Drought's impact on Arizona's rivers could be dire, but WRAN's growing membership gives us hope! Photo: Jon Buford

WRAN News: August 2020

Reduced Water Deliveries Continue on Drought-Stricken Colorado River

The Colorado River millennial mega-drought continues, despite robust snowpack last winter. Above-average temperatures in spring resulted in a paltry 57% runoff, nowhere near enough water to refill the reservoirs that remain half-empty. Based on these conditions, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently determined that 2021 will be a “tier zero” year under the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan, with reduced water deliveries for Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico. Audubon advocated over several years for the states to adopt this plan that is needed to avoid catastrophic water shortages that would impact people and nature in prolonged and severe dry periods.

The good news is that the Lower Basin water users have demonstrated they can conserve water at scale through system conservation and key partnerships. And as climate change impacts grow in the Colorado River Basin, water conservation will help rural and urban communities thrive while ensuring the sustainability of important bird habitats. Read more.

New Senate Bill Threatens U.S.—Mexico Cooperation and Birds of Lower Colorado River:

Legislation proposed by Senator Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) would destroy the Ciénega de Santa Clara, the largest remaining wetland in the Colorado River Delta, essential for both resident and migrating birds. The bill would instruct the federal government to operate the Yuma Desalting Plant. While the broader purpose of the legislation—to secure federal investment in energy and water—is laudable, the mandate to operate the long-defunct Yuma Desalting Plant is a mistake. It’s bad for birds, and for our existing agreements with Mexico. Read more. You can also read John Fleck’s (professor and river expert) take.

Around the West:

Upcoming Virtual Opportunities:

Join the Network | Take Action | Events and Webinars | Water in the News | Follow us on Facebook | Donate | Storymaps | Landowner Guides

Want to dig deeper into the issues affecting Arizona's Rivers and water? Check out the blog entries below:

(To see stories from across the Colorado River Basin, visit National Audubon's Western Water News page.)


Past WRAN Newsletters:

August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016

How you can help, right now