From Our Members

Blog posts and latest happenings from our coalition members.

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

Environmental Defense Fund

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.


Big news for the Gila River

American Rivers 

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

Snowpack in the West. 

Audubon Arizona 

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.

Arizona: Looking back on 2019 - Looking ahead to 2020

American Rivers

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

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

Environmental Defense Fund

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.


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

Audubon Arizona 

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.

Stay Flexible, Arizona 

American Rivers

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. 


Why Groundwater Matters for Arizona’s People and Birds

Audubon Arizona 

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.


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

Western Resource Advocates

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. 


Proposition DD marks a major water win in the West

Environmental Defense Fund

Water in Colorado — one of the state’s most important natural resources — scored a major win today when voters approved Proposition DD. Prop. DD will provide up to $29 million a year for water projects from revenue raised by legalizing and taxing sports betting.


Why WRA Supports Proposition DD

Western Resource Advocates

We need lots more funding to implement Colorado’s Water Plan; Prop DD is a solid first step.

Why American Rivers supports Proposition DD– and you should too! 

American Rivers

In order to fully implement Colorado’s Water Plan, additional funding is needed to drive the Plan’s priorities.


International Infrastructure Issues Threaten Arizona’s Santa Cruz River

Audubon Arizona 

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


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

Environmental Defense Fund 

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

If you answered money and water, you win. 

6 Ways to Make Dams Easier to Remove 

American Rivers

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.

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

Environmental Defense Fund

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.


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

Audubon Arizona 

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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Sonora Rising 

American Rivers 

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. 


Heeding a Spiritual and Sacred Call to Protect the Colorado River

Walton Family Foundation

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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Resilience on the river

Environmental Defense Fund

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.

August 2019 Newsletter

Business for Water Stewardship

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.


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

Audubon Arizona 

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.


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

Western Resource Advocates 

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

Ranching in the new normal

American Rivers

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?