Washington, DC – A federal study released today looking at water supply options for the Colorado River Basin is a critical step toward bringing water management into the 21st century. American Rivers applauded the Obama Administration for its effort on the report, which recognizes that climate change is making the status quo management regime of the river untenable. American Rivers underscored the need for optimizing existing water infrastructure, and increasing conservation and efficiency measures.
“Nowhere are the impacts of climate change more apparent than with our water resources,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers. “The ongoing drought in the Colorado Basin is a stark example. River levels are dropping, snowpack is shrinking, crops are withering and fish and wildlife are suffering. It is time to modernize river and water management across the basin, and this study is an important first step.”
The Bureau of Reclamation study, the “Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study” looks at a wide range of options for meeting competing water needs across the basin. Some of the options, like a pipeline from the drought stricken Missouri River, are economically unfeasible, controversial, and environmentally harmful. Other options, like expanding water conservation and efficiency, are more cost-effective, provide more flexibility, and would produce more immediate results.
“Expensive, environmentally harmful proposals for new dams, diversions and reservoirs will not meet the basin's many needs,” said Irvin. “A better path forward includes 21st century solutions like optimizing existing infrastructure and using the water we have more wisely... These are the cost-effective, reliable solutions we need to ensure a secure water supply, strong economy, and healthy river for our children and grandchildren.”
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.