U.S., Mexico deal aims to renew parched Colorado River Delta

Posted: Apr 17, 2013

Written by

Henry Fountain, New York Times
CO River Delta

After decades of dismay in Mexico over the state of the delta, there is reason for some optimism. An amendment to a seven-decades-old treaty between the United States and Mexico, called Minute 319, will send water down the river once again and support efforts to restore native habitat and attract local and migratory wildlife.

Water for the environment is only one part of Minute 319, which also calls for more water-sharing between the two countries, and the amounts for the delta are a trickle compared with the huge volumes siphoned off for cities, farms and industries. But a regular base flow of even a small amount of water should breathe new life into the riparian corridor, the river’s main channel.

The amendment, which is in effect for five years, also calls for a larger one-time release of water that will mimic the once-common floods that rejuvenated the delta every spring, scouring out sediment and old vegetation and opening up areas for new vegetation to thrive. During this pulse flow, the Colorado should once again reach the sea.

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