Colorado River Update: Former Commissioner of Reclamation Joins Our Board!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

Great news here — former Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Dan Beard, has joined our board of directors! We are very pleased that Dan is joining us beard1– he’s had an exceptional career in the government and non-profit world, and is spending part of his “retirement” being a vocal advocate for change in water policy in the U.S. and especially in California and the Colorado River basin.

Commissioner Beard raised a lot of eyebrows with the publication of his 2015 book, Deadbeat Dams: Why we need to abolish the Bureau of Reclamation and tear down Glen Canyon Dam. And, it’s just exactly that kind of eyebrow raising and thought-provoking leadership that Save The Colorado wants to encourage throughout the Southwest U.S. around river and water protection policy. So many of our rivers are drained and depleted, and so many of our federal, state, and local governmental agencies are often leading the brigade of destruction. Dan has been an extraordinary breath of fresh air — an “ecological truth teller” — at a time when few people are willing to speak out. Welcome aboard, Dan!

And there’s lots of great reasons to be telling the truth about the river destruction projects that are planned across the Colorado River basin right now! As we’ve noted to you many times, multiple new dam, diversion, pipeline, and reservoir projects grossdam1are currently in the permitting process with the Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission around the Colorado River basin. You thought the era big dam building was over? You were wrong, unfortunately!

Save The Colorado is leading the charge to address all of these threats — in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico — and we’re helping to support our dam-fighting colleagues in every place we can. In 2016 we expect to see “Records of Decisions” about two projects in Colorado, and we expect to do our very best to fight these projects and protect the Colorado River from these threats. How many more walls of river-destroying cement should we allow to be poured along the Colorado River? NONE, in our opinion. Stay tuned for the action — 2016 is going to be an exciting year!

If you live along the Front Range of Colorado, please join us at this great event Friday night! Our most esteemed friend and colleague — and renowned nature photographer — Screenshot (111)John Fielder, is giving a talk and slide show about his great new book, Colorado’s Yampa River: Free Flowing and Wild from the Flat Tops to the Green.

As you may know, the Yampa River is one of the ONLY rivers in the Colorado River basin that is still mostly free-flowing and we want to help keep it that way! John will show his amazing photos, tell about his trips along the Yampa, and sell his books to the audience. The event is at the Twisted Pine Brewery in Boulder, Colorado, and is FREE and open to the public. Although the Yampa is still free flowing, the dam-building rascals in the Denver metro region have their eyes on it, and are still hoping and planning they can one day drain the river and send its water across the mountains to fuel and subsidize population growth. John Fielder says, NO WAY, and we agree 100% with him. CLICK HERE to see the event details — see you there!

Would you like to host an event for Save The Colorado in your city? Whether you are in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or Vernal Utah, you can join our crew to protect and restore the Colorado River from the source to the sea. Send us an email (contact here) if you’d like to help out!

Thank you for all of your support!!

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: California Waterkeepers Support Transferring CA Water to CORiver Delta

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2016
Contact:
Gary Wockner, Executive Director, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310
Sara Aminzadeh, Executive Director, California Coastkeeper Alliance, 415-794-8422

California Waterkeepers Support Transferring California’s Water to Restore Colorado River Delta

Colorado River, USA: Today the California Coastkeeper Alliance and Save The Colorado released a resolution in support of transferring part of California’s allotment of Colorado River water for the restoration of the Colorado River Delta where the river no dry_colorado_new1longer meets the Gulf of California.

The resolution (posted here) is supported by all 12 of California’s Waterkeeper organizations which represent tens of thousands of members along the coast from the top to the bottom of the state, including those in southern California – San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County – that directly receive Colorado River water.

“California has taken, taken, taken from the Colorado River, and it’s time for us to give a little bit back,” said Sara Aminzadeh, Executive Director of the California Coastkeeper Alliance. “The Colorado and other Western river systems have suffered mightily during this drought: dry river beds, stranded and dying fish, and recreational outfitters and other businesses fighting for survival. I hope the impacts we’ve been witness to serve as an impetus for changing the way we think about and use water.”

