Save The Colorado focuses on fighting irresponsible water projects, supporting alternatives to proposed dams and diversions, fighting and adapting to climate change, supporting river and fish species restoration, and removing deadbeat dams.
Unfortunately, water planners throughout the 7-state Colorado River region are planning even more new dams, diversions, and pipelines that would further drain the river and its tributaries. Bad water project proposals we are fighting:
- Moffat Project in Colorado
- Windy Gap Firming Project in Colorado
- Gila River Pipeline in New Mexico
- Lake Powell Pipeline in Utah
- Green River Nuclear Powerplant in Utah
- Fontenelle Dam expansion in Wyoming
- The “10 dams in 10 years” proposals that would impact the Green River in Wyoming
Altogether, the proposals above would divert a new ~300,000 acre feet of water out of the Colorado River and its tributaries. In addition, state water planning processes in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are also yielding even more bad proposed water projects that we may address in the future. Nevada, Arizona, and California are also proposing new destructive water supply projects, including some proposals to settle Native American water rights that may include even more dams and diversions. Save The Colorado believes that our society needs to stop draining and destroying rivers and needs to focus on river protection and restoration. Thus, we are addressing the threat of these proposed irresponsible projects on many levels through science, law, and public advocacy.
2. Supporting alternatives to proposed dams and diversions, especially conservation
Throughout the Colorado River basin, studies are moving forward so that cities, states, and regions can have secure water supplies in the future. Save the Colorado is working with partner organizations throughout the basin to ensure that these studies contain policies that include scientific analyses of climate change, adequate streamflows to protect wildlife and habitat, economic impacts to the recreational and tourism economy, and aggressive water conservation measures. We support alternatives to new dams and diversions that protect and restore rivers — those alternatives include water conservation and efficiency, water recycling and reuse, growth management, and water-sharing agreements with farmers. We are actively promoting water conservation and efficiency in all states and cities across the basin especially in Colorado, Utah, and Southern California.
3. Fighting and Adapting to Climate Change
Climate change is real, happening right now, and will get worse. Climate change has and will decrease snowfall and river flow in the Southwest U.S. and further imperil water supplies for people and the health of the river and it’s non-human species. Dirty energy projects that are causing climate change including tar sands, oil shale, fracking, and coal mining are running rampant throughout the Southwest U.S., especially in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Save The Colorado opposes dirty energy projects and supports transitioning our economy to a renewable carbon-free system as soon as possible. In addition, Save The Colorado realizes that climate change will get worse requiring that we also support adaptation strategies that protect the river and the non-human environment as well as water supplies for people. Save The Colorado is a key steering-committee member of “Colorado River Connected” which is addressing dirty energy project in Utah and other areas of the Colorado River basin.
Throughout the Colorado River basin, myriad opportunities exist to work towards restoring the rivers and their habitat as well as the endangered fish species that struggle to survive. As one example, Save The Colorado has worked to help restore the Colorado River Delta in Mexico by supporting the bi-national agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. Elsewhere, Save The Colorado is engaged in making sure government agencies are held accountable for protecting and restoring endangered fish species int he Colorado River. Save The Colorado is continually looking for opportunities to support river restoration projects especially those that increase streamflows and river health. By supporting restoration programs, we can begin to re-weave the natural processes into the ecological system so that nature can be more resilient to human interference now and in the future.
5. Removing Deadbeat Dams
With support of Patagonia, Save The Colorado was proud to support the film tour for “DamNation” in cities throughout the Southwest U.S. In addition, we are always on the lookout for dam removal projects on the Colorado River and its tributaries in the 7-state region and Mexico. Dam removal is one of the most exciting new developments in river conservation in the U.S. and abroad. Removing dams is a central feature of restoring river health and the natural functioning of aquatic environments. Dams that are no longer useful, or that are terribly environmentally damaging, are candidates for removal. Small or large, removing a dam can have an amazing effect on river health as well as provide exciting opportunities for communities and people to rally around. If you know of a Deadbeat Dam that needs to be removed, please contact us!