Colorado River Reunites With Sea
Experiment restores natural path for first time in years
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2014 5:43 PM CDT
Updated May 24, 2014 7:00 PM CDT
The Colorado River winds through Arizona.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The Colorado River has been reunited with an old friend—the sea. Thanks to an agreement between the US and Mexico, water from the river has reached the Sea of Cortez in northwestern Mexico for the first time since either 1998 (according to National Geographic) or 1993 (according to AP). Either way, it's been a long time, and conservationists hope last week's milestone becomes a regular occurrence. The water was released in March from the Morelos Dam near the US-Mexico border, and it took about 8 weeks to complete the journey to the sea.

The idea is to restore life to the Colorado River delta, which has pretty much dried up since the advent of the big-dam era. In fact, the experiment is the first time water from the river has been diverted solely for environmental purposes, reports Arizona Public Media. While the initial "pulse flow" is now shut off, smaller amounts of water will be released to the delta over the next few years, and conservationists think it can revive the dormant habitat. (They've been busy planting trees, timed to germinate with the water's release.) "It is sort of overwhelming, and I think it sheds light on a sort of global interest in the Colorado River completing that journey again," says Jennifer Pitt of the Environmental Defense Fund's Colorado River Project. (In other water-related news, scientists have found an underwater "graveyard.")

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Smitty6398
May 24, 2014 8:33 PM CDT
In the 1960's I farmed on the banks of the Columbia River (WA side) for several years. One day the government showed up at the farm and began asking us about the farm's water usage. Turns out that NEVADA was talking up a series of canals, pump stations and aquaducts from the Columbia, south thru Oregon and Nevada, connecting with the Colorado somewhere near Hoover Dam. We already knew that John Day Dam was in the works just downriver from the farm. We later were told the plan had been scrapped because the projected water demand downstream and the climate data indicated a DRY riverbed would be the result if the water was removed. Since most of the Colorado waters are diverted to CA for agricultural usage; it seems to me that CA needs to build desalinization plants to supply water for human consumption instead of stealing other states' water.
$6016145
May 21, 2014 3:24 PM CDT
Exactly how does allowing precious fresh water being dumped into the ocean help anything? Stupid Environmentalism is more damaging than pollution.
DarkFrancis
May 21, 2014 2:34 PM CDT
So not the Tx one then.