The Colorado River begins in Colorado and Wyoming and drains the entire Southwest U.S., but 91% of the river’s flow is diverted before it reaches the border with Mexico, with nearly 30% of the entire flow diverted by the State of California which is overseen and administered by the “Colorado River Board of California.”

Paradoxically, even though the river is drained completely dry – all 5 trillion gallons drained out every single year – and California gets more water than any other state, the mission of the Colorado River Board of California includes “maintaining or increasing” California’s share of the river. Coastkeeper Alliance and other groups are calling on the State Water Board to change laws and policies that perpetuate this environmentally destructive and unsustainable practice. For example, in the emergency drought regulations currently pending before the State Water Board, Coastkeeper Alliance has requested that the State Water Board require that water suppliers reduce imports from the Colorado River and other impaired systems before qualifying for adjustments to the emergency drought regulations.

“Winston Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,’” said Gary Wockner, Executive Director of the Save The Colorado River Campaign. “The Colorado River is drained bone dry and California has a great opportunity to restore a piece of this amazing river system that has given its entire life to make Southern California inhabitable.”

In 2014, the United States and Mexico reached an agreement to do a “pulse flow” which sent a small amount of water in one 6-week pulse back to the Colorado River Delta and the Gulf of California. The agreement and release of water made international news as it temporarily restored a sliver of the river system in the Delta. Over 2 million acres of wetlands – which used to be the biggest migratory bird sanctuary in the Southwest – has been drained bone dry over the last 50 years. The U.S. and Mexico are currently discussing a new agreement to do another pulse flow as well as a “base flow” to keep the river flowing all year.

The resolution supports, “Transferring enough of California’s allotment of Colorado River water back to the Colorado River Delta for the Colorado River to meet the Gulf of California on a continual basis and provide occasional pulse flows to rejuvenate the ecosystem through the river corridor.”

*****

About Save The Colorado:  The mission of Save The Colorado is to protect 
and restore the Colorado River and its tributaries from the source to the
sea. Save The Colorado focuses on fighting irresponsible water projects, 
supporting alternatives to dams and diversions, fighting and adapting to 
climate change, supporting river and fish species restoration, and 
removing deadbeat dams. Save The Colorado has thousands of supporters 
throughout the Southwest U.S. from Denver to Los Angeles and beyond. 
More information: SaveTheColorado.org
About California Coastkeeper Alliance: California Coastkeeper Alliance 
unites 12 local Waterkeeper programs to fight for swimmanble fishable and 
drinkable waters for California communities and ecosystems. With a tool 
belt filled with law, policy, science and creative media, CCKA is an 
experienced advocate that advances statewide policies and programs for 
healthy and clean waters. More information: CACoastkeeper.org

Colorado River Update! Are you READY TO RUMBLE in 2016?

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

We are fighting hard, having fun, and ready to rumble in 2016!

2015 has been a good year for our work to protect and restore the Colorado River. Here’s a quick TOP TEN of our accomplishments in 2015 and a primer for what to expect in 2016.

1. We put all the dam builders on notice! As we’ve said to you many times in these posts, even though the Colorado River is in historic drought and almost at the legal and ecological breaking point, the dam-building rascals in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and artist-smallNew Mexico are still proposing new dams- diversions-pipelines that would further drain and destroy the river and its tributaries. In 2015 we told everybody — “Not On Our Watch!”

We’ve intervened in the legal process for two projects in Colorado and one in Utah, and we are watching proposed projects in Wyoming and New Mexico like a dog staring into a butcher shop. That’s right — Not On Our Watch! Our team of scientists and attorneys is working hard and keeping track of every nuance of the permitting processes. Due in part to our intense bird-dogging, all of the projects have so far been delayed into 2016 and we are poised to take legal action should a project receive a permit.

2. We fought the Colorado Water Plan process and made some headway against the dam builders. The state of Colorado is very important to the Colorado River because more than half of all of the flow in the river starts as rain and snow in the mountains of Colorado. So, what happens in Colorado does not stay in Colorado. The end product was a draw — we pushed hard for a lot of conservation to be in the plan and our opponents pushed hard for more “storage” in the plan. In 2016, we’ll continue fighting for saner water policies in the state of Colorado.

