San Luis Rio Colorado II, Mexico

 
PROJECT LOCATION(S): Sonora, Mexico (Colorado River Delta)
PROJECT PARTNER(S): Pronatura Noroeste, Colorado River Delta Trust and National Geographic
START UP DATE: 2013
PROJECT TYPE: Water Management Agreements
WRCs GENERATED: Yes*

In 2012, a water sharing agreement was reached between the U.S and Mexico that paved the way for restoring flows to the lower Colorado River and its delta. Through this agreement, there is an historic opportunity to restore water to the desiccated lower Colorado River Delta with the promise that restored flows may someday support thousands of acres of wetland and river habitat.

The new agreement provides a landmark opportunity for restoration of the delta ecosystem. BEF, working with Pronatura Noroeste, the Colorado River Delta Water Trust and National Geographic, is supporting a series of base flow restoration projects that restore over a billion gallons of water during the dry summer months to help restore native vegetation and habitat throughout the delta.

Many more investments from myriad other funders and partner organizations will be needed to achieve the long-term flow restoration goals in the delta. However, BEF and our partners in this project are incredibly proud to play an early and critical role in restoring water to this once great ecosystem. Restoring base flows to the delta is a critical first step, and as we succeed in enlisting support from additional businesses and corporations through BEF’s Water Restoration program, we expect to make additional investments in restoring Colorado River flows through the delta.

*This resource has been reviewed and found to meet the BEF Flow Program Certification Criteria for Evaluating Proposals to Secure Environmental Flows by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

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In 2014, thanks to several organizations and government entities in the U.S. and Mexico, pulse flows from the Colorado River reached the Sea of Cortez for the first time in decades. Base flow restoration—in part supported by BEF’s project above and the commitment of our sponsors and partners—played an important role in this historic event. Below are a handful of stories and videos produced by our partners at National Geographic depicting this momentous event.

National Geographic Voices, April 1, 2014: Landscapes Transform with the Arrival of the Colorado River
National Geographic Voices, April 5, 2015: Monitoring the Pulse of the Colorado River

 

National Geographic Voices, March 28, 2014: Colorado Delta Community Reconnects with its River

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