YubaNet.com
Wednesday, September 17 2014

            We Deliver News to the Sierra
News Fire News spacer Latest News spacer Regional News spacer California News spacer USA News spacer World News spacer Op-Ed spacer Enviro News spacer Sci Tech News spacer Life spacer Odd News spacer Cartoons spacer
Features The Calendar features features Weather features Sierra NightSky features features features Road Conditions features Home spacer
CA
 

U.S. and Mexico Sign Historic Agreement Guaranteeing Water for the Colorado River Delta


    Google+    

By: Pacific Institute

SAN DIEGO, Calif. Nov. 20, 2012 - At the historic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, Calif., the U.S. and Mexican commissioners of a binational agency that manages water crossing the border signed Minute 319, an amendment to the 1944 treaty that allocates Colorado River water to Mexico. This new agreement, for the first time ever, guarantees that some water will flow in the usually-dry Colorado River channel that marks the boundary between Baja California and Arizona.

"We've been working for more than 15 years to get water back in the river; this remarkable achievement is a huge step forward for the embattled Colorado River delta," said Michael Cohen, senior associate at the Pacific Institute and author of major research on the sustainable use of the Colorado River water. "It is incredibly satisfying to think that the dedicated efforts of so many people, over so many years, have led to this historic moment. It is a long overdue end to the incredibly destructive 20th Century notion that not a drop should be left instream."

In addition to ushering in a new era of cooperation between U.S. and Mexican stakeholders, the new agreement signals a milestone in the two countries' recognition of the environmental value of water left to flow in the Colorado River. Legally dedicating a significant volume of water to nature helps to strike a long-overdue balance between water for agriculture, cities, and the delta environment.

Except for unusually high flood years, the entire flow of the Colorado is diverted and used before reaching the river's mouth at the Upper Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez). This has decimated the river's once-extensive delta and leaves the river channel completely dry more than 90 percent of the time. Even in this degraded state, the remaining delta still comprises one of the largest and most critical desert wetlands in North America.

"The Colorado is a river under siege," said Cohen. "We have been researching and advocating solutions to revive the river and delta, knowing we must protect these precious places and use the water we take more efficiently, or the river and delta will suffer irreparable harm. This historic agreement is critical to the eventual preservation and rehabilitation of Colorado River delta."

In 1996, the Pacific Institute put forward a sustainable vision for the lower Colorado River basin, and wrote that it "can be identified, described, and, we believe, reached. Such a vision will include restoring and maintaining some of the unique environmental and ecological resources of the region, including the river delta." The Institute's 2001 report Missing Water compiled flow data along the mainstem and diversions within the delta region, the first time such data has been compiled for the region as a whole.

"The delivery of water back to the delta will be a great help to the dying willows and cottonwoods and the birds that depend on them," said Ed Glenn, Professor of Biology at the University of Arizona, whose research on the area in the early 1990s brought attention to the delta's plight.

The Pacific Institute is one of the world's leading independent nonprofit research organizations working on the world's water. Based in Oakland, California, with an office in Boulder, Colorado, the Institute conducts interdisciplinary research and partners with stakeholders to produce solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity – in California, nationally, and internationally. www.pacinst.org

In 1996, the Institute released Sustainable Use of Water in the Lower Colorado River Basin, followed by 2001's Missing Water: The Uses and Flows of Water in the Colorado River Delta Region and 2005's Understanding Flows Through the Remnant Colorado River Delta: Recommendations for Streamgage Sites and Data Collection, with many more articles, plans, and public commentaries.

 

Help us bring you more news. Be a real reader: Support YubaNet

By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.

 

Latest Headlines

CA

Satellite photo: Dry Conditions and Lightning Strikes Make for a Long California Fire Season

State Operations Center Activates in Full Support of the Statewide Fires

New Census Data Show That More Than 1 in 7 Californians -- One-Third of Them Children -- Lived in Poverty in 2013

Pilot Rescued After Plane Crash in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Cause of Conway Fire Determined to Be Vehicle-Related

Op-Ed: Lynn Tramonte: California's Prop 187 Relegated to History Books: Will Obama and Democrats Read the Whole Chapter?

Dan Bacher: Winnemem Wintu War Dancers: Shasta Dam a 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

People's Climate Train Leaves California En Route to Historic Climate March in New York City

Friends of the Earth: Nuclear regulator again rebuffs safety inspector's concerns of quake safety at Diablo Canyon

Statement by OneCalifornia on "6 California's" Ballot Measure Failing to Qualify for November 2016 Ballot


More

 

 

 

 

NEWS . Fire News . Latest . Regional . California . USA . World . Op-Ed . Enviro . Sci/Tech . Life . Odd News . Cartoons
FEATURES . The Calendar .Weather . Sierra NightSky . Horoscope . Road Conditions
YubaNet.com . Advertising. About Us . Support YubaNet . Contact Us . Terms of Use . Privacy

YubaNet.com © 1999-2014
Nevada City, California (530) 478-9600