From Our Members

Blog posts and latest happenings from our coalition members.

Environmental Defense Fund

Rural Arizonans need these tools to manage declining groundwater resources, fast

In some parts of rural Arizona, groundwater is the primary or only source of water for households, farmers and entire communities. But groundwater pumping has caused wells, rivers and springs to go dry. 

 

A study by Arizona’s Department of Water Resources found that areas of Mohave County, which includes Kingman, may have only 60 years of groundwater remaining under certain pumping scenarios. 

Western Resource Advocates 

2 Degrees Out West: Introduction

Welcome to this introductory episode of Western Resource Advocates’ new podcast looking into the most pressing conservation challenges across the West, and exploring strategies to help protect the West’s land, air, and water with subject experts, legislators, and advocates from around the region.

American Rivers 

Milk & Honey (Leche y Miel)

Yuma is often thought of as a hot, dry desert town in southwestern Arizona, but for the area residents - and the United States as a whole, it is the land of plenty. During the winter months, nearly all the leafy vegetables Americans eat are grown in the fertile fields which lie at the literal end of the Colorado River. For the people who work the fields, the Colorado River represents not only the source of their livelihood, but a deep, spiritual connection to this arid landscape as well. 

American Rivers 

Water Flows Together

For time immemorial, the Diné (Navajo) have considered the San Juan River sacred. Centuries-old stories and teachings connect the people with the river as it continues to serve as a physical and spiritual resource for the peoples who rely on it. Yet at the same time, economic and social barriers have kept the number of Native people recreating on the San Juan to a minimum, and trends of globalization and urbanization continue to widen the gap between many Navajo and the natural world.

Western Resource Advocates 

Understanding Arizona’s Groundwater

In a new report, Conservation Colorado and Western Resource Advocates lay out a path for Colorado to protect and conserve 30% of its lands and waters by 2030. In a new report, Conservation Colorado and Western Resource Advocates lay out a path for Colorado to protect and conserve 30% of its lands and waters by 2030.

Audubon Arizona 

Arizona’s Often-dry Streams Now under Threat Due to Clean Water Act Rollback

New Audubon analysis explains benefits of ephemeral streams to communities and birds, and makes a case for protecting them.

 

Ephemeral streams flow during and after rain. They are different than intermittent streams, which flow continuously for part of the year because of seasonal snow melt or a high water table. 

Audubon Arizona 

When In Drought…

When it comes to droughts, the costs of climate change are too high for both birds and people.

 

As the climate changes, droughts are projected to become more common throughout the United States. Decreased precipitation will be especially severe in the South. 

Audubon Arizona 

Understanding Arizona’s Groundwater

Groundwater makes up 40% of Arizona's total water use. How much do you know about it? Join Haley Paul of the National Audubon Society and Jocelyn Gibbon of Freshwater Policy Consulting as we learn more about groundwater, its value to our state and rural communities, how it is managed, and how we might start to work towards solutions to current challenges.

American Rivers 

Open Call for America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2021

We’re accepting nominations for our annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®! 

Is your river facing a decision in the coming year that will impact its fate? America’s Most Endangered Rivers® is the most influential national campaign to galvanize public action and secure victories for rivers, clean water and communities.

Audubon Arizona 

Lake Mead and Lower Colorado River to Remain in Tier Zero Shortage for 2021

The Colorado River millennial mega-drought continues, despite robust snowpack last winter. Above-average temperatures in spring resulted in a paltry 57% runoff, nowhere near enough water to refill the reservoirs that remain half-empty.

Western Resource Advocates

Western Resource Advocates’ Experts Available to Talk about Severe Drought Impacting Western Communities and Rivers this Summer

WRA is helping communities across the Interior West confront the impacts of climate change to balance growth and healthy rivers.

Despite a winter with ample snow, and following a substantial year for snowpack in 2019, much of the Interior West is currently gripped by drought, leading to low streamflow across many rivers that support drinking water, outdoor recreation, fish, ranches, and farms. 

American Rivers 

How walking along rivers changes your brain

Spending time in natural spaces reduces anxiety, worry and stress. Nature, and rivers, are fundamental to our health, well-being, and relationships – to our happiness.

My little boys are growing up. My older one starts kindergarten next month. My little one is charging out of toddlerhood, becoming more independent by the day. Life moves so fast, and the best way I know to slow things down and treasure the moments is to get out on a river.

Business for Water Stewardship

MAJOR CORPORATIONS COMMIT FUNDING TO HELP LAKE MEAD

Business For Water Stewardship has announced the transfer of over $1.5 million in corporate and philanthropic funding to support Arizona’s efforts to increase water supply reliability through a system conservation project with the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT). View the press release here.

