Friday, July 12, 2013

The Colorado: A River Endangered
Endangered species can tug at your heart strings. It’s hard to not go “Awwww” when you see pictures of a baby Amur leopard or a Polar bear cub. Did you know that we have a local heart string that’s endangered? I’m not thinking of the Black-footed ferret…it’s the Colorado River.

Back in December, the US Department of Interior released a worrisome report. It summarized future water demands of the Colorado River based on current use trends. This study projected that largest future demand of Colorado water will come from municipalities and industries; the second being a potential double in human population.

Looking into the next 50 years can be daunting when it comes to the condition of the Colorado. But, there are some really good reasons why we should act sooner rather than later.

• Nearly 40 million people use Colorado River water for municipal use
• Supplies irrigation water for about 4 million acres
• Flows through 7 National Wildlife Refuges
• Flows through 11 National Parks
• Generates hydropower creating 4200 megawatts

Some organizations established to create awareness and find solutions include the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Initiative. WaterSMART stands for “Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow,” and works to do just that.
Stakeholders from Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Wyoming and Nevada are brainstorming ways to promote conservation while still meeting needs of people. Common proposals include increasing water reuse and desalination. Continued research is being performed to try to find the best available science to accomplish conservation goals.
Do your part to help save the Colorado River! Support conservation groups, support groups like Women of Water, encourage local municipalities to invest in reuse technology, and be a water conservationalist!

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