown encouraged all Californians to reduce their water use by 20%, San Diego actually contributed to an increase in water usage by 8% — in other words, they wasted more water this year than last year, even in this extreme drought! Even worse, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has refused to elevate the City’s drought response program to a higher level of conservation and awareness. So, working with the local conservation group, San Diego Coastkeeper, we are highlighting San Diego and Mayor Faulconer as the ‘bad actor’ of the week — please click through here to our Facebook page to let Mayor Faulconer know your thoughts on his decision to continue wasting water in San Diego. You can read more about this on EcoWatch here.
Lake Mead’s decline continues to be the big story of the week! As the Lake level falls to its lowest point in history, the political escalation is rising. Two conservation groups — American Rivers and Western Resource Advocates — came out with a report last week on solutions to restoring the balance of water in the Colorado River system. You can read this report here. It adds to the growing concern of how to address the long-term decline of Lake Mead as well as the entire Colorado River. The states in the Southwest U.S. have also come up with their own plan, discussed in this Arizona Daily Star article here. And, political leaders like Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom have entered the fray with this editorial here in the Las Vegas Review Journal — Senator Segerblom says, “Like us, rivers live and rivers breathe.” The big question is if the federal government or the states can act quickly enough to address the problem, and then a host of questions arise about the details of the actions that might be taken. As the lake and river continues to decline, we are focusing on the health of the river itself — our goal is to keep it flowing and keep the critters it supports (including us human critters!) alive and healthy.
Tomorrow, Friday July 25th, is Colorado River Day! Woop! Yes, for the third year in a row we are celebrating Colorado River Day, the day on which in 1921 the U.S. Congress named it the Colorado River. You can read more about Colorado River Day on its website here. Events will take place in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada highlighting the role of the river in the lives of local people and decision-makers. The events focus on raising awareness about the problems with the river, and how local governments and local leaders can push forward water conservation programs that help protect and restore the river’s ecosystem.
For your own part, see if you can get outside this weekend and enjoy your local watershed. Rivers are the lifeblood of our ecosystems across the American West — they deserve special protection and appreciation. Check out the photo below — get out there and start paddling!
Thank you for your support!