For several years, an array of Colorado River Upper Basin stakeholders, including state agencies, farmers and ranchers, conservationists and municipal water managers have been partnering on innovative water conservation pilot projects to help ensure healthy flows and habitat in the river, maintain levels in Lake Powell and protect our vibrant agricultural communities.
Additional support is needed, though, to turn those pilot projects into a sustained, effective demand management and system conservation program that includes a water bank in Lake Powell to store the conserved water. Expanded funding for these projects will help implement market-based solutions on a larger scale to maintain healthy flows in the Colorado River and sustain the jobs, wildlie and communities that depend on it. Additionally, states will need to enact water policies and procedures that allow water conserved through these projects to be left in the river and allowed to reach Lake Powell.
In Episode 11 of We Are Rivers, we explore the ideas and efforts behind expanded demand management and increased conservation across the Upper Basin with Scott Yates of Trout Unlimited and Taylor Hawes of The Nature Conservancy, both of whom are deeply integrated into the nuance and detail of developing a system that works for everyone who relies on the Colorado River, as well as the long-term, sustainable health of the Colorado River itself.
Listen to We Are Rivers Episode 11: How Water Management and Flexibility Can Save the Colorado River today!