From Wild Earth Guardians (Jen Pelz):
To protect the river as a whole, we must join together in a basin-wide community
I admit that I personally had all but abandoned the 1,250 miles of the Rio Grande from Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico. It is difficult to work on more than 600 miles of the river, let alone the entire 1,896 miles. It seemed necessary for self-preservation. The reality of the problems the Rio Grande faces from source to sea is vast:
Climate change is predicted to reduce flows in the Rio Grande by 25 percent in Colorado, 35 percent in New Mexico, and over 50 percent in Texas and Mexico in the remainder of this century; A border wall (or series of walls) could destroy connections between countries as well as migratory corridors for rare and beautiful ocelots and jaguars, among other species; A 200-mile stretch of the Rio Grande known as “the forgotten reach”, between El Paso and Presido, Texas (or Ojinaga, Mexico), is already channelized and bone-dry year round; Flows in the 75-mile stretch of one of America’s first Wild & Scenic Rivers—the Rio Grande from the Colorado-New Mexico state line to south of Taos, NM—is in danger of disappearing due to unsustainable use in Colorado and implementation of the Rio Grande Compact, especially during dry years; and The lack of flooding and peak flows, as well as the lack of accountability of agricultural water use from the Rio Grande in central New Mexico, threatens to increase ecological damage to one of the largest contiguous cottonwood forests in the world.
There is no doubt the solutions to these problems are complicated and hard, but we can chart a new course for this iconic river.