04/15/14 Article — Landscapes Transform With the Arrival of the Colorado River
BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO GALLERY — It’s a rare event to see a river literally form before your eyes. But each day that we ventured out to find the leading edge of the Colorado River as it advanced through its delta during this historic “pulse flow,” we were treated to exactly that phenomenon: a dry, sandy channel that hasn’t seen water in 16 years suddenly became a rivulet, then a stream, then a glorious flowing river.
04/15/14 — Article — Monitoring the Pulse of the Colorado River
Now in its 14th day, the historic pulse flow coursing through the Colorado River Delta toward the sea is under the careful watch of dozens of scientists who fan out across the landscape to measure and track its vital signs – from flow rates and salinity levels to seed dispersal by native cottonwoods and willows.
03/28/14 Article — A Colorado Delta Community Reconnects with its River
PHOTO GALLERY – On Tuesday afternoon, March 25, 2014, word got out that the river was coming. Kids, parents, dogs and teenagers began gathering at the bridge in San Luis Rio Colorado, a border town of about 160,000 people. Young people had never seen the river that gives this town its name flow beneath the bridge.
03/28/14 Article — Witnesses to History at Morelos Dam on the Colorado River
PHOTO GALLERY — A dozen dignitaries faced a crowd of more than two hundred gathered yesterday at Morelos Dam in the Mexican city of Los Algodones, Baja California, to proclaim the release of a “pulse flow” of Colorado River water to its dry delta a momentous occasion for both the river and binational relations. (See “Historic Pulse Flow Brings Water to Parched Colorado River Delta.”)
03/13/14 Article — Faces of the Watershed: Young Farmer Saves Water in Innovative Ways
By Carmen Russell in Camp Verde, Arizona for National Geographic — Arizona farmer Zach Hauser says the Verde River “holds the key to our future around here. Without it there probably wouldn’t be any farming here at all.”
02/27/14 Article — Faces of the Watershed: "Ditch Boss" Helps Keep a Thirsty River Flowing
By Carmen Russell in Camp Verde, Arizona for National Geographic — Frank Geminden, the boss of the Diamond S ditch, restores balance to Arizona’s Verde River, in partnership with environmentalists and farmers.
02/24/14 Video — Help Return the Colorado to the Sea
Imagine if one day you couldn’t get home. Your journey stopped short of where you were supposed to be. That’s the story of the iconic Colorado River, which sculpted the Grand Canyon and today sustains 30 million people, but now stops flowing 90 miles before reaching the sea, its final destination.
02/24/14 Video — In the Yampa River, Extra flow Makes for Happier Fish
Back in late June 2012, the Yampa River—a beautiful Colorado River tributary that runs through the heart of Steamboat Springs, Colorado—was flowing at 5 percent of normal. Both the native whitefish population and the recreational trout fishery were threatened due to the river’s low levels of oxygen and its warmer temperatures.
02/14/14 Article — Defending a Western River With Art and Collaboration: Kirk Klancke has watched over Colorado's Fraser River for decades.
In the small town of Fraser, Colorado, a bronze Dwight D. Eisenhower is having a good day: Fly fishing, he has just caught a trout out of the river and is skillfully depositing it into his basket. The former president is appropriately dressed for the occasion with wading boots, an angler’s vest, and a wide-brim hat. Decades before, the real Ike could be seen angling much the same way in about the same spot. For Kirk Klancke, it’s a nice reminder of what the Fraser River once was: a sportsman’s paradise, one that attracted such a five-star guest.
02/14/14 Photo Essay — The American Nile: Jon Waterman examines the Colorado River Basin's 100 year history
For six million years the Colorado River and its dozens of spectacular tributaries carved out the Grand Canyon and scoured the Rockies, flushing mineral-rich sediment to the sea. The mighty Colorado, the life and soul of the West, is one of the most tapped rivers in the world. Can it be saved?
01/23/14 Article — Exporting the Colorado River to Asia, Through Hay
In July in Yuma County, Arizona, Dave Sharp’s alfalfa crops, like every other living thing in the 105°F (40°C), dry desert heat, get thirsty. All that keeps them alive, and indeed keeps these fields and the hundreds of thousands of acres surrounding them in Yuma County from going fallow, is the Colorado River, diverted one last time through the Yuma Project before flowing across the border into Mexico.
12/06/13 Video — Minnesota Young People “Change the Course” and Save 7 Million Gallons of Water
“When our planet was in trouble on our watch, we did something to help, we did something to change the course, because we could” – Christian McGuigan. In this video, Participant Media’s Christian McGuigan is seen making a passionate plea to young people to help “change the course” of the Earth’s water crisis at Me to We Day Minnesota.
12/05/13 Video — Smarter Irrigation Returns Water to Arizona’s Verde River
This video and associated blog post tell the story of restoration work completed on the Verde River in Arizona, a tributary of the Colorado River, and a Change the Course funded project. The project integrates an innovative partnership between farmers and the Nature Conservancy supported by funds from our Change the Course sponsors.
