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We Are Rivers

Updated 7 days ago

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To further the conversation about the value and complexity of rivers, American Rivers launched our podcast series, “We are Rivers: Conversations about the Rivers that Connect Us.”“We Are Rivers” takes it’s listeners on a journey to tell the stories of rivers and the important relationship they have with us. It explores the culture and history of the west and our nation by talking with adventurers, writers, water experts, and artists about their connection to rivers, and how they impact their lives. The podcast series covers a wide array of topics across the Colorado Basin and other rivers across the country. American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters and volunteers.Annemarie Lewis writes and hosts our American Rivers podcast series, "We Are Rivers," while attending college in Colorado Springs. She started making podcasts about water conservation while in high school and plans on, "Living a life full of water conservation advocacy." Her hobbies include backpacking, climbing, river running, and amateur piano playing. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.

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To further the conversation about the value and complexity of rivers, American Rivers launched our podcast series, “We are Rivers: Conversations about the Rivers that Connect Us.”“We Are Rivers” takes it’s listeners on a journey to tell the stories of rivers and the important relationship they have with us. It explores the culture and history of the west and our nation by talking with adventurers, writers, water experts, and artists about their connection to rivers, and how they impact their lives. The podcast series covers a wide array of topics across the Colorado Basin and other rivers across the country. American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters and volunteers.Annemarie Lewis writes and hosts our American Rivers podcast series, "We Are Rivers," while attending college in Colorado Springs. She started making podcasts about water conservation while in high school and plans on, "Living a life full of water conservation advocacy." Her hobbies include backpacking, climbing, river running, and amateur piano playing. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.

iTunes Ratings

26 Ratings
Average Ratings
25
0
1
0
0

Interesting for everyone

By presslrj - Apr 10 2019
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I recently found We Are Rivers after reading Where the Water Goes by David Owens. While I live in Ohio, I still feel a sense of responsibility to understand past, present and future water issues and conservation efforts specific to the desert southwest. Annemarie does a wonderful job of educating the listener about the Colorado River Basin, and explains how we ended up where we are today, along with efforts we need to make to ensure the future sustainability of water in the southwest.

Binge-listen worthy

By heyswedishfish - Aug 30 2018
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Just discovered this podcast and am nearly all the way through all 12 episodes created to date. I enjoy the mix of historical background, politics, personal story, and activism. Though it may lean a little to the conservationist side (which speaks to me), it’s generally unbiased and provides a god comprehensive viewpoint. Would love to learn more about other river basins going through the same struggles.

iTunes Ratings

26 Ratings
Average Ratings
25
0
1
0
0

Interesting for everyone

By presslrj - Apr 10 2019
Read more
I recently found We Are Rivers after reading Where the Water Goes by David Owens. While I live in Ohio, I still feel a sense of responsibility to understand past, present and future water issues and conservation efforts specific to the desert southwest. Annemarie does a wonderful job of educating the listener about the Colorado River Basin, and explains how we ended up where we are today, along with efforts we need to make to ensure the future sustainability of water in the southwest.

Binge-listen worthy

By heyswedishfish - Aug 30 2018
Read more
Just discovered this podcast and am nearly all the way through all 12 episodes created to date. I enjoy the mix of historical background, politics, personal story, and activism. Though it may lean a little to the conservationist side (which speaks to me), it’s generally unbiased and provides a god comprehensive viewpoint. Would love to learn more about other river basins going through the same struggles.
Cover image of We Are Rivers

We Are Rivers

Latest release on Oct 11, 2019

Read more

To further the conversation about the value and complexity of rivers, American Rivers launched our podcast series, “We are Rivers: Conversations about the Rivers that Connect Us.”“We Are Rivers” takes it’s listeners on a journey to tell the stories of rivers and the important relationship they have with us. It explores the culture and history of the west and our nation by talking with adventurers, writers, water experts, and artists about their connection to rivers, and how they impact their lives. The podcast series covers a wide array of topics across the Colorado Basin and other rivers across the country. American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters and volunteers.Annemarie Lewis writes and hosts our American Rivers podcast series, "We Are Rivers," while attending college in Colorado Springs. She started making podcasts about water conservation while in high school and plans on, "Living a life full of water conservation advocacy." Her hobbies include backpacking, climbing, river running, and amateur piano playing. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.

Rank #1: Episode 2: The Law of The River

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More than a century ago, populations across the west were booming. The seven states dependent on the Colorado River recognized the need to formally divide it, ensuring everyone received an appropriate amount of water. Ratified in 1922, the Colorado River Compact marked the beginning of how and why the Colorado River is managed as it is today.

But the Compact is only one thread in a much larger story. Because the whole basin’s demand for water is higher than what it can supply, the Colorado River has become both one of the most stringently managed, as well as aggressively disputed, rivers in the world. There are numerous other compacts, federal laws, court decisions, decrees, contracts, and guidelines that have been developed since the 1922 compact that dictate the challenging management of the Colorado River; these are collectively known as the "Law of the River.”

Photo Credit: Sinjin Eberle

Aug 01 2017

23mins

Play

Rank #2: Episode 4: Beauty And Risk In The Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon is one of our greatest symbols of the values of wild nature. The canyon represents more than 1.7 billion years of geologic time and is home to wildlife from the bighorn sheep to the endangered humpback chub. Dozens of creeks, springs, and tributaries connect with the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, including the Little Colorado, Kanab Creek, Havasu Creek, and Bright Angel Creek.

However, the Grand Canyon is at risk. Threats to the canyon’s seeps, springs, and wildlife include legacy uranium mining claims, the substantial expansion of Tusayan a high desert village, increased air traffic at the lower end of the canyon, and the potential for a gondola shuttling nearly 10,000 people from the rim down to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers. These threats against the canyon are hard to believe – and while the National Park status does protect it in many ways, substantial risks still exist to the cultural and biological relevance of the confluence, to each of the canyon’s towering rims, to the skies above, and the ancient groundwater below the very surface of the earth.

Listen to Episode 4: Beauty and Risk in the Grand Canyon of We Are Rivers today and take action ! Speak up to protect the Grand Canyon today against these and future threats at www.AmericanRivers.org/grandcanyon.

Photo Credit: Annemarie Lewis, Confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers

Sep 06 2017

40mins

Play

Rank #3: Episode 3: Turning Towards Solutions

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"Turning Towards Solutions" builds upon our previous episode, "Law of the River." Across the Colorado River Basin, collaboration, cooperation, and compromise between towns, districts, states, and basins is a common theme. "Turning Towards Solutions" explores how collaborative actions like the Drought Contingency Plan and Minute 319 (the pulse flow) are creating promise and opportunity for sustaining the Colorado River and the people and communities that depend on it. Tune in to hear about efforts to create a new pathway to preserve both this crucial resource, and the legacy of the entire southwest.

Photo Credit: Colorado River Pulse Flow | John Fleck

Aug 16 2017

15mins

Play

Rank #4: Ripple Effects Episode 2: Durango, CO

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In Episode 2 of Ripple Effects we visit the town of Durango, CO, where like many other communities in Colorado understand the importance of a healthy, flowing river for their community. Tune in today to learn more about the connection Durango has with their local river, the Animas.

Ripple Effects is a sub-series of American Rivers’ podcast We Are Rivers, focusing on the connections local communities have with their rivers.

Photo Credit: Animas River, Sinjin Eberle

Nov 29 2018

15mins

Play

Rank #5: Episode 8: Why Wild? The Importance of Wild and Scenic Protections

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Amidst the largest dam building era in the United States, Congress realized urgency around preserving certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act into law, giving rivers a special designation to protect the remarkable values that free-flowing rivers have across the country. The Act is notable for safeguarding the special character of these rivers, while recognizing the potential for their appropriate use and development. It encourages river management crossing political boundaries and promoting public participation to develop goals for river protection.