 

The funds were provided by leading corporations and brands including Intel Corp.; Microsoft; Cox; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Reformation; Silk and Swire Coca-Cola, USA.

American Rivers 

How Stormwater Affects Your Rivers

Rivers are dependent on their surrounding lands (known as the watershed) for a consistent supply of clean water. Altering a watershed does many things; one of the most significant is to alter the way stormwater soaks into the ground or flows to the local river.

 

When managed properly, this water is a valuable resource. However, when stormwater is managed like a waste product, it exacerbates flooding and becomes contaminated with pollutants.

Audubon Arizona 

How the Verde River Exchange is Innovating Arizona Water—Voluntarily.

In order to begin to address the myriad water issues affecting Arizona, developing real world examples of potential solutions is critical. The Verde River Exchange is a creative example of what is possible for sustainable water management in Arizona, and illustrates how market based solutions can help to protect natural resources and the people who rely on them. Learn from Jocelyn Gibbon from Freshwater Policy Consulting LLC and Max Wilson from Friends of the Verde River about this effort to keep the Verde from running dry!

Audubon Arizona 

New Senate Bill Threatens U.S.—Mexico Cooperation, Environment, and Birds of Lower Colorado River

Reopening the Yuma Desalting Plant—with its ancient technology—too expensive and too damaging. 

 

New legislation proposed by Senator Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) would destroy the Ciénega de Santa Clara, the largest remaining wetland in the Colorado River Delta, essential for birds there and many birds that travel to the United States during migration. 

American Rivers 

Who Was George I. Haight and Why is He Now Relevant to the Colorado River Basin?

This is a guest blog by Eric Kuhn, former General Manager and a member of American Rivers’ Science and Technical Advisory Committee and author of “Science Be Dammed, How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River.”

 

As Utah pushes forward with its proposed Lake Powell Pipeline – an attempt move over 80,000 acre feet per year of its Upper Colorado River Basin allocation to communities in the Lower Basin – it is worth revisiting one of the critical legal milestones in the evolution of what we have come to call “the Law of the River.”

Audubon Arizona 

Arizona’s Rivers Could Face Irreparable Harm

The majority of Arizona’s rivers and streams are at risk of irreversible harm due to the loss of Clean Water Act protections. With the Trump Administration’s revision to the interpretation of the Clean Water Act (called the Navigable Waters Protection Rule) now in effect in Arizona, it is urgent that we continue the hard work of developing a state-level water quality program to protect our precious waterways.

American Rivers

Invest in Rivers

All life depends on rivers. But right now, too many people in our country lack access to safe, affordable clean water. Too many people live along sick, polluted streams.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed longstanding injustices in our water systems. 

Western Resource Advocates

Tucson Electric Power’s Resource Plan Makes Important Steps to Reduce Carbon and Add Renewable Energy

Western Resource Advocates today welcomed Tucson Electric Power’s (TEP’s) announcement that it plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent and provide 70 percent of its electricity generation from renewable energy resources by 2035. The plan is the most aggressive commitment to reducing emissions by a utility in Arizona.

Business for Water Stewardship

CO Rivers Key to Economy

River and Water Related Outdoor Recreation Contributes Nearly $19 Billion to Colorado’s Economy Annually.


Recreating on or along the water in Colorado is an integral part of the outdoor opportunities enjoyed by the state’s residents and visitors. Business for Water Stewardship commissioned a study to characterize outdoor recreation on or along waterways within Colorado in 2019.

Environmental Defense Fund

Understanding and Evaluating Safe-yield – Part Two

Forty years ago, then Democratic Gov. Bruce Babbitt signed Arizona’s landmark Groundwater Management Act, which created a system to manage groundwater in five regions of the state where overpumping was most severe and aquifer levels were declining rapidly.

American Rivers

7 Ways to Safely Recreate Again

Here’s how we can celebrate National Rivers Month and recreate thoughtfully in our new world. With parts of the country and the West slowly, tenuously re-opening, we know people are loading up trailers and trucks, putting air in tires and crafts, dusting off sun hats and heading out the door to visit places they miss, and do the things that make them feel whole.

Audubon Arizona

ADWR and Audubon Agree to Funding Plan to Conserve Colorado River Water

PHOENIX—As part of an overall $38 million effort to bolster Lake Mead surface levels by fallowing irrigable farmland on the Colorado River Indian Reservation in western Arizona, the National Audubon Society has reached an agreement with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to help fund the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ (CRIT) on-going efforts to conserve 150,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead over the next three years.

