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Colorado River Day, Arizona's Conservation Successes

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Friday, July 24, 2015   

PHOENIX - Recognizing Arizona's success in conserving and preserving water from the Colorado River is part of the message attached to Colorado River Day on Saturday.

Arizona lawmakers have a long history of making good water planning decisions, said Nicole Gonzalez Patterson, state director of Protect the Flows, a network of more than 1,100 businesses working on Colorado River conservation issues.

"The development of the Central Arizona Project, and with the development of the Arizona Groundwater Management Act, we had a lot of foresight to think about some solutions to potential water shortages," she said.

Gonzalez Patterson said her group also is grateful to Gov. Doug Ducey for supporting policies that will help to ensure future conservation of the Colorado River. She said the state is well positioned to embrace future solutions that will help protect the river.

Colorado River Day marks the 94th anniversary of the Grand River being renamed the Colorado.

Gonzalez Patterson said research shows that the river helps to support millions of jobs and provides trillions of dollars to the economy across the Southwest.

"Without the river, a lot of jobs go away and businesses rely on water," she said. "It's a fact of doing business in the desert, so that's why it's so valuable."

The Colorado River has endured more than a decade of drought, leaving water levels at its two primary reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, at historic lows.

The Protect the Flows report is online at protectflows.com.


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