In this episode of We Are Rivers, we dive into the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and how it protects rivers, ensures community engagement, and preserves free flowing rivers for present and future generations. Tune in to learn more.

Jan 09 2018

12mins

Play

Rank #6: Episode 19: Downriver - The Story of The Green and How Rivers Connect Us All

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The story of the Green is, in a word, complicated. There are many different uses and user groups who depend on the Green River. Telling the complicated tale of the Green River – including its past, present and future is a daunting task. Despite these challenges, Heather Hansman, environmental reporter and former raft guide, felt a unique pull to tell the story of the river from the seat of her packraft - its threats, opportunities and the intersection with its many users. In the summer of 2017, Heather paddled the entirety of the Green River, headwaters to confluence, providing a front row seat to how the Green moves, meanders, and provides.

Earlier this spring Heather’s new book, Downriver, made its way to bookshelves and kindles across the country. Downriver tells the story of the Green River, the challenges and opportunities facing the river and the many communities and user groups that depend on its water from its source to the confluence with the Colorado River. Join me us on this episode as we talk with Heather and learn more about the importance of the Green River and why she chose to explore and write about the Colorado’s most significant tributary.

May 22 2019

23mins

Play

Rank #7: Episode 6: The Big Picture of Colorado’s Water Plan

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In 2015, Colorado took a big first step towards protecting our rivers, heritage, and way of life with the completion of Colorado’s Water Plan. While there is still much to do, the plan creates a framework to help us understand the actions needed to achieve a balance between the water we have and the water we need. Colorado’s Water Plan set a new path towards a secure water future to protect our state’s rivers, secure clean, safe reliable drinking water for our communities, and preserve our agricultural heritage. Now, our water future depends on funding elements of the plan. Episode 6 of We are Rivers dives into the big picture of Colorado's Water Plan. Photo Credit: Russ Schnitzer

Nov 20 2017

20mins

Play

Rank #8: Episode 14: Colorado River Compact Call Part 1 – What Could A Call Mean

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In mid-December, stakeholders from across the Colorado River basin gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Colorado River Water Users Association (CRUWA) conference to discuss happenings within the Colorado River basin. At this year's conference, the focus was on the Drought Contingency Plans (one for the Upper Basin and one for the Lower Basin) which help to deal with the very real possibility of shortages in the water supply of the Colorado River. At CRUWA, both the Upper and Lower Basin States agreed to move forward toward the completion of a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP).

The driving force behind the Upper Basin DCP is the need to reduce the increasing risk of a compact driven curtailment or cut to water users in the Upper Basin States. This scenario is also referred to as a “Compact Call”. A Compact Call would occur if the Upper Basin States are unable to deliver the water they are required to deliver under the rules of the 1922 Colorado River Compact to the Lower Basin States. Overuse of water, aridification of the West due to climate change, and growing populations throughout the basin are putting extreme pressure on the Colorado River.

Join us for Part 1 of our two part series to learn more about what curtailment or a “Compact Call” on the Colorado River means for people and the environment, how it could happen, and why the DCP is so important. Listen to Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water and Andy Mueller, General Manager of the Colorado River Conservation District discuss what it means for Colorado.

Please note that throughout this episode all referenced reservoir water levels are specific to the time this episode was recorded during the summer of 2018. For updated reservoir levels, you can directly visit a reservoir’s website.

Photo Credit: Upper Colorado River, Joshua Duplechian - Trout Unlimited

Jan 03 2019

21mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode 13: Flames and Flows - How Wildfires Impact Healthy Rivers

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Over 110 wildfires have burned more than 1.8 million acres this year alone, mostly in the west, and despite the natural reaction to condemn wildfires, many forest types actually need wildfire to regenerate growth and support a healthy density of trees. The problem with today’s massive, newsworthy wildfires is that they are usually unhealthy fires, burning too hot and too fast, destroying everything in their path.

