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Our Nation's Most Endangered River -- The Colorado


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View Doug Pflugh's blog posts
17 April 2013, 12:20 PM
Unrestrained thirst puts Colorado atop American Rivers' threat list
Management of the Colorado River remains an engineering task that seeks to wring as much water as possible out of its banks. (David Morgan / iStockphoto)

The Colorado River has been called the lifeblood of the west; it defines our geography, sustains our fish and wildlife, feeds and powers our cities. Without it, our lives and heritage would be fundamentally different—which is why Earthjustice and the conservation community have fought for years to preserve and protect this great river.

But, the thirst for Colorado River water is proving too great.

Today, American Rivers, a national river conservation organization, named the Colorado its most endangered river for 2013. This dubious distinction was well earned as decades of damming, diversion and domestication have left the river that carves the Grand Canyon a ghost of its former self.

American Rivers identifies the problem confronting the Colorado as “outdated water management.” That means 36 million people, four million acres of irrigated agriculture and a sizable chunk of industrial activity are grabbing what they can from the river. Numerous government agencies and quasi-governmental organizations divide up the available flows with little concern for the river itself and the natural communities that it supports on its long journey.

A first-come, first-served approach is abetted by an extensive set of agreements, treaties and legal decisions, but at the end of the day management of the river remains an engineering task that seeks to wring as much water as possible out of its banks. For many, the Colorado River is nothing more than a water conveyance system, transferring the snow melt of the Rockies to a useful point downstream.

Colorado River Basin Plumbing graphic. (Courtesy of High Country News)Courtesy of High Country News.
Click to enlarge.

Further, years of readily available and cheap water have lured us into practices that are at best unmindful and at worst wasteful. Often, the least conservative use of water happens in the worst places—we drain the river to bring bluegrass lawns and outdoor swimming pools to arid regions more suited to cactus and rabbit brush. Progress has been made in recent years, especially following the significant droughts of the last decade, but we have a long way to go before we can be seen as being efficient with our water use.

Change is on its way. Rapidly expanding populations throughout the region and the realities of climate change have made it clear to those who control the river that the status quo cannot continue—the river is no longer seen as a limitless supply.

But, the shape of things to come remains an open question. Will we see the coming “water crisis” as an opportunity to fundamentally alter our approach to the Colorado River, seeing it as a living system rather than just plumbing? Or will we just get more effective at draining the lifeblood of the west?

Hopefully, we will have the foresight and political will to seize the opportunity before us and move towards a sustainable future that includes a living river and healthy communities.

American Rivers’ listing of the Colorado as most endangered is an opportunity to jumpstart efforts to shift the river management to a better path. Significant efforts already are being launched and there is some progress. The conservation community and others who have not traditionally played a leading role in environmental protection (such as Protect the Flows and Nuestro Rio) are forcefully engaging in the process.

However, we face a long path forward and no guarantee of success and right now there are a river and natural systems to protect. Earthjustice has worked with our clients and partners for many years to keep the Colorado flowing as a healthy river. Our priorities include:

  • Opposing new, unnecessary diversions from the Colorado and its tributaries, such the Flaming Gorge Pipeline water grab; we are monitoring water development proposals throughout the region.
  • Providing for habitat and river conditions that allow native species like the Humpback Chub to flourish.
  • Ensuring that energy development in the Colorado River basin (including speculative oil shale production and oil gas development in special places such as the Roan Plateau) does not adversely impact water quality and quantity.
  • Fighting to keep special places that feed and depend on the river wild. In particular, efforts to protect the heart of the basin—the Grand Canyon—from harmful uranium mining and our long running and successful roadless rule campaign are off-river efforts that provide for the future health of the Colorado.

We applaud American Rivers and its partners for their listing today and support the efforts of all those who are working to protect the Colorado River. We will continue to do our part to keep the lifeblood of the west flowing and healthy. McCrystie Adams, attorney in Earthjustice's Rocky Mountain regional office, said:

American Rivers’ designation highlights the importance of this once-mighty river and the scale of the threat to its survival. The Colorado has been squeezed to its breaking point and faces an uncertain future.

