On the River, at the Capitol, and Behind the Bar

Arizona WRAN News: June 2017

What do  Audubon members, policy makers, and craft breweries have in common?  Each has in important role in protecting our western rivers. Read on to learn how each is doing their part to protect Arizona's water resources.

  • Western Rivers Brewers' Council:
    Brewers know that an adequate and reliable water supply is critical to their craft.  Audubon's Western Rivers Action Network members know that it is critical to healthy rivers, habitats, birds, and other wildlife.  This is why we’re excited to announce the launch of the Western Rivers Brewers’ Council (WRBC).

    We envision that the WRBC will grow into a coalition of conservation-minded breweries that support WRAN's mission to protect rivers across the Colorado River Basin.  By helping us get action opportunities in front of their audiences, they will be helping us reach diverse and locally-minded people that we may not otherwise be able to reach.  In addition, their perspective as local business owners will be an important and valuable addition to the Network.

    Learn more about the WRBC here and ask your favorite local brewery to get on board!

  • Agua Fria River Wet/Dry Mapping:
    On the hottest, driest day of each year, volunteers and resource managers head into the field to record which stretches of Arizona’s rivers offer surface water and which don’t.  This effort, called wet/dry mapping, reveals where Arizona’s most reliable water persists and is essential to planning riparian conservation and restoration efforts. With temperatures reaching 120 degrees in Phoenix this month, you can imagine the dedication it takes to do this work.

    Thanks to Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers from Friends of the Agua Fria National Monument and Sonoran Audubon Society, the 26.5-mile stretch of the Agua Fria River running through the Agua Fria National Monument Riparian Corridors Important Bird area has been reliably monitored since 2008.  Check out the results of their work with this interactive story map.

  • Colorado River System Conservation Agreement:
    Earlier this month, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved an agreement between Phoenix, the Gila River Indian Community, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Walton Family Foundation that will help protect the Colorado River and maintain water levels in Lake Mead.  Under this agreement, the Gila River Indian Community will keep 40,000 acre feet of its water allocation in the lake, helping to keep the lake above levels that will trigger water restrictions across the state. 

    Speaking about this agreement,  Greg Stanton said "Smart water policy is essential to our economy and to every Arizonan. This historic agreement shows how by thinking creatively and working together we can protect our future Colorado River water supply and safeguard against the continued drought and climate change that are directly impacting Lake Mead." The Gila River Indian Community tribal council is expected to vote on the agreement next month.  Learn more about this historic partnership here.

No matter what motivates us, whether it be birds, the health of our cities, or a carefully-brewed pint of local beer, we all rely on healthy Arizona rivers.  Thank you for taking action!

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