Changing the way we use water from the Colorado River is crucial if we want to save the West’s hardest working river


The Colorado River provides drinking water to over 36 million people, irrigates over 4 million acres of farmland, supports a $26 billion water-based recreation economy, and sustains 30 endemic fish species and critical river habitat for the millions of birds using the Pacific Flyway.

Communities in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming all depend on the Colorado River for water, and human demands on the river now surpass what the river basin naturally provides. Climate change impacts will only add to the pressure on the river and the life it supports. The many threats the Colorado River faces make it one of America’s most endangered rivers.

We’ve identified common sense steps that will keep the Colorado River flowing and avoid future water shortages. These cost-effective steps are faster and resolve water challenges better and cheaper than dams or taking more water from the River.


Read our report to learn more about these solutions.