Despite the risk, though, we can restore this river so that it once again supports resilient habitat for native fish, birds, and other wildlife, and provides for the people and communities who depend upon it. We need to start using water more wisely through common sense and cost-effective conservation and water sharing programs.

The time to dam, divert, and demand more than the Colorado River can give has passed. We do have time to change course and protect this river if we make it a priority and work together.

Follow Doug on Twitter at @dpflugh_ej

Our family recently lived directly along the Colorado River from 2009 - 2011, in Blythe, California. With the Colorado in our back yard we were dismayed at the reality of the ecological effects caused by the lack of water sent down the Colorado by the Hoover Dam.

Here are the facts...billions of gallons of water are purchased by the Los Angeles water dept which are pumped from the Colorado River to supply to the outstanding LA area. Billions of gallons of this water are lost en route, through the desert to LA, due to massively leaking water pipes.

More facts..we could walk across the Colorado throughout much of the year. When we did have water, one could only boat with a speed boat; not a prop, because the water levels were still so low. Even with a speed boat, one required a trained eye to avoid extremely shallow areas that could be found even near the center of the river.

We came to learn that we were only sent water from Hoover Dam when farmers would pay for it. But what about the wildlife, plants, and all that relied ecologically on nutrition from a constant water supply from the great Colorado? Death and stench - dead fish, thirsting wild horses, fowl, deer, and all else that relied and still rely on...water.

Sure, agricultural pesticides saturate the soil and water of the Colorado in Blythe and all along the Colorado where farming is dependent. We questioned the safety of our health from spending time in the Colorado to cool-off from the 117' temps we may experience from May through August...if there was enough to wade to swim in.

What about this need of water from the Colorado River for the farmers who paid aerial crop dusters to fumigate their cotton or alfalfa, spraying dioxin even on houses, cars, children's back yards, our family as we were driving from town? I will tell you. Our understanding from local officials was that farmers in our town were paid several million dollars to cease farming for a certain period of time so that the deficit caused by the massively leaking pipes en route to LA could be somewhat compensated for.

As a family we have been considering the facts as we understand them ans we think of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Do you know what they use? A desalination plant - a processing for removing salt from their ocean water for the locals to have potable water. What an idea!

Why in the world is LA pumping from the Hoover Dam controlled Colorado when they could use ocean water that could be sanitized for potable use?

Michelle Turner
Recent Blythe, California Resident from Riviera Drive Along The Great Colorado

This is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. There seems to be shortage on realistic solutions too.

In addition to wasteful use of water, the horrors of thousands of gallons of water needed for fracking that also poisons the water, there is the added insult of chemtrails raining down aluminum and barium and countless other metals poisoning our oceans, rivers and streams. Write your congressman, senate, etc. and protest protest protest! Chemtrails are responsible for thousands of birds falling out of the skies all over the world (Russia, China and others are also abusing our skies in the name of the God of Science} Fish, and whales and dolphins have washed upon our shores by the thousands! The result has been irreversible, we've caused the droughts and crazy weather......Our airforce has been duped into thinking their doing wonderful things for our environment in their worship and trust of science. Help stop the insanity and vote the insane out of Congress, and the Senate........protest as loud as you can and spread the word!!

How does fracking affect snowfall in the Rockies, which feeds the Colorado River?

We won't solve our climate change--or our over-population--problems until we transform the global economic system. The price of environmental impacts are not part of how we measure human progress, and neither is social and community health and well-being. This is a new global movement--we've embraced it in Santa Fe using Bhutan's Gross National Happiness index (GNH, not GDP!). When global wealth is measured more sensibly and global wealth is distributed more equitably, women in the poor world will have more agency and more education, and like women in the rich world they will have fewer children. That's the only birth control program that appears to work. Please visit: Happiness Santa Fe.org and think about adding this new social movement to your strategic action. Changing the global economy is the most important upstream systemic intervention we can take. The rest will follow.

