From Our Members

Blog posts and latest happenings from our coalition members.


Environmental Defense Fund

As local movements for groundwater protection rise, will state leaders finally respond?

Across Arizona, the consequences of unlimited groundwater pumping are becoming untenable for many communities. In response, Arizona state Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, has introduced legislation, for the third year in a row, to enable rural communities to manage their groundwater through a new opt-in program called Rural Management Areas (RMAs).

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Audubon Society

Increasing Number of Wells in Arizona Groundwater Basins (1980 - 2020) Story Ma

The eight highlighted groundwater basins on the interactive map to the left correspond with the tabs along the top of this embedded story map. You can click on the basins on the map or check the legend to learn the basin’s name. Visualize the growth in the number of wells over time by clicking on any groundwater basin’s tab at the top. 


Around the state, rivers, birds, and habitat are threatened by unlimited groundwater pumping. One of the most well-known examples of this issue is the San Pedro River in Arizona, which has seen its flows decrease over the past few decades because of nearby groundwater extraction. 


Environmental Defense Fund 

On the Water Front 

Welcome to the new monthly e-newsletter from EDF's Climate Resilient Water Systems team. It seemed fitting to launch this effort on World Water Day because the theme this year aligns so closely with our work: “Groundwater — Making the Invisible, Visible.”  


Over these past two challenging years, the pandemic, my own health issues and family needs have highlighted some major flaws in our health care system that reminded me of … groundwater


Audubon Society

Why We Need an Arizona Water Security Plan, Now

Audubon urges state to implement policies that maximize investments on water projects. The entire Colorado River Basin is in crisis, and Arizona is at critical juncture. The state needs to update its water policies in order to adapt to the climate and water reality we face. Audubon—along with our partners in the Water for Arizona Coalition—has developed a practical approach to improving Arizona's water outlook. We're calling it our Arizona Water Security Plan.


Western Resource Advocates 

Urge Lawmakers to Protect Groundwater in Arizona 

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.  It also feeds the state’s rivers and streams, helping keep them healthy and maintaining their ecosystems.

Yet, in rural Arizona, groundwater is mostly unregulated and unprotected. Outside of Active Management Areas (AMAs) located in central and southern Arizona, water users can pump unlimited amounts of groundwater, even if it causes a neighbor’s well to go dry or reduces flow in a nearby stream.

HB 2661 would help safeguard this important water source.


American Rivers

Coming Together to Help the Little Colorado River Thrive

The Little Colorado River (LCR) is essentially a misnomer—“little” only in title and by comparison to the Colorado River. The LCR basin is 27,000 square miles of high deserts, mesas, and mountains near the center of the Colorado Plateau. Our guiding belief is that thoughtful community engagement and collective management approaches can help protect the lower LCR, surrounding sacred sites, and all living beings for years to come. By engaging individual community members through in-depth conversations, hosting in-person and virtual community meetings, and providing information on possible protective pathways, we are collaborators in a growing movement to protect the LCR.

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Business for Water Stewardship

New study shows decline in groundwater would likely reduce home values by up to 12%

Business for Water Stewardship has released a new study showing that declines in the state’s groundwater availability in rural Arizona will reduce home values and adversely affect buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. The report finds that dwindling groundwater supplies will likely cause residential property values to decline by up to 12% in select rural parts of the state under severe drought conditions.


Environmental Defense Fund 

Arizona water is at a crossroads. Will the Legislature respond?

The Arizona Legislature opened this week with the state facing significant water insecurity. Water has climbed to one of the top three concerns of Arizona voters, who are getting engaged in water issues and will be watching the Legislature closely this session as an election year looms large. EDF Action and our Water for Arizona Coalition partners are focusing on the following five priorities for this year’s legislative session to respond to residents’ concerns and help ensure water security for Arizona.