American Rivers

A Healthy River is an Economic Engine

What role do rivers play in a time of uncertainty and severe economic downturn? This is the first in a series of blogs exploring the economic benefits of healthy rivers.

Audubon Arizona

Arizona Legislature Adjourns 2020 Session

A once-promising legislative session for Audubon priorities grinds to a halt, but there is hope.

Western Resource Advocates

WRA Update: Protecting the West While Working From Home

WRA Update:  This episode, we’ve brought together a group of advocates from across our organization to give us an update on what life is like now, and what our organization is doing to continue our work to ensure clean air and healthy rivers and lakes, protect and connect Western landscapes, and address climate change.

American Rivers

Memory Flows

MEMORY FLOWS: SINJIN EBERLE Being stuck at home is the perfect excuse to revisit your old photos and turn some of that unspent river energy and affection into fresh storytelling!

Audubon Arizona

Draw a Bird with David Sibley

You don’t need to go outside to get to know birds: Try drawing them instead. David Sibley, the ornithologist who wrote and illustrated The Sibley Guide to Birds, created a video for Audubon for Kids that shows how to sketch an American Finch.

Environmental Defense Fund

An Earth Day pledge for the COVID era

Earth Day in the time of COVID-19 is more urgent than ever. This crisis has made the 50th Earth Day a profound reminder that our mission is not only about the world, but about all the people in it.

Audubon Arizona

Spring 2020 Magazine

Toxic Legacy Spring 2020 Magazine. A deadly pesticide mounts a comeback, this time as a brutal weapon against birds and other wildlife. 

American Rivers

We are rivers Podcast

To further the conversation about the value and complexity of rivers, American Rivers launched our podcast series, “We are Rivers: Conversations about the Rivers that Connect Us.”

Environmental Defense Fund

How water managers can build recharge basins to boost resilience for farmers & birds alike

Recharge basins are becoming increasingly popular in overdrafted regions in California, where water managers are seeking solutions to balance groundwater supply and demand to comply with the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Environmental Defense Fund

How This bill will protect scarce water supplies for rural Arizona

Groundwater pumping is essentially unregulated in nearly 80% of the state, putting the livelihoods and water supplies of up to 1.5 million residents at risk.

Audubon Arizona 

Arizona Legislators, Western Rivers Action Network Discuss Water Security

After helping pass landmark legislation last year, Audubon and its partners focus on prioritizing water and birds at annual advocacy day.

Western Resource Advocates

Action Alert

Groundwater – the water supply that lies just under our feet, stored in formations of soil, sand and rock called aquifers – is an essential water source for communities across Arizona.

American Rivers 

How Stormwater Affects Your Rivers 

Rivers are dependent on their surrounding lands (known as the watershed) for a consistent supply of clean water. Altering a watershed does many things; one of the most significant is to alter the way stormwater soaks into the ground or flows to the local river.

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Western Resource Advocates 

Science be dammed

There are countless Colorado River resources available to learn about the history of how the river has been and continues to be governed. Hundreds of books, reports, studies, and papers have been written on the subject.

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Audubon Arizona 

Prioritizing Water Security for Arizona’s Birds and People

With these water reductions officially underway, Audubon is looking ahead to what is next, with our focus on prioritizing water security for all of us in Arizona, including our birds and wildlife.

Here are three water policy priorities for Audubon Arizona as we enter the 2020 Legislative Session:

Environmental Defense Fund

What 2,000 years of traditional Hopi farming in the arid Southwest can teach about resilience

When Michael Kotutwa Johnson was 8 years old, he began spending much of his time on the Hopi reservation in Arizona with his grandfather, who taught him how to farm.

For more than 2,000 years, the Hopi have been farming without irrigation in an area of Arizona that receives less than 10 inches of rain a year.

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American Rivers 

Big news for the Gila River

We are closer than ever to securing more permanent protection for New Mexico’s last major free-flowing river.

You may recall that we listed the Gila as #1 due to the threat of a major diversion that could be built on the Gila, just downstream from where the river tumbles out of the first Wilderness area designated in the United States.

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Audubon Arizona 

Snowpack in the West. 

Snowpack in the West is essential to creating healthy flowing rivers that support recreation, tourism, and habitat for thousands of species. Communities also rely on the snowpack to fill reservoirs that supply cities and towns with a steady supply of drinking water year-round.