Very informative post, with more than a little pathos imbued therein. Smart move would be to buy origins of rivers, springs, streams, aquafirs and own the land close by.

Nobody is talking about the real problem we face -- as a nation and a world. We're overpopulated. And that's the real problem the river is facing. Too many people, not enough resources

A second problem is: we have been living in easy times for the last few hundred years -- and ignoring that hard times WILL happen even though we haven't been preparing for hard times. By luck -- good or bad, your choice -- it seems hard times are not just arriving, but early hard times are here. At this point, it is immaterial whether these hard times are natural or anthropogenic. Global temperatures WILL continue to rise above the norm of the last few thousand years. Sea level WILL rise by several meters within the next few decades. Semi-marginal areas (the expanded Great Plains area in North America) WILL become the much expanded Hot Dry. Record breaking storms WILL become the new norm. Etcetera.

And somewhere along the line, we will find we have expanded our population beyond the carrying capacity of our nation and planet. Carrying Capacity??? It's the maximum number of members of any given population which can be supported at a given time by the local environment. Ecologists say that living at carrying capacity is living at the level of greatest misery.

Examples are: the Anasazi invented irrigation and water storage, thereby increasing the local carrying capacity. A local, several generation long drought lowered the carrying capacity and that civilization failed. The same things happened to Ankor Watt, the Maya and many other localized civilized areas. Today, our civilization is world wide, our environmental crisis is world wide, and we have caused the world carrying capacity to shrink -- and it is still shrinking.

We can do as we have done in the past 8000 years -- invent new technology -- which lets us either live better and easier as our environmental carrying capacity increases because of our inventiveness-- agriculture, irrigation, weather proof housing, clothing, machines of many sorts, disease control, food storage, and many etceteras. And then in a generation --or several generations -- our population starts catching up to our new carrying capacity. As a species, we have raised our planetary carrying capacity from a few tens of millions of humans to several billions, where we are today.

Our past and the surface of our planet is littered with records (fossils) of past civilizations which reached their local carrying capacity -- and then crashed. War, famine, drought, disease all bring local populations back to living within the carrying capacity of the local environment. And that is what we are at the leading edge of, vis a vis the Colorado River.

Someone once said: Mamma Nature always bats last. And I note, it is her turn at bat.

I think there is a lot we can do: it's called damage control. It's what you -- Earth Justice -- are doing with the river.

I found your response so interesting. I will research the Anasazi etc being the discoverers of water storage, etc. thanks for your notes.

how about a water pipeline to canada instead of the keystone xl

lets tell canada that we value their water over their dirty tar

lets buy their water for the american southwest and save the rivers

How about water from McKenzie and Yukon Rivers in Alaska piped across Canada to top of Colorado and Missouri River basins? Algae Systems expects to get its carbon-negative algal bio-diesel cost-competitive with petroleum in 2016--then it can start to replace petroleum.

I think it is time that Arizona, Nevada, et al realizes that the days of swimming pools in so many back yards has ended. They will have to be relinquished, and that's just for starters.

Bingo on swimming pools in the deserts. Let's add lush lawns,imported water guzzling shrubs and trees growing where they are not supposed to be, all for the vanity of humans.
Getting extreme, we should depopulate Denver ... a city that shouldn't be there. If you are curious, read "A Ditch in Time," a book chronicling the struggle for water from many sources, including the western side of the continental divide transported to the eastern side for Denver's thirsty people.

Thanks for this comment. I did not see swimming pools as much of a threat to fresh water supplies before you mentioned it.