Environmental Defense Fund 

Governor Ducey Proposes Major Water Funding

“We commend the governor and legislative leaders for putting Arizona’s water needs at the top of the state’s agenda. It is essential that new water funding is structured in ways that help the state to adapt to new water realities: Drought supercharged by climate change is shrinking Colorado River supplies and contributing to a groundwater crisis in several rural Arizona communities. We can’t pour enough concrete to overcome the water challenges we face, and focusing primarily on building long pipelines won’t lead to the water security we need.


Audubon Arizona

Investing in Arizona’s Water will Improve Outlook for People and Birds

Audubon’s priorities for the 2022 Arizona Legislative Session. In Arizona, as throughout much of the West, the situation is serious. And while recent storms bring welcome moisture for thirsty western landscapes, one wet winter will not reverse 20 years of drought. We hope for rain and snow to replenish our reservoirs, rivers, groundwater, and habitat. However, there is more we can do than just hope, we can take action that will improve the outlook for people and birds. 


Environmental Defense Fund 

Arizonans have spoken: It’s time to protect rural groundwater

Across roughly 80% of Arizona, there are virtually no groundwater regulations, meaning that anyone can drill a well and pump groundwater, even if it dries up neighboring drinking wells or depletes flows in nearby rivers and streams. It’s the land of “the deepest well wins,” putting livelihoods, communities, agriculture and ecosystems at risk.

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WAC Coalition Members

The Water Report: Groundwater in Rural Arizona a “deepening” challenge

Groundwater is often considered a “hidden” resource. Although we typically hear less about it than we do about the storied and imperiled Colorado River or other western rivers, groundwater is especially critical in the intermountain West, including in Arizona and throughout the Colorado River Basin. 


Environmental Defense Fund 

10 ways policymakers can support climate resilience in the West

To help policymakers address these pressing climate challenges, EDF contributed to a recent report, Ten Strategies for Climate Resilience in the Colorado River Basin, authored by Martin & McCoy and Culp & Kelly, LLP, that analyzed multiple approaches to building climate resilience and identified the top 10 priorities.


Audubon Arizona 

Arizona Legislative Session Results in Funding for Audubon Priorities

Jocelyn Gibbon is a river guide, and she’s also a water law and policy expert. We embrace Jocelyn’s multiple talents to cover Arizona’s lesser-known rivers, the beauty of the grand canyon and the joys of guiding, and we get into the nitty gritty of water management, and lack thereof, for groundwater in Arizona.  


Western Resource Advocates

WRA's legislative timeline

WRA made major progress across the West during 2021 state legislative sessions. WRA works at the state level because that’s where some of the most effective decisions to influence climate policy are made. State-level policies play a major role in reducing carbon emissions; ensuring air and water quality; protecting rivers, wildlife, and habitats; and investing in open space and parks.

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American Rivers 

Podcast: Ten Strategies for Climate Resilience in the CO Basin

In a previous episode of "We Are Rivers", climate scientist Brad Udall said "You can't depress people into action". In this episode, our guest Amy McCoy is working to inspire us into action through a report she authored along with her partner, Season Martin, Culp & Kelly, and a whole host of other collaborators and contributors. The report outlines 10 bold strategies to increase climate resilience in the Colorado Basin, and Amy walks us through how the strategies were identified, and what they mean for our future.


Western Resource Advocates

As Lake Powell and Western Rivers Hit Record Lows, New Report Shows Better Alternative to Expensive, Unnecessary Lake Powell Pipeline

Western Resource Advocates and American Rivers today announced the release of the Local Waters Alternative 2.0, a detailed study proposing solutions to meet Washington County’s current and future water needs without need for the expensive and wasteful Lake Powell Pipeline.

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Environmental Defense Fund 

Crop-switching in the megadrought

Farmers in Arizona are hoping that guayule, a hardy plant that produces natural rubber, can become a profitable crop requiring far less water than alfalfa, corn and cotton.


American Rivers

Top 10 Strategies for Climate Resilience in the CO Basin

Experts are sounding the alarm (and have been) about the realities of a simultaneously drying and ever-more-water-demanding West. We must invest in immediate strategies for managing the situation brought on by the climate crisis. A recent report to which American Rivers contributed outlines some such strategies for climate resilience in the Colorado Basin.