From the last 100 years of human enforced fire suppression, the delicate balance of forest regeneration has been disrupted, resulting in catastrophic wildfires that have adverse effects on forests, rural/urban communities, and river health. The health of our rivers and watersheds start with forest heath. Uncharacteristically intense wildfires can change the course a river takes, erode its banks, disrupt biological processes, and fill reservoirs with excess nutrients and sediment.

By 2050, Colorado’s fire season is expected to increase by several weeks as the climate further warms, with a potentially dramatic increase in total area burned. With post fire damages ranging from destroyed communities and business closures to loss of natural resources and poor water quality, studies have found that the costs associated with preemptively making forests healthy, and thus less susceptible to fire, are far less costly than post-fire damages. For all these reasons and more, it’s important that all western states develop a strategic plan, like Colorado’s Water Plan, to directly address forest health. Western states must cooperate and align their forest health objectives, as wildfires do not pay attention to geopolitical boundaries.

Join us for this episode of “We Are Rivers” to explore how fire suppression has triggered today’s newsworthy mega-fires and how intricately connected wildfires are with the health of the rivers we love.

Photo Credit: Dom Paulo (Flicker CC), 416 fire outside of Durango, CO

Sep 26 2018

43mins

Play

Rank #10: Episode 15: Colorado River Compact Call Part 2 – Reducing the Risk of a Call

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Today, we release part 2 of our mini series on the impacts of a Colorado River Compact Call. Building on the content of Episode 14, in Episode 15 we hear again from Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water and Andy Mueller, General Manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

Episode 15 describes their thoughts about what the Upper Basin States are doing to reduce the risk of a Compact Call. As Lochhead and Mueller describe, Upper Basin Water managers are taking a number of different voluntary approaches to reduce Compact risk, including demand management, a voluntary program that compensates water users on a temporary and voluntary basis to reduce water use and increase deliveries to Lake Powell.

This is exciting stuff! After listening to Episode 14, tune in to part two of the mini series, Episode 15 Colorado River Compact Call Part 2 – Reducing the Risks of a Call!

*Please note that throughout this episode all referenced reservoir water levels are specific to the time this episode was recorded during the summer of 2018. For updated reservoir levels, you can directly visit a reservoir’s website*

Jan 28 2019

22mins

Play

Episode 23 - From the Stanislaus to the Klamath: Speaking up for Free-flowing Rivers

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In 1979, Mark Dubois chained himself to a boulder to protest filling of the reservoir behind the New Melones Dam that would drown California’s Stanislaus River. In episode 23 of the We Are Rivers podcast, listen to Mark share his story and lessons on saving beloved places. We also hear from Craig Tucker on the Klamath River, which promises to be one of the most significant dam removal and river restoration projects the world has seen.

Photo Credit: Klamath River, Josh Miller

Oct 11 2019

39mins

Play

Episode 22: Climate Change Part 2 - Climate Change is Water Change

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Join us for Episode 22 of We Are Rivers – Climate Change Part 2: Climate Change is Water Change. In this episode we expand on our learnings from Part 1 of the climate change series (episode 21) and discuss the impacts of climate change to the southwest, particularly in the Colorado River Basin.

We know the impacts of climate change will affect all corners of the globe, and places like the southwest and the Colorado River Basin that are already dry will experience increased vulnerability in the form of higher temperatures, variable precipitation, earlier runoff, more intense wildfires and punctuated flooding events. These events will only intensify over time and will vary depend on the specific location within the region – some areas will get hotter and drier while other will experience more precipitation in the winter months. As Brad Udall says in the podcast, in the Colorado River Basin, climate change is water change.

Join us to learn more about how climate change has and will continue to affect the southwest.

Photo Credit: Colleen Miniuk, Desert landscape near Channel Island at the head of Virgin Canyon in Lake Mead in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Sep 26 2019

20mins

Play

Episode 21: Climate Change Part 1 - Understanding the Science

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Join us for Episode 21 of We Are Rivers – Climate Change Part 1: Understanding the Science. In this episode we back-up broad-based knowledge about climate change with scientific explanations and address some questions from you about some of the impacts of climate change.

