Nuestro Río Annual Colorado River Day Fiesta Brings
Attention to Colorado River Water Conservation Importance
Amid music and mariachis, speakers address importance of state leadership to solve water challenges
Denver, CO – On July 25, Nuestro Río celebrates its annual Colorado River Day festivities in downtown Denver, part of a region-wide movement to honor the waterway that serves as the backbone of the West’s economy and a critical drinking source for millions.
The day marks the 94th anniversary of the official renaming of the Colorado River from the “Grand” to the “Colorado.” Denver is one of several western cities hosting celebratory activities and a day of action focusing on the critical need for states’ leadership to manage increasing demands for Colorado River water. For years, the entire Colorado River system has struggled with serious water management problems, with more water taken out of the river than flows in. A variety of factors have accelerated the supply and demand imbalance, including climate change and record drought.
The July 25 celebration in Denver focuses on the positive urban conservation measures included in the developing Colorado Water Plan and the critical need for Colorado and other states to do more. Governors across the basin must step up and manage increasing demands for the limited water that is available in the Colorado River basin, by quickly implementing a range of bold solutions that start with conservation and efficiency.
“For Latinos living in the Southwest, the Colorado River occupies a special place,” said Nuestro Río Colorado Director Nita Gonzales. “Protecting the river is honoring part of a rich heritage, as well as smart water management. And with 40 million people now depending on the river for drinking water, we must manage well and work together to sustain this precious resource.”
The event at Sunken Gardens, 800 North Delaware in Denver from 11am to 1PM, features live music, mariachis and food, with Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and other speakers -- including Nuestro Río Colorado Director Nita Gonzales and Colorado Representative and Nuestro Río Regional Water Caucus Member Joe Salazar -- calling attention to the importance of CO River water conservation.
The Colorado River Day event coincides with the Nuestro Río Youth Leadership Summit held in Denver, Colorado July 23-25, where 19 youths from 5 Southwest states are meeting and learning to become world ambassadors for the Colorado River and Western water issues. These young people, who learn how to make effective presentations at conferences, talk with their peers and decision-makers, and share their ideas for creating efficient, effective, common sense solutions with policy makers on the national and state levels, will be featured at the fiesta.
Nuestro Río is a network of Latinos in the West, working to educate our elected officials and our youth about the many ways that Latinos are connected to the Colorado River and help them to become advocates for a healthy river for future generations. (www.NuestroRio.com)
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The Colorado River and its tributaries runs through seven states (AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY) and supplies drinking water for 40 million Americans.
A recent study from Arizona State University reveals that hanging in the balance of the health of the Colorado River system are more than $1.4 trillion in economic activity, $800 billion in wages, and 16 million jobs. Put into perspective, an estimated 64.4 percent of the combined value of each basin state’s output of goods and services - could be lost if Colorado River water is no longer available to residents, businesses, industry, and agriculture.
According to the Department of Interior’s 2012 Colorado River Basin Study, a predicted supply and demand imbalance will increasingly become larger in the next 50 years. The study concluded that the most cost effective and easily implementable way to address the imbalance is to improve urban and agricultural water conservation and similar measures that focus on efficiency and flexibility.