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The Colorado River will receive water for 164 days

Photo courtesy by Jesús García 2021/Alianza Revive el Río Colorado

MEXICALI, B.C.- As part of a binational alliance and cooperation between the governments of Mexico and the United States established in acts 319 and 323 of the Water Treaty, the Colorado River will be receiving water for 164 days. Thus, on May 1, the flow of water began and will continue for twenty-three weeks, extending until the beginning of October.

This region being one of the most affected, according to the Drought Monitor of the Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States, this restoration effort carried out by the International Boundary and Water Commission (CILA), hand in hand with the  Alianza Revive el Río Colorado, made up of environmental organizations on both sides of the border, will cause the recharge of the aquifer, an improvement in the quality of the soil for agriculture, as well as the recovery of endemic species of flora and fauna.

Gabriela Caloca, Coordinator of the Water and Wetlands Conservation Program in Pronatura Noroeste, mentioned that these water discharges were designed to imitate the natural flows of the river, in such a way, the impact will be completely environmental, together with the benefit that the surrounding population will have to the site that has the water supply. 

“This gives a bit of joy to the communities that are bordering the river because many who live there had to see the river when it ran, and the children, for example, since they did not know it now, they see it run and it is a great emotion,” she expressed.  It is worth mentioning, with the last draft of Act 319, that confirmed the appearance of beavers, wild cats, endemic species of amphibians, as well as the proliferation of poplars and willows.

The Alianza Revive el Río Colorado, is made up of the National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Pronatura Noroeste, The Redford Center, Restauremos el Colorado, and Sonoran Institute, whose common objective is to restore water and life to the Colorado River Delta based on scientific studies and monitoring in the area.

This plan is part of Act 323 and is under the supervision of the Act Monitoring Group that includes the National Water Commission and the US Bureau of Reclamation. The Act, signed in September 2017, specifies agreements within the 1944 Treaty on waters between both countries and defines how they share the water of the Colorado River until 2026.

Furthermore, it includes the exchange of surpluses in times of abundance and reductions in times of drought. On the other hand, “people are empowering themselves from their river again and everyone has realized that they can participate,” Caloca clarified. Of the restoration areas is Laguna Grande in Mexicali, El Chausse, and Miguel Alemán in San Luis Río Colorado. With the above, jobs are also granted as day laborers and/or in bird monitoring.

You can visit the official internet sites to follow the reforestation projects, tours, and campaigns.

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