09/03/13 Article — Arizona Irrigators Share Water with Desert River
PHOTO GALLERY — As drought and high water demands deplete more and more rivers in the western United States, it’s easy to assume a future of dryness is the inescapable fate of once vibrant streams. But in the beautiful valley of the Verde River in central Arizona, farmers, residents, and conservationists are working together to restore flows to this life-giving desert river with no sacrifice to crop production or the local economy.
09/01/13 Video — Life Without Water is Awkward Part 1
PART 1 of 2 — Produced by Participant Media, this public service announcement is designed to engage audiences in the Change the Course Campaign.
07/15/13 Article — Finding of Rare Gartersnake Underscores Need to Protect New Mexico’s Gila River
Last month, after no confirmed sightings in nearly twenty years, scientists discovered three northern Mexican gartersnakes along a stretch of the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico. Until this find, scientists had suspected that the rare snake was extinct in the state.
07/17/13 Article — What if Americans Only Had as Much Water as Families in Africa?
The average family in Africa gets by on only five gallons of water a day, according to this thought-provoking PSA video from bewaterwise.com, a project of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
6/15/13 Video — With Drought Looming, Colorado River Basin Needs Solutions
If early forecasts pan out, the Colorado River Basin could be in for yet another year of intense drought. On NOAA’s seasonal drought outlook map for mid-November to late February, the entire basin is shaded in dark brown, signaling the anticipated persistence of drought conditions through most of the winter. That could again wreak havoc on recreation, fisheries, and businesses that depend on a hearty snowpack and healthy spring and summer river flows. Produced by National Geographic.
05/09/13 Article — Once a Smelly Nuisance, Mexicali’s Wastewater Now Brings Life to the Colorado Delta
PHOTO GALLERY — This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta. If there is one place that transforms wastewater from trouble-maker to life-saver it’s the site of Las Arenitas sewage treatment plant in the Mexican state of Baja California.
04/23/13 Article — A Water Bank Helps Revive Colorado Delta Willows and Wetlands
PHOTO GALLERY — This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta. In the delta community of Miguel Alemán, situated along the Colorado River corridor that forms the border between Mexico and Arizona, we arrive at an unlikely enterprise in this parched environment: a tree nursery.
4/23/13 Video — Bringing New Life to the Colorado Delta’s Fisheries
For the fishing town of El Golfo on the Upper Gulf of California and the native Cucapá community of El Mayor in the river’s delta, the damming and diverting of the Colorado has brought traditional ways of life to the brink. Produced by National Geographic.
04/22/13 Video — Returning the Colorado River to the Sea
Once teeming with life and spanning some two million acres, the delta of the Colorado River ranked among the planet’s greatest desert deltas. Produced by National Geographic.
04/17/13 Article — America’s Most Endangered River of 2013: The Colorado
It is a river that goes by many names – Red. Grand River Red. The Canyon Maker. And today it is the Most Endangered River in the country.
04/15/13 Video — Locals help restore the Colorado Delta
Once spanning over a million acres of verdant wetlands, the Colorado Delta has been transformed into dry cracked earth and salt flats. Now governments on both sides of the border, as well as Mexican environmental groups and local citizens, work to restore a portion of the delta to its former glory. Produced by National Geographic.
04/15/13 Article — Colorado River Delta Restoration Is Ken Salazar’s Keystone Water Achievement
This post is part of an ongoing series on the Colorado Delta. Departing Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar shared a few thoughts at his exit ceremony about the keystone accomplishments of his four years and three months in office, and called out restoration of the Colorado River Delta as his signature achievement in water management.
04/12/13 Article — Colorado River, Meet the Sea
PHOTO GALLERY — As dawn breaks, fishermen head out into the Gulf of California from the town of El Golfo de Santa Clara in Sonora, Mexico. The upper gulf’s fisheries have declined since the Colorado River stopped reaching the sea.
04/05/13 Article — Landmark Cooperation Brings the Colorado River Home
This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta. Standing at Morelos Dam, the last in the long line of dams on the Colorado River, and the only one in Mexico, it’s hard not to feel that we humans have betrayed this great river.
04/04/13 Video — CTC featured at the 2013 Me to We Day, Seattle
Participant Media’s Christian McGuigan promotes Change the Course to a stadium of millenials at the 2013 Me to We Day event in Seattle, WA. Sponsors can incorporate this inspiring video to inform their employees or stakeholders about their campaign involvement.
04/02/13 Article — The Accidental Wetland in the Colorado Delta
PHOTO GALLERY — Seen here at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Wellton-Mohawk Canal carries drainage water from an Arizona irrigation district sixty miles into the Colorado River Delta in Mexico. There it gives life to an accidental wetland called La Ciénega de Santa Clara, one of the most ecologically significant wetlands in North America.
03/26/13 Article — As Climate Change Reduces Colorado River, Communities Must Prepare
Now that a red flag has been raised by the Colorado River Basin Study – a federal and state cooperative analysis published in late 2012 – that there will be water shortages across much of the U.S. Southwest, the handwringing has started.