3. We made climate change a big part of our work because it is one of the biggest threats to the Colorado River. We have pushed the Bureau of Reclamation and Army 2I0A0617-EditCorps of Engineers to study climate change on the river, and to study how methane emissions from dams and reservoirs make climate change worse. Scientists predict that climate change could decrease flows in the river by up to 30% — we will continue to badger the federal permitting agencies that they have to take climate change seriously.

4.  We joined the fight to create the “Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.” We joined a coalition of dozens of groups and organizations to push for the monument, which among other things, would ban uranium mining near the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

5. We helped host the International Waterkeeper conference in Boulder, Colorado. In June of 2015, nearly 300 water advocates from across the globe convened in Boulder. Save The Colorado was right in the middle of it, sharing the story of the river and its challenges to the international activists. Highlights of the conference were amazing speeches by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Tim deChristopher.

6. We helped promote Dan Beard’s new book, Deadbeat Dams: Why we need to abolish the Bureau or Reclamation and tear down Glen Canyon Dam. Dan, who is the former Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation appointed by President Clinton, is one of the most compelling voices in the river-protection movement today. We are delighted to help promote his book and ideas. We also increased our connections to the amazing team of filmmakers at DamNation Movie — together we are CWTUrKbUkAA90P-smallall working to fight new proposed dams and tear down some old ones in the Colorado River basin.

7. We made new friends and connections in Southern California. In June of 2015, we went on a tour of Southern California water agencies. We met with the Imperial Irrigation District, Metropolitan Water District, Coachella Valley Water District, San Diego County Water District, and Colorado River Board of California. The highlight of the trip was visiting with Director and Board of the Imperial Irrigation District which is the single biggest diverter of Colorado River water in the whole system. After lots of interesting discussion, we reached a point of agreement — “the more water that flows to the end of the river, the better.” Yes, environmentalists and farmers can reach an agreement — it was a great conversation!

8. We joined the “Keep It In The Ground” coalition. The mining of fossil fuels is one of the big polluters in the Colorado River basin, and the mining and burning of these fossil fuels is making climate change worse. We are super excited to join this massive coalition to stop fossil fuel extraction on the public lands of the American West which completely surround the Colorado River.

9. We pushed everywhere, continually for more conservation, conservation, conservation! We have pushed city governments, state governments, the federal government, water agencies, dam builders, farmers — an unbelievable amount of Colorado River water is wasted every year and conservation is the fastest, easiest, cheapest way for everyone to get more water. 

10. Finally, in 2015 we reached out to you dozens of times to ask for your help, and you responded! You sent over 2,000 emails to state and federal decision-makers, you joined us in public meetings to fight dams, you provided lots of input into our work, you followed us by the thousands on Facebook (45,000 fans!), you followed us on twitter, and you JOINED SAVE THE COLORADO as members. If you haven’t yet joined, all you have to do is make a donation (PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT OUR WORK) and you’re in!

Finally, we leave you with the most popular photo of the year from our Facebook page, below. Thank you for all of your amazing support — stay tuned for more river-saving action in 2016!

dog-sup12

PRESS RELEASE: Utah Submits Application for Massive Colorado River Diversion

Screenshot (7)For Immediate Release
Dec. 2, 2015
Contact:
Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310
Zach Frankel, Utah Rivers Council, 801-699-1856   

Utah Submits Application for Massive Colorado River Diversion
$2 Billion Pipeline Being Proposed for America’s Most Wasteful Water Users

Colorado River, USA: The State of Utah submitted its application today to the federal government for approval of the largest new diversion of water from the Colorado River.

The proposed Lake Powell Pipeline would divert 86,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water for municipal use in Southwest Utah. The multi-billion dollar pipeline would pump this water 2,000 feet uphill across 140 miles of desert to deliver the equivalent annual water usage of 700,000 average Americans to just 180,000 people in St. George, Utah.

This water use inequity can be explained by the extremely high water use of St. George lake-powell-pipeline-routeresidents, who are using 294 gallons per capita/day, roughly twice the water use of Phoenix, Albuquerque and Denver residents, per person.

