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A Diversion of the Gila River Would be Wasteful, Harmful and a Big Mistake

By the end of the year, New Mexico must notify the U.S. Secretary of Interior whether it will pursue the construction of a diversion project on the Gila River in the southwestern corner of the state. New Mexico’s Interstate Stream Commission decided last week to recommend that the state pursue the diversion. But Governor Susana…

Gila River Diversion Would Be a Costly Failure

As the December deadline approaches for New Mexico to decide whether or not it will proceed with a controversial diversion of the Gila River, a former director of the state’s Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) testified on April 30 to the ISC that the proposed diversion would result in “a failed project that would produce little…

New Mexicans Call for Conservation over River Diversions

The western United States was settled with the help of big dams and river diversions that delivered distant water to burgeoning cities and farms, but at least one state is saying it’s time to shift gears. In a resounding voice of support for river protection, 85 percent of New Mexico residents say they want officials…

Finding of Rare Gartersnake Underscores Need to Protect New Mexico’s Gila River

Last month, after no confirmed sightings in nearly twenty years, scientists discovered three northern Mexican gartersnakes along a stretch of the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico. Until this find, scientists had suspected that the rare snake was extinct in the state. Northern Mexican gartnersnakes (Thamnophis eques) live in wetland areas alongside rivers, where they…

Tapped Out: How Will Cities Secure Their Water Future?

Today, global demands for food, energy, and shelter are putting unprecedented pressure on the resources of the planet. Water is at the heart of this crisis. In fact, more than half of the world’s cities are already experiencing water shortages on a recurring basis – based on findings from a study that I published, along…

Still Wild and Free, New Mexico’s Gila River is Again Under Threat

In today’s world where most rivers are turned on and off like plumbing works, the Gila in southwestern New Mexico is a rare gem:  one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the United States and the only one in New Mexico. The Gila (pronounced Heela) spotlights what a river can be when it flows…