The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the southwest — its water sustains over 35 million people, including one-third of the nation’s Latinos, and endangered fish and wildlife in seven states. The Colorado River is an integral part of our heritage and way of life. it supports wildlife, tourism and our agricultural industry.
However, A century of overusing the river has put the river at a critical crossroads. Demand on the river’s water now exceeds its supply, leaving the river so over-tapped that it dries up to a trickle before reaching the sea.
As populations grow, we need to be even more careful in conserving water to help preserve our environment, protect against pollution and keep our ecosystems intact.
The Colorado River connects us all, and when it comes to creating a better future for our communities we’re all in this together.
On Earth Day 2015 (April 22), Hispanic Access Foundation partnered with American Rivers to spark a dialogue among tens of thousands of Latinos across the Colorado River basin. Churches and community organizations from Denver to Los Angeles will begin screening a Spanish-language version of the award-winning film, “I Am Red,” as part of their discussions about the importance of the Colorado River and it tributaries, and the need for conservation.
Nearly two dozen churches are participating in this initial kickoff and additional events will reach thousands of Latino youth throughout the Southwest.
By sharing the story of the Colorado River with communities across the Basin, we want to inspire a new generation of river stewards.
WHAT MUST BE DONE
- We have a moral responsibility to protect the Colorado River and leave a legacy for the future.
- We must promote the protection of rivers by deciding to maintain and restore flows needed for river health in critical areas of the Basin.
- We must do all we can to remind people of the importance of the Colorado River to our lives, as well as to the critical fish and wildlife habitat that also depends on it, to ensure the sustainability and quality of life of the region.
- We must build a future that includes healthy rivers, state-of-the-art water conservation for cities and agriculture, and water sharing practices that allow communities to adapt to warmer temperatures and more erratic precipitation.
FACTS ABOUT THE COLORADO RIVER
- Flows 1,450 miles, through 7 US states, from its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park to the Gulf of California in Mexico
- Drains over 246,000 square miles of the arid southwest
- Dozens of rivers are part of the Colorado River system, including the Green River, Gila River, San Juan River and the Gunnison River.
- Quenches the thirst of over 35 million people
- Drives a $1.4 TRILLION dollar economy (Arizona State University study, 2014)