The proponent of the pipeline, the Utah Division of Water Resources, has spent 8 years and $27 million on the application and claims the pipeline is needed to prevent St. George from running out of water.  Critics are lining up to question this claim:

“The Lake Powell Pipeline is an unnecessary and grotesquely expensive waste of taxpayer money,” said former Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Dan Beard. “Southwest Utah has hundreds of alternatives for addressing their future water problems and the justification for the pipeline is based on fictitious and bloated water consumption figures that even the experts at the Utah Legislature dispute.”

“The Lake Powell Pipeline is a complete nightmare,” said Zach Frankel, Executive Director of Utah Rivers Council. “The biggest proposed diversion of the Colorado River during an epic drought, going to the nation’s most wasteful water users, with a staggering price tag, just to keep communities outside Utah from using this water.”

The Lake Powell Pipeline is a billion-dollar boondoggle that would have disastrous environmental impacts on the Colorado River,” said Gary Wockner, Executive Director of Save the Colorado. “The Colorado is already stretched to the breaking point – water supplies are at the brink in Las Vegas, Arizona, and Southern California. Taking more water out of this river is completely nonsensical.”

Located immediately upstream of the Grand Canyon, the diversion would reduce flows available for fish and wildlife species over hundreds of miles of the Colorado River and make restoration efforts at the Colorado Delta much more difficult. It would also impact the millions of residents throughout the Southwest who are much more conscientious with their water use.

“The pipeline is unfortunate, and incredibly irresponsible considering drought conditions across the West, for Utah to spend billions of dollars to deliver Colorado River water to America’s most wasteful water users,” said Pete Nichols, National Director for the Waterkeeper Alliance.

The would-be recipients of pipeline water have some of the cheapest water rates in the nation, paying only a small fraction of the price for water that Los Angeles residents pay. These cheap rates explain why St. George has some of the highest per-person water use in the entire U.S.

“Adjusted for inflation, the Lake Powell Pipeline will cost as much as it did to make Hoover Dam operational,” said John Weisheit, Executive Director of Living Rivers the Colorado Riverkeeper.  In 1934, there was about 8 million acre-feet of surplus in the Colorado River basin. That surplus vanished in 2003.”

Critics also point to the inflation of water use data by the Division of Water Resources as one of many reasons why the pipeline isn’t necessary, as well as the many inexpensive alternatives which are being ignored.  These alternatives are documented in a May 2015 Legislative Audit which found that water conservation is not being implemented as aggressively as many other western cities, including Las Vegas.

For example, while California is trying to reduce water use by 25% this year, Utah is trying to reduce municipal water use by just 1%, even though Utah residents are America’s biggest users of municipal water (per person), according to the U.S.G.S.

The Division is submitting their application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the decision making process is anticipated to take several years.

“The LPP proposal should be immediately withdrawn. If not, FERC should kill the project,” said Beard.

Screenshot (8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colorado River Update: Your Voice Made A Difference!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

First, your voice made a difference! A few weeks ago we asked you to send emails to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking them to study climate change in their analyses of proposed dam projects in Colorado. Over 750 of you sent those emails, and the Army Corps responded by saying they are delaying the permit decisions on those two gross-1234projects until 2016 (see our press release here). As we’ve discussed several times in these blog posts, the Colorado River is already severely drained and depleted, and so it makes no sense to be draining even more water out of it at the top of the basin.

We are happy that the Army Corps has delayed the permit decision on these projects, and while we remain hopeful that the Army Corps will deny the permits, we stand ready to fight the permits if the projects are approved. The two projects — Moffat Collection System Project and Windy Gap Firming Project — would take an additional 50,000 acre feet of water out of the Colorado River, further threatening the ecological health of the river and the species that depend on it for survival. Thank you for speaking out — we will remain vigilant!

Second, we are going to need your voice again in the near future! The State of Utah has indicated that they will be formally launching the permitting process for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline. This pipeline would be a massive boondoggle to drain lake-powell-pipeline-routemore water (90,000 acre feet!) out of the Colorado River near Lake Powell and pipe it over to Southwest Utah to fuel and subsidize exponential population growth. Working with our environmental colleagues in Utah, we are going to tackle this fight head on throughout the permitting process.

