Fundraiser Underway To Buy Colorado River Water For Mexico Wetlands

September 07, 2013

A first of its kind private fundraiser to buy water rights to the Colorado River launches in Phoenix this weekend. Environmental groups want to purchase enough water to keep the river flowing south of the border during the severe drought. The goal is to protect 2 million acres of wetlands in Mexico where the Colorado River empties into the Sea of Cortez. 

“Save The Colorado River” campaign director Gary Wockner said environmentalists from the U.S. and Mexico already have collected money from corporate and private donors, but they need more funds to prevent the water from being sold to other users. 

“It’s probably going to take around $12 million to $15 million to buy enough water to get what’s called a 'pulse flow,' so that’s a flow that’s almost flood-like to go back down to the delta and a base flow that actually keeps the river flowing over time,” Wockner said.

The Colorado River provides water to millions of people in seven states and Mexico, but a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said river water flows between Lake Powell and Lake Mead may have to be reduced by almost 10 percent starting next year unless we get a lot of rain and snow this winter.

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