New Mexico’s rivers, streams and springs face threats from numerous sources. Growing cities and towns increase the demand for water and energy. Dams change natural flow patterns while agricultural irrigation can remove all water from entire stream reaches. Rising temperatures from a changing climate promise to further jeopardize these life-giving resources.
In response, the Conservancy and its partners are protecting and restoring three important tributaries of the Colorado River, the West’s iconic, wild river and a critical source of water for people and wildlife. These tributaries — the Gila River, San Juan River and Rio Nutria — are stressed by redirected flows, non-native invasive plants, droughts and growing water demand.
The Gila River supports extraordinary biodiversity and a thriving farming community.
Unfortunately, water diversions authorized under the Arizona Water Settlements Act threaten critical reaches of the river. Non-native invasive plants and animals and incompatible floodplain management threaten fish, birds and forests.
To address these issues, the Conservancy is:
Slicing through the canyon country of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, the San Juan River supported six-foot long, 100-pound Colorado pikeminnows and five-foot razorback suckers until the arrival of dam construction, water diversions, oil and gas drilling and non-native species.
To bring back these now endangered behemoths and the ecosystem that supports them, the Conservancy is:
These rivers harbor two fish that occur nowhere else in the U.S.: the Zuni bluehead sucker in the Rio Nutria and the Chihuahua chub in the Mimbres River. Springs along the Mimbres River also harbor other rare fish species and the endangered Chiricahua leopard frog. We are protecting these ecological treasures by:
The Santa Fe River gathers in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at the southern end of the Rockies to provide cool, clear water to residents of the high desert city that shares its name. Long a sanctuary for wildlife, the river offers a place for people to reconnect with nature. Our work here has included:
>>Help Protect Fresh Water for People and Nature: Conserving and restoring New Mexico’s rivers, streams and springs makes sense for the residents who rely on them for drinking water, electricity, recreation and spiritual renewal. Your support can ensure the health and resilience of New Mexico’s rivers and fresh water around the world.October 12, 2012