Is Arizona’s glass half full…or half empty?

Arizona WRAN News – September 2017

Last month, the Bureau of Reclamation announced that it does not expect a shortage declaration for the Lower Colorado River Basin in 2018.  However, we are still overdrawing our water account and Lake Mead is less than 40% full - even after a wet winter.

Arizona relies on the Colorado River for about 40 percent of its water, and demand far exceeds supply. This imbalance is what’s known as the structural deficit. Without action, continued declines in Lake Mead are likely to lead to a declaration of shortage in the next several years, requiring cuts to water use in the Colorado River Basin, particularly in Arizona. Arizona’s water users have an important opportunity to get out in front of this problem by collectively focusing on steps to reduce the imbalance in the most innovative, efficient and cost-effective ways possible. As the Environmental Defense Fund’s Kevin Moran said in his recent editorial in the Arizona Republic, “We should use this brief reprieve to reflect on how we achieved our past successes, assess the current situation, and then redouble our efforts to improve how we use, manage and share our limited supply of Colorado River water.”

Until water reliability for people is secured, water for birds, other wildlife, and their habitats will not be prioritized – making finding a solution to the structural deficit and developing a plan to address ongoing drought key parts of our mission to protect Arizona’s rivers.  As water planning efforts move forward, we will be calling on you, our WRAN members, to use your voice to ensure that water for natural areas remains a primary consideration.

WRAN Webinars:  Connecting Water Policy to Birds and Their Habitat

When getting into the weeds of water policy, it’s easy to grow disconnected from the habitats, birds, and other wildlife that it ultimately impacts. With our next series of WRAN webinars, we’re aiming to make the connections much more clear. 

Register for upcoming sessions below, and visit our WRAN Events page frequently to learn about additional offerings.

  • Wednesday, October 11, Noon – 1pm: Keeping Beer (and Rivers) Flowing – how craft breweries are taking action for Arizona’s rivers.
    • Join Danielle McPherson, Water Resources Specialist and Project Manager for the WaterNow Alliance, and Chase Saraiva, Head Brewer at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company, to discover how craft breweries are working to protect our rivers and make the most of Arizona’s water resources.  Whether it be the PureWater Brew Challenge building support for potable reuse or Arizona Wilderness working to protect flow in the Verde – craft beer and conservation action go hand in hand. Register here.
  • Wednesday, October 25, Noon – 1pm: Where the Water Goes – restoration on the Colorado River Delta
    • Join Osvel Hinojosa, Director of Pronatura Noroeste’s Water and Wetlands Program, for a look into on-the-ground restoration work benefiting birds, other wildlife, and communities on the Lower Colorado River and the Delta.  If you’ve ever wondered how complicated water policies, such as the 1944 Mexican Water Treaty, affect natural areas along the river – this is your chance to learn more!  Register here.

Western Rivers Brewers’ Council

Join us in welcoming the two newest members to the WRBC – Dragoon Brewing Company and 1912 Brewing Company, both from Tucson.  Both were participants in the Arizona PureWater Brew Challenge, and Dragoon’s Clearwater Pilsner was the winning brew.  In short, these two craft breweries are taking action for Arizona’s rivers every chance they get.

By sharing WRAN action opportunities with their supporters, WRBC members will helping to make our voice louder and more effective than ever.

Learn more about the WRBC here – and thank them for participating the next time you’re sipping one of their brews!


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