From left to right: New Mexico State Land Assistant Commissioner Surface Resources, Mike D. Anaya; City of Santa Fe Water Resources & Conservation Manager Rick Carpenter; Mayor David Coss; Councilor Patti Bushee; Vice President of the Acequia Association and organic farmer, Harold Trujillo; and Mayor Pro tem Rebecca Wurzburger.
Santa Fe celebrated Colorado River Day 2013 at City Hall this afternoon along with five other western cities: Denver, Colorado, Grand Junction, Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, and San Diego, California. Today marks the river’s 92nd birthday, honors the waterway that serves as the backbone of the West’s economy and a critical drinking source for millions.
Colorado River Day brings people together across divides in support of maintaining a sustainable Colorado River. This year, urban and rural interests unite. It takes place on July 25th each year, as this was the day in 1921 when Congress re-named the river from the “Grand” to the “Colorado.”
Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is an ardent supporter of common sense solutions to water imbalances that promote efficiency while also providing water for our cities, communities and farms.
“Santa Fe is already a leader and among the best water conservers in the Southwest. Our daily water usage of 106 gallons per capita is one of lowest of any comparable city in the country,” said Mayor Coss. “Today, I join other Mayors from cities big and small on behalf of urban residents and farmers to call on the states and the federal government to help us achieve more needed water efficiency measures by producing actionable proposals to implement them.”
“These issues serve as a very good reminder of how vitally important it is for our region and our community to be good stewards of our water resources and to always observe sound water conservation practices,” said City of Santa Fe Water Resources & Conservation Manager, Rick Carpenter.
Mayor Coss, as well as city leaders have signed a statement supporting improved urban and agricultural water conservation as a means to improve their communities’ water security and sustain a healthy flowing Colorado River for generations to come.
In addition to Mayor Coss, other local signors include:
Councilor Patti Bushee
Mayor Pro tem Rebecca Wurzburger
New Mexico State Land Commissioner, Ray Powell
New Mexico State Land Assistant Commissioner Surface Resources, Mike D. Anaya
New Mexico State Land Assistant Commissioner for Special Projects, Ralph Gallegos
Vice President of the Acequia Association and organic farmer, Harold Trujillo
City of Santa Fe Water Resources & Conservation Manager, Rick Carpenter.
The statement of commitment supports robust progress for urban and agricultural water conservation in the Southwest. The statement was launched today with a handful of founding signees at the event. After one month of collecting additional signatures from locally elected officials, the statement will be delivered to state and Department of Interior officials who are currently weighing next steps on water conservation and how to maintain healthy river flows. These state and federal actors are participating in stakeholder workgroups that were created in the wake of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Study and are set to conclude their work and offer recommendations next year.
The Animas, La Plata, Mancos, Navajo and San Juan rivers are all Colorado River tributaries that flow through New Mexico. Over one million New Mexicans depend on the Colorado River system for drinking water, and the San Juan River irrigates 100,000 acres of farm land in the state. Recreation on Colorado River tributaries in New Mexico results in nearly $1.7 billion in total economic output annually and supports over 17,000 jobs in the state.
Colorado River Day brings people together across divides in support of maintaining a sustainable Colorado River. Last year, progressives and conservatives came together in support of river. This year, urban and rural interests unite. It takes place on July 25th each year, as this was the day in 1921 when Congress re-named the river from the “Grand” to the “Colorado”. It is produced by a wide coalition of organizations including National Young Farmers Union, Save the Colorado. Protect the Flows and Nuestro Rio.
More photos from today’s event are available at the city’s Facebook page at: