Nineteen Southwest U.S. conservation groups from the top of the Colorado River basin to the bottom have launched an online petition drive to gather support for a Bi-National Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico to restore a small amount of water to the Colorado River Delta. In just two days, the petition has gathered more than 1,000 signatures, a very strong start to address one of the most difficult conundrums in American environmental history. To sign the petition, click here.
For more than a decade, the Colorado River has been drained completely dry before it reaches the Gulf of California—5 trillion gallons of water drained out by thirsty cities and farms across the Southwest. The Bi-National Agreement being considered by the International Boundary Waters Commission and the Bureau of Reclamation may be able to restore a small amount of water to the devastated ecosystem.
“This historic agreement could signal hope for the devastated Colorado River Delta,” said Gary Wockner, coordinator for the Save the Colorado River campaign, the lead petition organizer. “The delta was once a flyway for millions of migratory birds as well as one of the biggest wetland ecosystems in NorthAmerica. If we can restore a small amount of flows, we can restore a lifeline for North American wildlife.”
The Bi-National Agreement could better manage the Colorado River so that water supply reliability can be enhanced for cities, farms and natural ecosystems benefiting both the U.S. and Mexico. If structured properly, the agreement would allow both countries to have better drought supplies while also addressing the devastating drought of water in the delta ecosystem.
“Our organization works everyday on the ground in the Colorado River Delta to restore the natural ecosystem,” said Luther Propst, executive director for the Sonoran Institute. “The Bi-National Agreement could not only bring water and life back to the delta, but it could increase water supply reliability for cities and farms on both sides of the border.”
Change.org online action is petitioning U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who oversees the International Boundary Waters Commission, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who oversees the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
“This is a friendly, supportive petition effort for a realistic opportunity to get the Colorado River flowing again,” said Gary Wockner. “We want to raise public awareness and support the efforts of the U.S. negotiators—there is hope in the Colorado River Delta and hope should be nurtured and supported wherever it flows.”
The following conservation organizations support the petition—Save the Colorado, Sierra Club—Rocky Mountain Chapter, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Living Rivers: Colorado Riverkeeper, The Environmental Group, Western Rivers Institute, Blue Legacy, The Ocean Foundation, Clean Water Fund, San Diego Coastkeeper, Save the Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper, American Whitewater, Waterkeeper Alliance, Food and Water Watch, Colorado Ocean Coalition, Glen Canyon Institute, Save the Colorado River Delta: Sonoran Institute, Sheep Mountain Alliance, Grand Canyon Trust.
For more information, click here.