A scientific study by Western Resource Advocates proved that the project was unnecessary (read it here), and an economic study done by university economists in Utah indicated that the project would basically bankrupt the county that is proposing the pipeline by raising water rates astronomically (read it here). We remain committed to fighting this project and we will let you know when it’s the right time to send emails, phone calls, and letters to the federal government in the coming months.

Third, some mixed news in Colorado. Over the past year, 1,750 of you sent emails to the State of Colorado urging them to focus on water conservation and river protection Screenshot (511)as they drafted the Colorado Water Plan. Just last week the water plan was delivered to Colorado’s Governor, John Hickenlooper, and it contains some good news and some bad news. I wrote a column titled, “Colorado Water Plan: A Missed Opportunity,” which has appeared in several newspapers in Colorado.

The Colorado Water Plan does indeed focus on water conservation, and it has some OK ideas in it about river protection. But, it also contains plans for 400,000 acre feet of new “storage,” which essentially means more dams, diversions, and reservoirs. So, we made some progress in this endeavor, but we are going to have to remain vigilant in the future. We are deeply committed to stopping new dams and diversions, and to protecting the Colorado River and its tributaries in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

Speaking of New Mexico, some bad news there! Yesterday, the U.S. Dept. of Interior decided to move forward with permitting studies for the proposed Gila River Diversion, water-pipelinewhich would take a new 12,000 acre feet of water out of the Gila River in New Mexico (read the news story here). Despite a massive outcry from local river advocates in New Mexico, and despite getting 2,500 emails from you folks on this email list, the federal government is moving forward with this zombie water project anyway.

The permitting process can take years, and we offer our support to the local groups in New Mexico that are fighting the project. Once again, the federal government dropped the ball and is considering this river-draining project when they should have focused on water conservation and efficiency. We will keep you informed about when to weigh in with phone calls, emails, and letters as the permitting process moves forward.

What will El Nino do to Southern Calfornia and the Colorado River? Forecasters predict that this El Nino will be the strongest in recorded history, and may Screenshot (512)drench Southern California through the winter and spring of 2015 and 2016. Take a look at this Los Angeles Times story, “Massive El Nino gains strength, may drench key California drought zone.”

If the El Nino also drops a lot of snow on the Rocky Mountains in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, it may fundamentally change the drought situation throughout the Colorado River system and the Southwest U.S. Scientists also believe that the massive El Nino has been made worse by climate change and may wreak havoc across the globe bringing droughts and floods to different areas of the planet. We will keep you informed about how the El Nino progresses so that our programs to protect and restore the Colorado River are pertinent and timely in 2016 and beyond.

Finally, did you know that wild turkeys are native species to much of the Colorado River ecosystem, and when a group of turkeys get together it is called a “rafter?” Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
rafter-wild-turkey

Stay tuned for more news you can use, and thank you for your support!

 

 

 

Colorado Water Plan a “Missed Opportunity”

Media Statement
Nov. 19, 2015
Save The Colorado. Contact Gary Wockner: 970-218-8310

“The Colorado Water Plan has been a missed opportunity. Instead of focusing on changing the system to be more sustainable — using conservation, growth management, and sharing water with farmers — the Plan also proposes to further drain and destroy the already degraded rivers of Colorado and even across state lines. In the climate-changed world we increasingly face, Colorado needs systemic change in its water policies to ensure river protection as well as water supplies for people. Our organization is committed to fighting to stop new dams and diversions, and to protecting the rivers of Colorado for future generations of people and all of the non-human critters that rely on rivers for their survival.” — Gary Wockner

-- 
Gary Wockner, PhD, Executive Director
Save the Colorado
PO Box 1066, Fort Collins, CO 80522 

http://savethecolorado.org


http://www.facebook.com/savethecolorado


https://twitter.com/savethecolorado

970-218-8310

PRESS RELEASE: DENVER WATER’S “MOFFAT COLLECTION SYSTEM PROJECT” DELAYED AGAIN

For Immediate Release
November 6, 2015
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

DENVER WATER’S “MOFFAT COLLECTION SYSTEM PROJECT” DELAYED AGAIN

Denver, CO: Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers again delayed its “Record of Decision” for Denver Water’s “Moffat Collection System Project,” an extremely controversial scheme to further drain the Upper Colorado River, massively expand a dam in Boulder County, Colorado, and send more water to the sprawling Denver suburbs.