Climate change is happening all around us, and it’s our responsibility to understand how and why we are experiencing these effects and the role humans have. Join us in this episode of We Are Rivers, as Brad Udall, climate scientist, explains climate change and addresses some common questions about our changing climate. From the concepts and questions covered in this podcast episode, you will gain greater understanding and insight about how this broadly-accepted scientific understanding is creating challenges for communities, economies, and ecosystems all around the world.

Join us for Episode 21 as we discover the science behind what is increasingly happening all around us.

Photo Credit: NOAA, Maps of Observed trend in temperature from 1900 to 2012 from 2014 Climate Assessment

Sep 19 2019

25mins

Play

Episode 20: Urban Rivers - Restoration, Recreation, Recovery

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Eighty percent of Americans live in cities. In Episode 20 of We Are Rivers, we talk with Majora Carter, co-founder of the Bronx River Alliance, and Jenny Hoffner with American Rivers about why restoring and celebrating urban rivers is so important. Tune in to learn more about the renewed connection local communities have with the Bronx River in New York and the Flint River in Georgia.

Photo Credit: Bronx River, Charles R Berenguer, Jr

Aug 13 2019

27mins

Play

Ripple Effects Episode 4: Steamboat Springs

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In Episode 4 of Ripple Effects we highlight Steamboat Springs, where like many other communities in Colorado understand the importance of a healthy, flowing rivers for the city and its residents. Tune in today to learn more about the connection Steamboat has with their local river, the Yampa and its many tributaries.

Ripple Effects is a sub-series of American Rivers’ podcast We Are Rivers, focusing on the connections local communities have with their rivers.

Photo Credit: Yampa River and Steamboat Springs, City of Steamboat

Jul 15 2019

21mins

Play

Ripple Effects Episode 3: Eagle County

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In Episode 3 of Ripple Effects we highlight Eagle County. Residents understand the importance of a healthy, flowing rivers for their communities in the Eagle and Roaring Fork Valleys. Tune in today to learn more about the connection Eagle County has with their local rivers including the Eagle, Upper Colorado, Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers.

Ripple Effects is a sub-series of American Rivers’ podcast We Are Rivers, focusing on the connections local communities have with their rivers.

Photo Credit: Colorado River Ranch, Colorado River, Ken Neubecker

Jun 18 2019

19mins

Play

Episode 19: Downriver - The Story of The Green and How Rivers Connect Us All

Podcast cover
Read more
The story of the Green is, in a word, complicated. There are many different uses and user groups who depend on the Green River. Telling the complicated tale of the Green River – including its past, present and future is a daunting task. Despite these challenges, Heather Hansman, environmental reporter and former raft guide, felt a unique pull to tell the story of the river from the seat of her packraft - its threats, opportunities and the intersection with its many users. In the summer of 2017, Heather paddled the entirety of the Green River, headwaters to confluence, providing a front row seat to how the Green moves, meanders, and provides.

Earlier this spring Heather’s new book, Downriver, made its way to bookshelves and kindles across the country. Downriver tells the story of the Green River, the challenges and opportunities facing the river and the many communities and user groups that depend on its water from its source to the confluence with the Colorado River. Join me us on this episode as we talk with Heather and learn more about the importance of the Green River and why she chose to explore and write about the Colorado’s most significant tributary.

May 22 2019

23mins

Play

Episode 18: Climate Change, Rivers and Environmental Justice

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Climate change hits rivers and water first and hardest, impacting all communities but particularly historically marginalized communities who, as a result of generations of discrimination, are often located in floodplains, drained wetlands, or adjacent to sewage outfalls. The impacts of climate change exacerbate the other injustices that these communities face and will only grow worse over time. It’s important that when we talk about climate change, it isn’t just about charts and numbers but also environmental justice.

