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Colorado River

Five Things You Can Do

Our river is in trouble.

The Colorado River provides water to nearly 36 million people. The river helps grow and produce many of the foods you eat, including much of the country’s winter supply of carrots and lettuce.

But this hardworking, iconic river is in trouble. Demands now exceed what the river can supply, and nature is feeling the impact. Native fish and birds are in decline, and the river no longer reaches the sea.

5 things you can do

Know where your water comes from: You may be surprised how far your water has to travel before reaching your faucet! If you’re reading this, chances are some (or all!) of your water comes from the Colorado River.

Use less water: Every drop counts! Use water saving devices and reduce your outdoor water use in the summer. Need some other ideas?

  1. Shorten your shower by two minutes and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  2. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 150 gallons per month.
  3. Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full and save up to 200 gallons a month.
  4. Fix that leaky faucet or running toilet and save up to 300 gallons per month.
  5. Use native and drought-tolerant plants to landscape your home and water them in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation. Water-wise landscaping can greatly reduce water use—and lower your water bill.

Choose your food wisely: Consider the source of the food you eat and how it’s grown. Consider buying food grown locally and sustainably, using water-efficient practices.

Support organizations that protect our rivers: Learn more about organizations like The Nature Conservancy that protect and restore our rivers.

Encourage friends and family to take action: Inspire others to care for our lands and rivers. Explore the outdoors and try new adventures like rafting, fishing and hiking. 

If we work together, we can make a difference!

The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado River program is an unprecedented effort to find innovative ways to save the river for nature and people.

The Nature Conservancy combines on-the-ground work in local communities with policy initiatives to develop collaborative, science-based solutions:                 

  • We find ways to help balance the water needs of cities, farmers and nature.                 
  • We help to protect and restore native fish (some found nowhere else in the world!) by working with some of the river’s biggest dams to bring back more natural water flows.                 
  • We restore habitat for birds and fish by removing invasive weeds that compete with native plants and alter stream flows.                 
  • We work on water policy. To help the Colorado River once again reach the sea, we facilitated an historic agreement between the U.S. and Mexico to restore flows to the Gulf of California. 

Like the Colorado River Program on Facebook!

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