Western Resource Advocates

Clean Heat and Climate Change in the West

The building and industrial sectors are a large piece of the puzzle in addressing climate change. Direct combustion of gas, petroleum, and coal in these homes and businesses produced 17% of the energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in Western states in 2017, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Environmental Defense Fund 

This landmark water conservation agreement is good news for Arizona. We need more like it.

Water scarcity in the Colorado River is becoming more urgent by the day. As temperatures soar to record levels — 122 degrees in Phoenix last month — Lake Mead has plummeted to 37% of its capacity, the lowest level since the nation’s largest reservoir was filled in 1935.

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Business for Water Stewardship

Major Corporations & Foundations Commit Final Funding to Close Gap in Landmark Colorado River Water Conservation Deal

Business for Water Stewardship, Environmental Defense Fund and the National Audubon Society today announced that corporations and foundations have committed the funding to close an $8 million funding gap required to complete a landmark water conservation project with the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) and the state of Arizona. 

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American Rivers

When Rivers Flow, Things Are Good: On Water in Arizona

Jocelyn Gibbon is a river guide, and she’s also a water law and policy expert. We embrace Jocelyn’s multiple talents to cover Arizona’s lesser-known rivers, the beauty of the grand canyon and the joys of guiding, and we get into the nitty gritty of water management, and lack thereof, for groundwater in Arizona.  


Western Resource Advocates

Protecting the Colorado River

The Colorado River provides drinking water to over 36 million people, irrigates over 4 million acres of farmland, supports a $26 billion water-based recreation economy, and sustains 30 endemic fish species and critical river habitat for the millions of birds using the Pacific Flyway. We’ve identified common sense steps that will keep the Colorado River flowing and avoid future water shortages. These cost-effective steps are faster and resolve water challenges better and cheaper than dams or taking more water from the River.

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Audubon Arizona

Understanding Arizona’s Groundwater: Story Map

Why Sustaining Healthy Groundwater Supplies is Critical to Birds, Habitat, and People. Groundwater sustains rivers and streams in between rain and snow events and is the source for springs and wells. Over 40% of Arizona’s water supply comes from groundwater. Outside of the central populous portions of the state, there are essentially no rules governing its use. This affects the water future of more than 1.5 million Arizonans.

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Audubon Arizona

Groundwater Protections Key to Sustaining Water Supplies for People and Birds

Storytelling tool highlights the lack of groundwater management in large portions of Arizona. In Arizona, groundwater makes up a significant portion of the state’s water supply, particularly in rural, or greater, Arizona—areas outside of the central populous part of the state. Sometimes, groundwater is the sole source of water for communities, farming, and industrial activities like mining.


American Rivers

Colorado River Futures – “Climate & the River” Edition

The stakes of ignoring the likelihood of a hotter and drier future are high. In this, our “Climate & the River” edition, we’ll highlight findings from the study that underscore how important it is that, as we look to the future, we model future hydrology not only by understanding the past, but by looking ahead to the impacts of back-to-back and longer-term droughts paired with warming temperatures that precipitate aridification. 


Western Resource Advocates 

Governor Ducey Signs Landmark Law Changing Arizona’s “Use It Or Lose It” Water Policy

PHOENIX – Today, the Water for Arizona Coalition thanked Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Rep. Gail Griffin, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Sen. Kirsten Engel as well as others for their leadership in passing HB2056.

Under the new policy, which was sponsored by Rep. Griffin, individual water users will be able to voluntarily divert less river water onto their property through efficiency and conservation measures if they file a water conservation plan with the Arizona Department of Water Resources.


Audubon Arizona

Audubon-Supported Legislation Benefits Birds and Water Rights Holders in Arizona

New law encourages wise water use and will leave more water in rivers.