American Rivers believes everyone should have clean water and a healthy river. A significant portion of our nation’s drinking water comes from rivers, and we must do more to protect them from the impacts of climate change. Across the country, communities are experiencing shifts and variability in weather and climate such as increased droughts, more severe floods and serious water quality issues from rising water temperatures and algal blooms. While all communities feel the impacts of climate change, historically marginalized communities often experience the brunt of the challenges.

Tackling the issues of climate justice and climate change is a complicated and daunting task. But there are solutions to help communities adapt to a changing climate. At the national, state and local levels communities and stakeholders are coming together to identify innovative and collaborative solutions. In the face of many challenges, there is much to be hopeful for and inspired by.

Join us today on Episode 18 of We Are Rivers as we hear from Dr. Robert Bullard and Chris Williams who discuss climate change and climate justice, and what it means for people, rivers and the environment.

Photo Credit: Liz Bell, ednc.org

Apr 22 2019

20mins

Play

Episode 17: America's Most Endangered Rivers 2019

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This year, the America’s Most Endangered Rivers® report spotlights the threat that climate change poses to rivers, clean water supplies, public safety and communities nationwide. This year we are using America’s Most Endangered Rivers to not only call for action on the 10 listed rivers but also to spotlight how climate change is threatening all of our rivers. We want to help drive urgency around stopping climate change, and, we want to advance efforts to protect and restore rivers, which strengthens communities in the face of climate impacts.

Join us today on We Are Rivers to learn more about the big decisions facing a rivers and communities in 2019 and what you can do to help them. Learn more about the rivers, the issues facing them and what we can do to help at www.AmericanRivers.org/EndangeredRivers2019.

Photo Credit: Cody Bear Sutton - Gila River, New Mexico

Apr 18 2019

11mins

Play

Episode 16: The Power of A Story

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For this episode of We Are Rivers, we take a break from understanding the policies that manage and protect our rivers to focus on why it is we care about protecting rivers in the first place. In Episode 16 we hear from two of our listeners: Eliza Stein and Jordana Barack as they share their river stories.

The stories of how Eliza Stein and Jordana Barrack became involved in river running, their favorite memories on water, and what they hope to accomplish with water conservation and inclusivity will be featured in this episode. Stories have the power to emotionally relate people to issues and causes, and this relation creates solidarity, this solidarity fosters cooperation, and this cooperation leads to conservation.

Join us by listening to Episode 16 of We Are Rivers, The Power of a Story. After you’re done, take a moment and share your story with us as part of our 5,000 Miles of Wild story collection.

Photo Credit: Sinjin Eberle, Green River in Desolation Canyon, Utah

Apr 01 2019

21mins

Play

Episode 15: Colorado River Compact Call Part 2 – Reducing the Risk of a Call

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Today, we release part 2 of our mini series on the impacts of a Colorado River Compact Call. Building on the content of Episode 14, in Episode 15 we hear again from Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water and Andy Mueller, General Manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

Episode 15 describes their thoughts about what the Upper Basin States are doing to reduce the risk of a Compact Call. As Lochhead and Mueller describe, Upper Basin Water managers are taking a number of different voluntary approaches to reduce Compact risk, including demand management, a voluntary program that compensates water users on a temporary and voluntary basis to reduce water use and increase deliveries to Lake Powell.

This is exciting stuff! After listening to Episode 14, tune in to part two of the mini series, Episode 15 Colorado River Compact Call Part 2 – Reducing the Risks of a Call!

*Please note that throughout this episode all referenced reservoir water levels are specific to the time this episode was recorded during the summer of 2018. For updated reservoir levels, you can directly visit a reservoir’s website*

Jan 28 2019

22mins

Play

Episode 14: Colorado River Compact Call Part 1 – What Could A Call Mean

Podcast cover
Read more
In mid-December, stakeholders from across the Colorado River basin gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Colorado River Water Users Association (CRUWA) conference to discuss happenings within the Colorado River basin. At this year's conference, the focus was on the Drought Contingency Plans (one for the Upper Basin and one for the Lower Basin) which help to deal with the very real possibility of shortages in the water supply of the Colorado River. At CRUWA, both the Upper and Lower Basin States agreed to move forward toward the completion of a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP).