I was just biking back from the Reid Park Zoo in central Tucson with my family, and I noticed something that looked different and out of place as I passed: a lawn. Tucson might be a special case, but I've even been seeing a lot of rock landscape in Phoenix. To ourright ban it however, politics will have to lose the money train. I suspect the population/overshoot/carring capacity/selfishness worship/robber barron angle is simply going to beggar everyone to the point where these things simply die off - if a PVC elbow for your pool pump is one day $75 instead of $3, private pools quickly have a limited lifespan. Same when farms can't afford water vs. fracking (waterflow for barges from the Missouri last summer come to mind), it's going to be unpleasant, but it's going to be highly visible to J6P at least. Hopefully we can adapt fast enough. Those practicing sustainability and permaculture at least are living examples of a way on, might catch on faster than people think, maybe still not fast enough.

My bike don't add pressure to frack in the first place. Sorry for ending in a preach, I can't see a viable alternative, there's nothing to 'wait' for. Just like the drug war will always fail due to the incredible demand of Americans for drugs, Earthjustice is fighting an inevitably losing battle when our wallets keep voting for drilling; plastic trinkets don't grow on trees, and yeah, I've got more than I need to too. Trying to work on that. Same goes for farmers markets - put your cash some place that doesn't ship 1000 mi, use nat. gas sourced N fertilizer, conerves water; most CSA's are orgainc *and* local (and don't forget to ponder the fact that many of those same hardcore organic farmers are probably 'conservatives').

Respectfully,
Desert

I agree. WhereI live in the Mtns of Colorado the creek that helps feed the Platte River as well as homes and tap water should commonly be at least 6 inches deep this tme of year. Yet it is only 1-2 inches deep. Many wealthy people along this creek have pipes in this same creek enabling them to ensure that their lawn is nice and green and of course the Golf Course that it flows by must remain bright green to entice the Golfers.

Yet I am forced to wonder what is more important water for life or water for a Gold Course and so those wealthy can have bright green trimmed lawns while everyone else has brown lawns.

The over useage of water to fill pools water gold courses daily and water lawns has got to be controled with penalties for those who abuse the use of water in a drought.

Additionally and listen hard---Colorado and some Western States DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH WATER TO SUPPORT BOTH FRACKING AND LIFE_---FRACKING IS A CHOICE AND IT NEEDS TO STOP TAKING OUR WATER FROM FARMERS AND CROPS AND TAKING WATER AWAY FROM HUMAN AND WILDLIFE IN THE NAME OF GREED IS WRONG> Go else where. where the water is plenty!

Population developers and now Big Oil is ruining thebeauty of this stae and we don't have enough water to support these ventures! ZIt is gone, some by Mother Nature yet most by man's ignorance!

Hi, I think that is about time that we all take extreme measures to save these rivers from going extinct and it should never happen to the colorado river because of the Grand Canyon which is very special to me and my grandparents and I love the Grand Canyon! There is no better place than the Grand Canyon! Seeing all the wonderful wildlife and the wonderful colorado river going right though the Grand Canyon and the hover dam that is a nice resting stop!

Ashley, Dams like Hoover Dam are part of the problem with the Colorado. Dams cause pollution, water behind the dams evaporates. We cannot afford to keep building dams, they ruin rivers. Here in Ohio there are efforts to eliminate dams. The Cuyahoga River has had two dams removed and the quality of the water has improved. The fish population has also flourished. Two more dams are being removed this year which will help the river even more.

Hi, I think that is about time that we all take extreme measures to save these rivers from going extinct and it should never happen to the colorado river because of the Grand Canyon which is very special to me and my grandparents and I love the Grand Canyon! There is no better place than the Grand Canyon! Seeing all the wonderful wildlife and the wonderful colorado river going right though the Grand Canyon and the hover dam that is a nice resting stop!

While driving long haul trucks, I passed the headwaters of the Colorado River many times on Interstate 70, took lots of pictures of her rocky beginnings and reveled in her beauty in Colorado. As it moves toward the Baja California, this river forms the border of California on the west and Nevada and Arizona on its east banks. Then, on other deliveries south of Colorado, I was shocked and saddened as I saw this river become a trickle at the Arizona-California-Mexican border. The cultures of Mexican natives are being destroyed by lack of the Colorado River water, it was a tiny stream there with young willows all around it. The homes there were rudimentary and sad. The fields of foodstuffs on the Arizona border were lush and green. That's what America did to this glorious, large river that has fed desert lands and cultures for centuries. I hate to think of the future sometimes. The actions and activities of a large number of my fellow humans is killing our Earth. We humans are sh...ing in our own beautiful nest.

The population pressures are intense due to greedy, immoral and uncontrolled land developments in Las Vegas, and Southern California. The immense dams -Glenn Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam- have taken immense amounts of water and generated electricity from the Colorado to moisten/electrify Las Vegas, Nevada and a big chunk of Southern California, including Los Angeles. The needs of these populations have gone beyond our Colorado River. They've literally sucked a magnificcent river dry without shedding a tear. Perhaps the powers that be could go ahead and recycle their waste water back to drinking water as they did in over-populated Reno, Nevada and surrounding bedroom communities. Thank you, keepers of Pyramid Lake.

There must be considerations for the natives along the Colorado as well as the already established overpopulated cities along it's path. In Reno, Nevada, the people there had to stop being water hogs because the Native American Paiute-Shoshone tribes sued for the water of the Truckee River (headwaters at Lake Tahoe) to be regulated so Pyramid Lake, where the Truckee River ends, could maintain the water level amenable to the wildlife, fish and the tribes who own the reservation land and Pyramid Lake, a gorgeous desert lake. The City Managers had to develop a recycling program for waste water so it could be delivered as drinking water. When I lived there the Natives were taking very good care of Pyramid Lake and I hope it is still so. My prayers include the Colorado River as it is desperately threatened by overpopulation (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and others). All these cities were built without any planning for water shortages.. A fatal human error.

If we want to do anything about any issue, it will not happen with our current Congress, they simply don't care what the American people want and the only cater to those who made large contributions to their campaigns.

It is time, for us, as Americans, to declare a vote of "NO CONFIDENCE" of our current Congress and fire them all. We have to "clean out" Congress and hold a special election.

And the ones we elect must make a pledge for real reform to our election process.

* Overturn Citizens United
* Term Limits to keep elected officials from "digging in roots" and corrupting the system
* Campaign Finance Reform: With a cap limit on money allowed to be spent, forcing candidates to "stay on message" and eliminating all of the flat out lies that make up negative campaigning.

A cap can never be made: it is against the Constitution. The mightest effort that we can do is use our vote wisely....

And never forget all the votes our wallets make daily. That seems to be what our society ascribes the most power of all to.

Our over consumption and over harvesting of natural, nonrenewable resources will spell disaster for our future generations. Corporate greed and political corruption are endangering our lives and freedom and must be stopped!!!

man s destroying everything it touches

How dare we destroy everything and every creature and beauty and called ourselves the greatest specie evolved? The average modest wild creature knows more and is better than this terrible experiment called "human"- shame on us

Mam is the great cancer on earth. We can change but will we?

Colorado River is another beautiful place that was not formed just so ignorant people could destroy it...... Please save the Colorado River and San Pedro Rivers. ! Where do you think residents and wildlife get their drinking water from?

PLEASE DO NOT FORCE THESE RIVERS TO DRY UP !

How dare we destroy everything and every creature and beauty and called ourselves the greatest specie evolved? The average modest wild creature knows more and is better than this terrible experiment called "human"- shame on us

the eloquent responses reflect my feelings and reaction to the endless onslaughts on our natural resources, and I just have to
keep hoping that you all don't despair and go on fighting for our lifeblood needs to nourish and protect our world.

Last year I took a group trip to Colorado and I was blown away with its beauty then we had a boat ride on the Colorado River which I had looked forward to a bucket list made a long time ago, but I was so disappointed there was hardly any water to boat on. The young men who were the guides said that with the pass dought that the river had never been so low they asked if anyone want to jump into the river and I did with a life presevera but I really did not need it at five three the water did not come up to my groin so much for rafting on the Colorado. We all know that weather is changing on this planet of ours most of it not for the good but we keep on abusing it as if nothing has changed, how stupid can we humans get, but then again we said we were ever smart.

As another writer this past week noted on the failure of gun legislation that everyone supported, "support of an issue does not equal a demand". The large number of supporters of saving the planet need to turned into demanders. Politicians who not support saving the planet should made as afraid of "Us" and they are afraid of the IRA. The only way you get what you want is to convince the politician he will lose his job if you don't get.

There is entirely insufficient outrage over environmental and ecological matters. None of the issues before the state and national legislatures are of any consequence compared to the Southwest running out of water. Given the current level of concern over such matters, I expect that if the Soutwest runs low on water one of our political parties will push for a pipeline from the great lakes.

Earthjustice gets things done, that 's why I am associated with them. However, some thought needs to be given to making the environment and ecology and working toward a non carbon energy system a national cause. There needs to be a constitutional amendment for the protection of the planet. Conventional wisdom said women would not get the vote, conventional wisdom said prohibition would not pass. But once the number of demanders exceeded 50% both happened and with startling rapidity.

Every day needs to be Earth Day. Every day there needs to be demostrations and civil disobediance on behalf of saving the planet. Demand it and it will get done.

Isn't one of the fundamental problems population growth? More people means more demand in every possible form. However, the richest Americans benefit from population growth, as they own and control production and distribution of commodities, and bigger population means a bigger consumer market -- even if it is at the expense of nature, wildlife and the environment.
Seems like the best thing one can do for this planet is to limit the number of kids you have.

Population Pollution is Problematic, for sure.

In the 1800's the flow from the mouth of the Colorado River emptying in to the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) was of a volume and depth that allowed large passenger and cargo ships to travel 100's of miles northward.

Those days are long gone, but the flow is actually somewhat greater than 30 years ago as the marshy delta area has become a bird habitat where there was not one before.

The biggest problem besides flow/poor use is to the quality of the water is continuing radioactive tailings discharges entering the flow. An abandoned uranium yellow cake mill on Utah on the banks of the Colorado River continues to discharge tens to hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive wastewater from broken tailings dams directly into the Colorado. State and federal efforts to stop the flow have thus far failed. This has been going on since the 1980's. A separate massive uranium tailings dam from another uranium mine in Northeast Arizona burst in the 1970's discharging hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive tailings directly into the Puerca River a tributary to the Little Colorado River which is a tributary to the Colorado. The radioactive tailings are still discharging into the Colorado from this spill as this cleanup is still going on. Over 5 million Arizonans alone in both the Tucson and Phoenix metro area rely on this radioactive water from the Colorado River for daily needs to survive.

As the human influenced climate shift stretches Arizona's 20 year drought - the worst since the 1500's - on and on - expect mandatory rationing and water use laws in the near future which become permanent. Arizona and southern California will be forced to rely upon seawater and desalination plants to make up the difference.

The Colorado River must be protected as a living body of water not just "mined" for water.

I think that some of us Americans really do CARE about our environment; the beautiful rivers like the Colorado that are the conduits of our collective life blood--the lmited water which all life on earth needs for its sustenance & growth. However I fear that not enough of us in this country (& especially the stakeholders of the huge corporations & political leaders understand the true importance of caring for our rivers & waterways. Unlike the limited supply of fresh water that's available to us humans on earth, people's (especially American's) 'greed' knows no boundaries. I suspect part of this greed is from lack of education about our natural resources. It's true, what one writer above said about the Native Americans & their relation to Mother Earth. Native Americans 'revered' all of nature & didn't waste or exploit any of it. We could still learn quite a lot from our indiginous brothers & sisters about being good stewards for this land in which we all inhabit.