The notice is on the Corps’ website here: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgram/Colorado/EISMoffat.aspx

The new date for the decision is “2016,” which was just changed from “Fall of 2015.”

Over the last few months, Save The Colorado has been intensely bird-dogging the project. Over 700 Save The Colorado supporters sent emails to the Corps demanding that the Corps consider climate change in the permitting process, which the Corps so far has not.  Further, Save The Colorado sent a detailed technical analysis to the Corps pointing out that Denver Water doesn’t even need more water. In fact, as Denver’s population has increased, their total water use has actually decreased.

“This river-destroying scheme is unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive,” said Gary Wockner, E.D. of Save The Colorado of the $350 million project. “Denver Water doesn’t even need the water and the Corps has not considered climate change in its analysis.”

Save The Colorado’ analysis sent to the Corps (here) included this graph of Denver Water’s actual water use:
Screenshot (479)

Further, Denver Water’s CEO, Jim Lochhead, tweeted just yesterday the exact same information which exemplifies how the Moffat Project is unneeded:
Screenshot (480)

“All over the Southwest U.S., water use is decreasing dramatically even as population grows,” said Wockner. “Denver Water needs to stop this wasteful, destructive project right now and focus on the cheap, easy, fast method to get more water — conservation.”

–end–

Save The Colorado Update: No! More! Dams!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

“When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

Scientists, government agencies, environmental activists, and news reports have all agreed — the Colorado River is in a hole. A prolonged 15-year drought, encroaching climate change, and massive human mismanagement have caused the Colorado River to be at its most degraded state in history. Water levels in the main reservoirs — Mead sor-capitol-smalland Powell — are at their lowest level in history, and all predictions for future water levels and river flows indicate more degradation.

But, insanely, the Upper Basin states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico are still digging, as all four states are proposing and planning for even more dams and diversions of water out of the Colorado River and its tributaries.

Save The Colorado’s policy is “No New Dams and Diversions” and we are committed to fighting all of the proposals on the table right now!

In Colorado, we are leading the fight and rapidly putting together a legal team and resources to fight two projects — the Moffat Project and Windy Gap Project — that would dam and divert more water out of the Colorado River. Both of these projects are at the very end of the permitting stages, and we are gearing up for major legal battles. We are also deeply engaged in the Colorado Water Plan process, trying to make sure it does 618_348_yvon-chouinard-fights-the-food-industrynot support more dams and diversions.

In Wyoming, we are keeping close tabs on the State’s plan for “10 New Dams in 10 Years,” and if any of those proposals move forward on the Green River or other tributaries of the Colorado River, we will be right on top of them. We are also monitoring the “Fontanelle Dam Expansion” on the Green River so that when it triggers a permitting process, we will engage head on.

In New Mexico, we have provided outreach support to the local groups fighting the proposed Gila River Diversion which is a tributary to the Colorado River. When that project triggers a permitting process, we will engage to help fight it.

In Utah, we are helping local groups gear up to fight the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline, a massive boondoggle to drain a large amount of water out of the Colorado River to slake the never-ending thirst of population growth in the southwest part of the state. We are also monitoring the State’s water planning process, the director of which said he wants “dams on every river in Utah.”

In every one of these fights, we are also focusing on alternatives that would better meet the water supply needs of the local communities. In nearly every case, alternative water supply options including conservation, efficiency, recycling and reuse, and working with farmers is a faster, cheaper, and easier way to get new water that doesn’t further drain 274716465_545e8cddec_band destroy the amazing Colorado River system.