The driving force behind the Upper Basin DCP is the need to reduce the increasing risk of a compact driven curtailment or cut to water users in the Upper Basin States. This scenario is also referred to as a “Compact Call”. A Compact Call would occur if the Upper Basin States are unable to deliver the water they are required to deliver under the rules of the 1922 Colorado River Compact to the Lower Basin States. Overuse of water, aridification of the West due to climate change, and growing populations throughout the basin are putting extreme pressure on the Colorado River.

Join us for Part 1 of our two part series to learn more about what curtailment or a “Compact Call” on the Colorado River means for people and the environment, how it could happen, and why the DCP is so important. Listen to Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water and Andy Mueller, General Manager of the Colorado River Conservation District discuss what it means for Colorado.

Please note that throughout this episode all referenced reservoir water levels are specific to the time this episode was recorded during the summer of 2018. For updated reservoir levels, you can directly visit a reservoir’s website.

Photo Credit: Upper Colorado River, Joshua Duplechian - Trout Unlimited

Jan 03 2019

21mins

Play

Ripple Effects Episode 2: Durango, CO

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In Episode 2 of Ripple Effects we visit the town of Durango, CO, where like many other communities in Colorado understand the importance of a healthy, flowing river for their community. Tune in today to learn more about the connection Durango has with their local river, the Animas.

Ripple Effects is a sub-series of American Rivers’ podcast We Are Rivers, focusing on the connections local communities have with their rivers.

Photo Credit: Animas River, Sinjin Eberle

Nov 29 2018

15mins

Play

Ripple Effects Episode 1: Montrose, CO

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Ripple Effects is a sub-series of American Rivers’ podcast We Are Rivers, focusing on the connections local communities have with their rivers.

In Episode 1 of Ripple Effects we visit the town of Montrose, CO, where like many other communities in Colorado understand the importance of a healthy, flowing river for their community. Tune in today to learn more about the connection the City of Montrose has with the Uncompahgre River and the collaborative nature of the river recreation and restoration process the community has engaged in.

We invite you to join us in our new We Are Rivers mini series, Ripple Effects, as we hear more about Colorado river towns like Montrose, that have reconnected with their local river experienced the ripple effects that only a local river can provide.

Photo Credit: Uncompahgre River, Scott Murphy and the City of Montrose

Nov 09 2018

14mins

Play

Episode 13: Flames and Flows - How Wildfires Impact Healthy Rivers

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Over 110 wildfires have burned more than 1.8 million acres this year alone, mostly in the west, and despite the natural reaction to condemn wildfires, many forest types actually need wildfire to regenerate growth and support a healthy density of trees. The problem with today’s massive, newsworthy wildfires is that they are usually unhealthy fires, burning too hot and too fast, destroying everything in their path.

From the last 100 years of human enforced fire suppression, the delicate balance of forest regeneration has been disrupted, resulting in catastrophic wildfires that have adverse effects on forests, rural/urban communities, and river health. The health of our rivers and watersheds start with forest heath. Uncharacteristically intense wildfires can change the course a river takes, erode its banks, disrupt biological processes, and fill reservoirs with excess nutrients and sediment.

By 2050, Colorado’s fire season is expected to increase by several weeks as the climate further warms, with a potentially dramatic increase in total area burned. With post fire damages ranging from destroyed communities and business closures to loss of natural resources and poor water quality, studies have found that the costs associated with preemptively making forests healthy, and thus less susceptible to fire, are far less costly than post-fire damages. For all these reasons and more, it’s important that all western states develop a strategic plan, like Colorado’s Water Plan, to directly address forest health. Western states must cooperate and align their forest health objectives, as wildfires do not pay attention to geopolitical boundaries.

Join us for this episode of “We Are Rivers” to explore how fire suppression has triggered today’s newsworthy mega-fires and how intricately connected wildfires are with the health of the rivers we love.

