Colorado River | Photo by Colleen Miniuk
Colorado River | Photo by Colleen Miniuk

#1 Colorado River

Threat: Climate change, outdated management

It is time to do more than plan. We must implement strategies that allow the Colorado River to thrive in the face of climate change. Failure is not an option.

Lake Mead, Colorado River Basin | Photo by Colleen Miniuk

The Colorado River provides drinking water for 40 million people, irrigates five million acres of farm and ranch land, and supports a $1.4 trillion economy. All of this is at risk due to rising temperatures and drought driven by climate change, combined with outdated river management and overallocation of limited water supplies. River flows are at historic lows and the levels of Lake Powell and Lake Mead reservoirs are dropping precipitously. With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the seven basin states and the Biden administration now have a critical opportunity to implement proven, equitable solutions that enhance water security and river health, while building resilience to future climate change. Failure is simply not an option, given all that depends on a healthy, flowing Colorado River.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:

  • National Audubon Society
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Western Resource Advocates
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • Water for Arizona
  • Water for Colorado
  • Raise the River
  • Business for Water Stewardship