American Rivers

Arizona: Looking back on 2019 - Looking ahead to 2020

2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the long-term sustainability of Arizona. The holiday season is upon us, and between the deep-fried turkey disaster, the sprigs of plastic mistletoe hanging about, and the cat knocking down the Christmas tree, ‘tis the season to look back upon the year that was, and get excited for the new year ahead.

Image by Samara Doole

Environmental Defense Fund

2019 made climate impacts visible. Here are 4 stories of resilience that give me hope for 2020.

Farmers took big hits from unprecedented flooding in the Midwest, coastal communities were pummeled with record-breaking rainfall and storms, and more than 250,000 acres in my home state of California burned from wildfires that took precious lives and left millions of people without power for days on end.

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Audubon Arizona 

10 Things You Should Know About Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act

In the midst of the ongoing drought and increasing temperatures throughout the West, Lake Mead and the Colorado River get a lot of attention. However, with all the dialogue around surface water, we cannot forget about groundwater—the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand, and rock.

American Rivers

Stay Flexible, Arizona 

Collaboration might be the only way forward for communities facing an uncertain water future. 

It’s a fact of life in the Colorado River Basin that no one is really in charge.

Instead, the complicated business of managing the basin’s water supply is achieved collaboratively by an array of federal and state agencies, quasi-agencies, irrigation districts, cities, Native American nations and the Republic of Mexico — all operating according to a complex set of rules called the Law of the River. 

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Audubon Arizona 

Why Groundwater Matters for Arizona’s People and Birds

Groundwater takes thousands of years to accrue—and sometimes—just decades to deplete. When too much is pumped out of the ground too fast—as we have seen throughout Arizona—entire river stretches and the ecosystems and wildlife that rely on that water can be depleted.

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Western Resource Advocates

Despite Bountiful Snowpack Earlier This Year, Large Portions of the West Experiencing Drought Conditions

After a record start for snowpack across the Interior West earlier this year, the region is once again experiencing drought conditions and two main reservoirs remain far from full. 

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Audubon Arizona 

International Infrastructure Issues Threaten Arizona’s Santa Cruz River

Why fixing a nine-mile sewage pipe is crucial for people and birds.

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Environmental Defense Fund 

This creative tax is a good bet for Colorado’s water future. Here’s why.

Here’s a pop quiz: What are two finite resources in the West?

If you answered money and water, you win. 

American Rivers

6 Ways to Make Dams Easier to Remove 

American Rivers has 20 years of experience freeing rivers from unnecessary dams. Here’s our advice on how to take the dam removal movement to the next level.

Environmental Defense Fund

Colorado River Basin story map highlights importance of managing water below the ground

The Colorado River is a water workhorse for seven western states, supplying drinking water to 40 million people. But it’s not the region’s only important source of water.

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Audubon Arizona 

How Craft Beer Is Helping Save Water In the Colorado River Basin

The Western Rivers Brewers Council continues to be an integral partner of Audubon Arizona’s dedication to a sustainable water future.

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American Rivers 

Sonora Rising 

Water and wheat — foundations of life for millennia. In the American Southwest’s arid Sonoran Desert, water flows across Arizona from more than 300 miles away to quench the thirsts of more than four million people and sustain the food, economy, and livelihoods they rely on every day. 

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Walton Family Foundation

Heeding a Spiritual and Sacred Call to Protect the Colorado River

Native American tribes are seeking a greater voice as stewards of a river that’s been home for millennia
Water is life. Water is the giver and sustainer of life.

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Environmental Defense Fund

Resilience on the river

The Gila River Indian Community in Arizona played a critical role in a historic seven-state agreement to conserve water from the Colorado and build a more resilient future in the face of a nearly two-decade drought.

Business for Water Stewardship

August 2019 Newsletter

We encourage you to take time this week to think about your business’ water footprint and how BWS can help you maximize your water stewardship.

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Audubon Arizona 

What It's Like to Catch and Band a Yuma Ridgway’s Rail

It’s a hot evening, and the mosquitos near the marsh are terrible. But, it’s worth it to try and band the elusive Yuma Ridgway’s Rails on the Gila River—for science, and because I love seeing these birds up close. We listen closely for their “Kek” calls.

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Western Resource Advocates 

The Drought Contingency Plan is authorized. What’s next for the Colorado River Basin

Can we make the changes needed to avoid crisis on the Colorado River? 

American Rivers

Ranching in the new normal

After 19 years of drought in the Colorado River basin, many experts are calling this prolonged drying out of the southwest by a new name – aridification. Drought implies there’s an end, what if there’s not?

Stay in the flow: get updates about Arizona's most valued resource.