Photo Credit: Dom Paulo (Flicker CC), 416 fire outside of Durango, CO

Sep 26 2018

43mins

Play

Episode 12: How Colorado Water Law Affects You and Our Rivers

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Water in the west is inherently complicated. A complex web of laws, compacts, and a little thing called “prior appropriation” dictates how and when people and entities are allowed to use water in the west, such as cities and towns, farms and ranches, and industry. If the words “water rights” leaves you scratching your head, and you call a western state your home, you are impacted by them. There’s a fairly high chance that you use water connected to a water right, (unless you have your own well or diversion). Municipalities, agriculture, industry, and even our rivers and streams all depend on the legal structure managing our water.

Join us in this month’s episode of We Are Rivers as we navigate through the complicated nature of water law in the West, including prior appropriation, instream flow rights, and the history of water law in the west.

Photo Credit: Josh Duplechian

Aug 15 2018

26mins

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Episode 11: How Water Management and Flexibility Can Save the Colorado River

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In this episode of We Are Rivers, we explore the ideas and efforts behind expanded demand management and increased conservation across the Upper Basin with Scott Yates of Trout Unlimited and Taylor Hawes of The Nature Conservancy, both of whom are deeply integrated into the nuance and detail of developing a system that works for everyone who relies on the Colorado River, as well as the long-term, sustainable health of the Colorado River itself.

Photo Credit: Russ Schnitzer

Jun 07 2018

22mins

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Episode 10: Securing Arizona’s Water Supply is a Team Effort

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Arizona is a renowned leader in water management, thanks to more than a century of careful planning and effective leadership. But, with drought and declining water levels in the state’s key water supplies, Arizona must do more. Tune in to “Episode 10: Securing Arizona’s Water Supply is a Team Effort,” to hear how Arizona and other Lower Basin states are working together to reduce demand of the Colorado River through the Drought Contingency Plan.

Photo Credit: Sinjin Eberle

Apr 03 2018

20mins

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Episode 9: 5,000 Miles of Wild®

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In this week’s episode of We Are Rivers, we describe the impact we will make through the 5,000 Miles of Wild® campaign – including the protection of an additional 5,000 river miles and collecting 5,000 of your river stories. Stories cultivate and spread passion: your stories will illustrate the personal and cultural values of rivers to policy makers, and you can help the campaign by posting your own story at www.5000miles.org!

Feb 07 2018

13mins

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Episode 8: Why Wild? The Importance of Wild and Scenic Protections

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Amidst the largest dam building era in the United States, Congress realized urgency around preserving certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act into law, giving rivers a special designation to protect the remarkable values that free-flowing rivers have across the country. The Act is notable for safeguarding the special character of these rivers, while recognizing the potential for their appropriate use and development. It encourages river management crossing political boundaries and promoting public participation to develop goals for river protection.

In this episode of We Are Rivers, we dive into the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and how it protects rivers, ensures community engagement, and preserves free flowing rivers for present and future generations. Tune in to learn more.

Jan 09 2018

12mins

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iTunes Ratings

26 Ratings
Average Ratings
25
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1
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Interesting for everyone

By presslrj - Apr 10 2019
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I recently found We Are Rivers after reading Where the Water Goes by David Owens. While I live in Ohio, I still feel a sense of responsibility to understand past, present and future water issues and conservation efforts specific to the desert southwest. Annemarie does a wonderful job of educating the listener about the Colorado River Basin, and explains how we ended up where we are today, along with efforts we need to make to ensure the future sustainability of water in the southwest.

Binge-listen worthy

By heyswedishfish - Aug 30 2018
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Just discovered this podcast and am nearly all the way through all 12 episodes created to date. I enjoy the mix of historical background, politics, personal story, and activism. Though it may lean a little to the conservationist side (which speaks to me), it’s generally unbiased and provides a god comprehensive viewpoint. Would love to learn more about other river basins going through the same struggles.