This week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a new bill that gives surface water users like farmers an incentive to conserve water on their property—by switching to less thirsty crops or upgrading irrigation systems for example—and be confident that any water saved will not be subject to the “use it or lose it” provision, or the loss of water rights based on non-use. 


American Rivers

Future of the Colorado River – the “Changed River” edition

The Colorado River system is highly managed, strained, stressed, and challenged, but is also one of the most loved, revered, enjoyed and sacred rivers in the world.

As we teased in a blog last week, we’re back to continue breaking down the compelling, and quite frankly, sea-changing recent study coming out of the Center for Colorado Rivers Studies at Utah State University. 


Environmental Defense Fund

How to advance water security for Arizona? These 3 bills are a good start.

With dozens of water bills introduced in the Arizona Legislature this session, EDF Action and the Water for Arizona Coalition are focusing on long-overdue steps needed to ensure water security for all, especially rural communities that face high water risk.

Rural Arizona is the only substantial region left across the seven Colorado River Basin states where an “open access” approach to groundwater management is still the norm. This anything-goes approach puts people and ecosystems in rural Arizona at a disproportionate risk of water insecurity and economic instability.


American Rivers

New report confronts tough choices for the future of the Colorado River

It’s time for hard conversations about what kind of future we want for the Colorado River and all who depend upon it.

The Center for Colorado River Studies at Utah State University recently published a preprint edition of their new white paper titled, “Alternative Management Paradigms for the Future of the Colorado and Green Rivers.”


Audubon Arizona

Advancing Arizona’s Groundwater Management to Protect Our Water Supply

Several bills before the legislature would protect people and birds.


It is a flurry of activity right now at the Arizona Capitol where the state legislature is considering numerous groundwater management-related bills.

Over 40% of Arizona’s water supply comes from groundwater. Outside of the central populous portions of the state, there are essentially no rules governing its use. This affects the water future of more than 1.5 million Arizonans.


American Rivers

Arizona Water Security

Arizona is a place in constant flux where the landscapes and people who rely on them are ever changing. The Colorado River carved, and is carving, the Grand Canyon across the northern third of the state. The Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts lay claim to large swaths of land, while snippets of the Mojave Desert define the state’s western edge.

The many million-year-old Mogollon Rim marks a dramatic transition between the desert lowlands and the Colorado Plateau. While wildly unique in many ways, these deserts share in how a lack of moisture defines them. Tucked and towering among these arid lands are the manifests of both ancient and modern civilization.


Audubon Arizona

Western Water in the New Year

Moving forward with urgency for policies that are equitable and rooted in science.

Last year was difficult. And while 2021 presents some optimism for a better world, the intense challenges we face remain—COVID-19 and other public health crises, growing drought and climate change, and racial injustice. Each of these intersect with water. 


More than 90% of climate stress is experienced through the water cycle—drought, extreme weather and flooding, wildfire, and more. These issues were starkly illustrated in 2020 with the wildfires in the West and the drying of several western habitats.


Western Resource Advocates 

Arizona’s groundwater contributes to 43% of the state’s GDP

To find out what issues state legislators are focusing on that might impact our work to protect the West's land, air, and water and to address climate change, we spoke with WRA's Government Affairs team for a preview of what they're watching in the upcoming legislative sessions across the region.

Many decisions about environmental policies are made at the state level, including funding for conservation priorities, decisions about air and water quality, actions to reduce carbon pollution, protections for fish and other wildlife, and investments in open space and parks. So we do a lot of work at the state capitol buildings every year.


Environmental Defense Fund

Climate leadership is water leadership. This Arizona bill is neither.

Climate change is already having sweeping impacts across Arizona — from devastating wildfires to increases in heat-related illnesses and deaths to declines in safe and reliable water supplies. Unless global carbon emissions are reduced to net zero in the coming decades, these impacts will only multiply and increase in severity across the Southwest. 

We must embrace all available tools to reduce carbon emissions to help stave off worsening climate change, which is why we oppose HB 2248, a bill that would undermine progress on Arizona’s proposed clean energy rules.


