Announcing America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2013


Colorado River through the Grand Canyon | © Amy Kober

Colorado River through the Grand Canyon | © Amy Kober

For thirty years, our America’s Most Endangered Rivers report has highlighted urgent threats to rivers and has spurred the public to take action. Through the report, we have helped sound the alarm on hundreds of rivers, saving them from threats like pollution and new dams.

The river at the top of the 2013 list, announced today, is the Colorado River – a river that is so dammed, diverted, and drained that it dries to a trickle before reaching the sea.

Flowing for more than 1,400 miles across seven states, the Colorado River is truly a lifeline in the desert.  But over-allocation and drought have placed significant stress on water supplies, river health, and fish and wildlife. To underscore the immediacy of the problem, the basin is facing another drought this summer. The Bureau of Reclamation’s report released in December stresses that there is not enough water to meet current demands across the basin, let alone support future demand increases.

Watch the new video by Pete McBride, then take action.

This is the year to put the Colorado River on the path to recovery.

Today, American Rivers and our partners at Nuestro Rio, Protect the Flows, Save the Colorado and the National Young Farmers Coalition are calling on Congress to give cities and farmers across the basin the tools they need to build a future that includes healthy rivers and reliable, sustainable water supplies. We are asking Congress to fund the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSmart and Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse programs. These programs help stakeholders optimize existing water infrastructure, maximize available water supplies, and provide healthy river flows for communities and ecosystems.

While over-allocation of water is most pronounced on the Colorado River, it’s a problem we’re seeing on rivers nationwide. In fact, the top four rivers in America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2013 suffer from outdated water management. What’s clear for all of these rivers is that we all need to be part of the solution. It’s time to work together to ensure clean water supplies and healthy rivers for our children and grandchildren.

Check out this year’s list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers >>