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America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2013

American Rivers

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.

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 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 In fact, the top four rivers in America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2013 suffer from outdated water management.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.

America's Most Endangered Rivers® 2013

1. Colorado River
Outdated water management is threatening recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat.

2. Flint River
Water supply for communities, farms, recreation, and wildlife are threatened by outdated water management.

3. San Saba River
The river's flow for ranchers, citizens, and lakes might disappear from outdated water management.

4. Little Plover River
Outdated water management is putting fish habitat and water supply at risk.

5. Catawba River
Coal ash pollution is threatening drinking water and recreation.

6. Boundary Waters
Copper and nickel mining at putting recreation, drinking water, and wilderness at risk.

7. Black Warrior River
Coal mining will put drinking water quality and fish and wildlife habitat at risk.

8. Rough & Ready and Baldface Creeks
Nickel mining endangering pristine rivers, wilderness, botanical diversity and recreation.

9. Kootenai River
Open-pit coal mining is endangering water quality and survival of rare fish and wildlife.

10. Niobrara River
Improper sediment management is putting property, crops, and public safety at risk of flooding.

Special Mention: Merced River
Intentional flooding of this Wild & Scenic River would harm wildlife habitat and recreation.

Visit EcoWatch’s WATER page for more related news on this topic.

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