Audubon Arizona

Climate Change is Driving Water Scarcity across the West

Arizona needs progress on its renewable energy standards, not retreat. 

An effort in the Arizona legislature threatens the state’s momentum on the use of renewable energy. The proposed legislation would strip away authority from the Arizona Corporation Commission to set renewable energy standards—standards that help attract and retain innovative businesses, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and ultimately, help fight climate change.


Business for Water Stewardship

Arizona’s groundwater contributes to 43% of the state’s GDP

Arizona State University’s Seidman Research Institute and Business For Water Stewardship (BWS) released a new, first-of-its-kind report estimating the economic importance of groundwater for Arizona’s five Active Management Areas (AMAs) in Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott, Santa Cruz and Tuscon. The report finds that Arizona’s groundwater contributed to an annual average of 43% of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), or $1.2 trillion to the economy over a period of nine years.

Arizona relies on groundwater for 40% of its water supply, and sustained access to groundwater remains essential for industrial, agricultural and municipal uses in Arizona. This report underscores how critical groundwater is for Arizona’s continued growth and economic development.


Audubon Arizona

Top Arizona Water Priorities for the Legislature this Year

A fresh look at how the statehouse can support Arizona’s waterways.

Audubon has four main priorities for the 2021 Arizona legislative session:

  1. Support flowing rivers

  2. Steward groundwater resources

  3. Protect water quality in Arizona’s rivers, lakes, and streams

  4. Adequately fund state agencies tasked with protecting water resources and the environment


Environmental Defense Fund

Top 3 water priorities in the 2021 Arizona legislative session

Arizona’s 2021 legislative session opened last week with the expectation that several bills will be introduced to advance water security and support a healthy environment.

EDF Action and the Water for Arizona Coalition are working to advance three main priorities during the 2021 Arizona legislative session.

  1. Empower communities to protect their groundwater supplies

  2. Pass a new clean water protection program

  3. Remove barriers to conservation that supports flowing rivers


American Rivers

Can Wall Street profit off the Colorado River?

The convergence of a multi-decadal, climate-fueled drought, a trillion-dollar river-dependent economy, and a region with growth aspirations that rival any place in the country has peaked speculative interest in owning and profiting from Colorado River water. An “open market,” as described by investors in the recent New York Times article, Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado’s Water, while extremely unlikely, would present a grave danger to rural communities, farms and ranches, clean, safe, reliable drinking water for people, and ultimately the health and sustainability of the Colorado River ecosystem itself.  

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Business for Water Stewardship

The Economic Importance of Groundwater in Arizona

This study estimates the economic importance of groundwater for the five Active Management Areas (AMAs) in the State of Arizona, 2010 through 2018. These are the Phoenix AMA, the Pinal AMA, the Prescott AMA, the Santa Cruz AMA, and the Tucson AMA. For the purpose of this report, the term groundwater means water that is pumped out of the ground. This water may have originated from artificial or natural recharge processes1


Audubon Arizona

Audubon Prepares Advocates for Upcoming Arizona Legislative Season

Bilingual webinar presents tips and tools to advocate for conservation priorities 

What are some effective ways to advocate for birds, wildlife, and the conservation of our natural resources, even during a pandemic? How might the results of our local and federal elections impact water and natural resources-related legislation in Arizona? How can you participate in the lawmaking process to advance good outcomes for conservation?

This webinar is part advocacy training and part election update. Watch the recording below.


Western Resource Advocates 

WRA and Arizona Water Partners Recognized as a 2020 Leader of the Year

Western Resource Advocates and its Water for Arizona Coalition partners were honored this summer to receive the Arizona Capitol Times 2020 Leader of the Year Award in the Environment Category. The annual awards ceremony recognizes individuals and organizations that “have contributed greatly to the growth of our state. These groups, companies and individuals hunker down each day to find ways to improve the quality of life of Arizonans.”


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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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Business for Water Stewardship


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.

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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!

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Snow Removal Truck

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.


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. 


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.


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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