Save The Colorado is engaged in several programmatic activities in addition to fighting dams. We fight dirty energy and climate change, work to protect habitat including the Grand Canyon, and promote dam removal whenever possible. And on that note, our action item for this week is to reach out to Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva and thank him for introducing the Grand Canyon Watersheds Protection Act into the U.S. House. The Act would finally ban uranium mining in the Grand Canyon watershed and provide additional protections for that amazing resource forever. Click through here to our Facebook page to “like” and “Thank” Congressman Grijalava.

Thank you for your support and stay tuned for all the action!

 

PRESS RELEASE: Engineer Wants New Colorado Nuke Plant To Provide Water To Cities

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2015
Contact: Gary Wockner, E.D., Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

AWRA Hosts Eccentric Idea to Rekindle St. Vrain Nuclear Powerplant to Purify and Deliver South Platte River Water to the Front Range

Denver, CO: At its October 27, 2015 meeting the American Water Resources Association’s Colorado Section is hosting a “program” by the President of Aquacraft Inc. to present the idea of rekindling Colorado’s closed-down St. Vrain Nuclear Powerplant in order to use the heat from the reactors to purify highly polluted water in the South Platte River, and then to send that water to municipalities along the Front Range (see link here). The program announcement says the technology can help fill the “gap” in water demand identified by the Colorado Water Plan process.

“Building a nuclear powerplant to drain the South Platte River to provide water for lawns in suburbs along the Front Range of Colorado ranks as one of the newest and most ‘eccentric’ ideas we’ve seen so far in the Colorado Water Plan process,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Colorado and Save The Poudre. “Why not just build a pipeline from Mars instead?”

Save The Colorado points out that conservation, efficiency, and buying water from farmers is always a faster, easier, and cheaper way to get water.  In fact, if just 10% of all of the farm water in Colorado was transferred to cities, it would fill the gap through the year 2050.

“We don’t have a water gap,” said Wockner. “We have a gap in common sense that is keeping our society from embracing the fastest, easiest, cheapest solution to Colorado’s water problems.”

–end–

PRESS RELEASE: Colorado River-Destruction Cartel Makes Its Move In State Legislature

For Immediate Release
October 16, 2015
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Colorado River-Destruction Cartel Makes Its Move In State Legislature
Bills would completely gut state and federal permitting process to fast-track new dams

Denver, CO: Today, two draft bills were made public in a Colorado legislative committee that would completely gut the state and federal permitting process for new dams and reservoirs in the state of Colorado. The bills are a part of the “Colorado Water Plan” process that is almost nearing its end and was began by an executive order from Governor Hickenlooper in 2013.

Bill 4 would completely gut the state permitting process, taking it away from the water quality, wildlife, and public health professionals in the state government, and turn the permitting over to the Colorado “Office of the State Engineer.”

Bill 5 would take the permitting process away from the federal government — completely gutting the role of the EPA, Army Corps, and Bureau of Reclamation — and turn that all over to the Colorado “Office of the State Engineer.”

“The Colorado river-destruction cartel is making its move in the state legislature,” said Gary Wockner of the Save The Colorado and Save The Poudre organizations. “The Colorado Water Plan process has been gearing up to this — if they can gut permitting, it will create an unstoppable dam-building and river-destruction frenzy across the state.”

The Colorado Water Plan has already made clear that it supports “fully developing compact entitlements” to the state’s water so that no water leaves state boundaries that is not required by federal law. At a meeting this week of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, the power of Colorado’s business community was on full display where it gave its “wish list” to the state board that is creating the Colorado Water Plan which included “reservoir expansion” and it “called on Governor Hickenlooper to take the lead improving the permitting process…”  The Colorado Water Plan itself also directly calls for changing the permitting process (chapter 9, slide 12).

“Colorado thinks it owns up to 1 million acre feet of water out of the Colorado River that it has not yet developed, and the state water plan proposes new dams and reservoirs on other rivers across the state,” said Wockner. “Whether you’re in Las Vegas, Las Cruces, or Los Angeles, you better be paying attention because what happens in Colorado does not stay in Colorado.”

The bills will be heard in the Interim Water Resources Review Committee of the Colorado State Legislature on October 29th.

The Colorado Water Plan is expected to be delivered to Governor Hickenlooper on November 19th.

–end–