I think that some of us Americans really do CARE about our environment; the beautiful rivers like the Colorado that are the conduits of our collective life blood--the lmited water which all life on earth needs for its sustenance & growth. However I fear that not enough of us in this country (& especially the stakeholders of the huge corporations & political leaders understand the true importance of caring for our rivers & waterways. Unlike the limited supply of fresh water that's available to us humans on earth, people's (especially American's) 'greed' knows no boundaries. I suspect part of this greed is from lack of education about our natural resources. It's true, what one writer above said about the Native Americans & their relation to Mother Earth. Native Americans 'revered' all of nature & didn't waste or exploit any of it. We could still learn quite a lot from our indiginous brothers & sisters about being good stewards for this land in which we all inhabit.

We have been reading, hearing, seeing many catastrophic destruction of environment, water, air, soil and much more. Many of us know about the depleting water flow of Colorado, extreme pollution of NJ's Passaic River, read about taking out the entire PA mountain top for cheaper mining, Fracking for natural gas and many more happening all over USA and for that matter, all over many nations of this world.
Environmental groups have been trying to make us aware and let us know of many of these impending catastrophies for last forty to fifty years. People started demanding a stop to these degradation and we started seeing establishment of EPAs & DEPs who started the process of regulations, licenses, permits which has definitely improved our air and water.
However, lot more needs to be improved, upgraded to make the system lot more effective.
It is up to us, the people, to put the politicians on notice that they need to show their plans to effectively confront the coming catastrophies.
Many more of us, who are more actively concerned about the environment, need to write in public media -- like "Letters to editors", write knowledge articles and in other media outlets.
It is great to write the way I am adding my voice here but we need follow up more so that we can make general population aware of these earth shattering issues.
Thank you all

Look at farm.ewg.org/addrsearch. Enter ZIP CODE and discover your water thieves FDA subsidies/welfare payments. The American taxpayers subsidize these nonsustaibable chemical Ag operations. If the 3 uses for synthetic nitrates(derived from hydrofracked natural gas) are explosives, methamphetamine, and fertilizer(plant meth) then the stuff should be outlawed on a federal level! Ask the people in West, Tx. The entire Ag/Pharma/Oil Industries need rethinking. BUST EM!

True enough. I cringe when I see water sprayed into the air in arid and hot climates during daylight hours. One has to wonder just what percentage ever hits the ground and is delivered to the crops after evaporation.

Nice film. But from an artistic POV, it doesn't make sense to have the river personified by two different narrators.

Why must we as a nation and our elected officials be spurred and forced in to action to save a river that has so great an impact on our ecosystem? This should be a " no brainer".!

Our leaders must decide whether or not we as a country are lead by individuals who really give a damn about our country's ability to continue to support the lifestyle we
are allowed to follow without restrictions. Are there representatives who care for the common man?

Welcome to the apathy that is America today. Far too many people think that it doesn't affect me, so I don't care. Almost everything that happens affects all of us. We only have one planet. There aren't any other options. From how we vote, if we do or not, to the cars we drive and how we live our lives, affects us all sooner or later. Far too many people aren't paying attention and that's why we are in the boat we're in.....................

this is what happens when you try to live on and use land that was not meant to be used for that purpose.

Forget Arizona, just the change in Southern Ca., and its development is breath taking. Yep, they should be forced to build and install desalination plants using the sea for their support. they say sea levels are on the rise, so lets use them. Cities and urban areas changed their city limits and then built to the max. Now not much open land. I think this is also tied into immigration and the influx of people we now can't handle he mentality in the 50-780's to build, build,& build, has caused this, in an area that can't support it. In fact look at the unemployment in Southern Calif.

this is what happens when you try to live on and use land that was not meant to be used for that purpose.

Water symbolizes consciousness. Both water and consciousness support ALL of life.
What happens to our waters reflects on human awareness. Water is us. Will we live, be aware, care for our rivers as if they were our very blood...or allow the flow and juice of our shared body to dry up?

Colorado river belongs to icons of American West. Please, take good care about this gift of nature and preserve it well for future generations.
Thank you.

why are humans so short sighted? until damage is complete do they cry about the loss and then figure some other plunder out. it is really pathetic. but that is the capitalistic mentality the country was raised with. so until it hurts corporations nothing on a large scale will be done.

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