03/22/13 Article — For World Water Day, Cooperation Brings More Benefit Per Drop
Rivers pay no mind to political boundaries. If unimpeded by dams and diversions, they flow naturally from mountain headwaters to the sea, crossing borders both within and between countries as if political maps did not exist.
03/22/13 Article — Revival in the Colorado River Delta
PHOTO GALLERY — This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta. So intimate was her connection to the river that as a girl she conditioned her hair with the soft mud from its channel bottom. Her family fished in the waters and hunted in the dense forests of cottonwoods and willows that spread across the vast Colorado River Delta in northwestern Mexico.
02/26/13 Article — The Colorado River, Source to Sea (Not Quite)
A crew of recent grads from Colorado College have shared their epic paddle down the Colorado River in a new video Mirror River.
02/25/13 Article — As Drought Persists in the West, Time to Prepare for Summer Shortages
Drought, drought, and more drought seems to be what’s in store for most river basins in the West, including the Colorado, the lifeline for 30 million people.
02/18/13 Article — Discussing Water Rights, A Western Pastime
In lieu of Freshwater Species of the Week this time around, I wanted to share this postcard I picked up a few years ago in Idaho. Made by Duckboy Cards Inc. of Hamilton, Montana, it pokes fun at an area of tension that has affected much of the dry West, as well as many other countries around the world.
02/08/13 Article — Reclaiming the Colorado River?
The American Southwest faces water challenges, and few easy solutions are in sight. Demand for water is increasing rapidly: as the primary water resource in the Southwest, the Colorado River (see map) sustains seven U.S. states and Mexico, including major – and fast-growing – cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
01/05/13 Article — A Christmas Present for the Colorado River
Just days before Christmas, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released the results of a comprehensive study of the Colorado River basin’s water situation. The “Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study” assessed a Christmas tree of more than 150 different proposals for balancing the water budget of the Colorado River.
01/04/13 Article — We’re Heading Into the Rapids All Wrong
Lately, as I ponder our societal response, or lack of it, to the challenging times ahead – the droughts and floods and heat waves and crop failures, which we’ve tasted only as appetizers so far – I find myself recalling one of the scariest moments of my life.
01/03/13 Article — Wade Davis on Loss in the Colorado River Delta
The following is excerpted from River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado (Island Press, October 2012) by Wade Davis, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, ethnobotanist and anthropologist
01/02/13 Article — Four Water Resolutions for a New Year
Yes, it’s that time again – time to reflect on the year that has passed, and anticipate what could come of the year ahead. My head has been unusually full of water lately, to the point of distraction.
12/19/12 Article — Grabbing the Colorado From the “People of the River”
This piece is part of Water Grabbers: A Global Rush on Freshwater, a special National Geographic Freshwater News series on how grabbing land—and water—from poor people, desperate governments, and future generations threatens global food security, environmental sustainability, and local cultures.
12/12/12 Article — Federal Colorado River Study Points to Big Problems and Common Sense Solutions
The federal Bureau of Reclamation today released a much-awaited federal study of the Colorado River, focused on water available for farms, cities, and the businesses that depend on a flowing river. Population growth and climate change have stressed the Colorado River to the point where demand for water exceeds supply, reservoirs sit half-empty, and flows dry up before reaching the sea.
11/21/12 Article — The United States and Mexico Can Restore the Colorado River Delta
Since 1960, when the gates were closed on the newly built Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River has only rarely flowed to the sea, and the river’s delta started to fade. Water users in the United States saw Lake Powell, the reservoir behind the dam, as a bounty for booming cities in the desert.
11/20/12 Article — A Historic Binational Agreement Gives New Life to the Colorado River Delta
PHOTO GALLERY — Today, the United States and Mexico signed a landmark agreement that will return vital flows to the lower Colorado River and its once-bountiful delta and reconnect the river to its final destination, the Gulf of California.
10/18/12 Article — How the Yampa River, and its Dependents, Survived the Drought of 2012
PHOTO GALLERY — As this year’s drought deepened and spread across the United States, many cities and farms took steps to cope. Bans on landscape irrigation conserved municipal supplies. Farmers pumped more groundwater for their crops to make up for the lack of rain.
10/10/12 Article — A Week in Grand Canyon: What’s the Value of Recreation?
The Colorado River is possibly the most written about, talked about, litigated river basin in the country, maybe even the world. So many competing uses depend on it – 30 million people draw on the river for water, and the river irrigates four million acres of farmland.
09/01/13 Video — Life Without Water is Awkward Part 2
PART 2 of 2 — Produced by Participant Media, this public service announcement is designed to engage audiences in the Change the Course Campaign.
07/15/12 Video — Hope for Rivers During Drought
Many cities and farms took steps to cope in the summer of 2012 as the drought in the western United States deepened. During these tough periods, rivers often suffer, but an innovative water restoration helped save fish—as well as jobs—along the Yampa River in Colorado. Produced by National Geographic.