Audubon is deeply involved about current Colorado River circumstances, a disaster Inside the making for chooks And fullly different people. Current authorities modeling reveals the potential Contained in the subsequent 24 months, there Might be a “day zero” state of affairs the place reservoir water currents fall Tons that primary dams are unable to reliably launch water. This places communities and wildlife In hazard. We recently responded to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) request for suggestions on their upcoming course of To decide new guidelines for Colorado River administration (“pre-scoping for submit-2026 Colorado River Reservoir Operational Strategies for Lake Powell and Lake Mead Beneath Traditionally Low Reservoir Conditions”), making the case for good governance Which will enhance Colorado River Basin resilience to local climate change with enhanced outcomes for people and nature.

The Colorado River Is understood for supporting The enlargement of the American West, to The objective the place right now it currents 40 million people and underpins an financial system exceeding $1 trillion. Neverthemuch less, thirty sovereign Tribes Which have been Inside the basin since time immemorial Have not been included in administration dialogues, and In lots of circumstances Do not have entry to their Colorado River water rights.

The river and its tributaries are additionally The inspiration of life Inside the area, important in supporting Greater than 70 % of all wildlife. The riparian forest that strains the watime periodethods of the Colorado River Basin currents essential habitat for chooks, collectively with 400 species alongside the Decrease Colorado River alone. Scores of dams and diversions have altered river flows, Ensuing in invasive shrubs Which have changed native timber and diminished habitat worth. With much less native habitat out there, A minimal of six breeding chook species that Rely upon the Colorado River Basin, collectively with the Bell’s Vireo, Summer time Tanager, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow Warbler, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, and Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, have expert vital inhabitants decstrains.

Quick water conservation Is required To cease the shut to-time period disaster, Neverthemuch less the circumstances driving the disaster Aren’t anticipated to abate, pointing to The want for structural modifications in Colorado River administration. To understand structural modifications in such A posh and extreme stakes setting Would require USBR and all Colorado River stakeholders—the Tribes, states, native authoritiess, water clients, and environmental and Spare time activities—to view the basin as A complete and work collaboratively to outline options. Right here’s what Audubon Desires to see (for a extra full dialogue, see our letter):

  • Transparency
  • Inclusivity
  • Prioritization of Mexico’s position in Colorado River administration
  • A broad objective And want for the federal rulemaking, To Guarantee it serves The complete differ of stakeholders, not simply water rights holders
  • Sound science
  • Reliable evaluation and communication about out there reservoir water currents
  • Choice-making that anticipates not sure future circumstances
  • Management that avoids crises
  • Precedence given to water current reliability
  • Evaluation of the distinction between water shortages and voluntary, compensated reductions in water use
  • Elevated flexibility in Colorado River administration
  • Precedence given to environmental water wants and environmental simplyice
  • Consideration For a method administration decisions will work together with fullly different responses to circumstances on the Colorado River



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