Something is wrong. As spring begins, streams and rivers usually fill with life-giving water for birds and people—but in the West, rivers are not flowing like they once did.
In the Colorado River Basin, more than fifteen years of drought is taking an alarming toll on the people and wildlife of the region. With less water, bird habitat is disappearing. Freshwater habitats, supporting birds like the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Summer Tanager, are some of the most threatened ecosystems in the arid West. And with growing demand for water during drought exacerbated by climate change, there won’t be enough Colorado River water for the birds and habitats that depend on it.
That’s why we need to do all we can right now to conserve water for birds and people. Water conservation reduces stress on rivers and helps birds when more water is available for habitat. Congress can help save water in the West and across the nation by supporting many beneficial and successful conservation programs.
Congress is deciding right now whether to support these programs. Please ask your members of Congress to help the birds in the drought-ravaged West by supporting key water conservation measures.
Programs like WaterSMART are investing in local solutions that allow cities and farmers to use water more efficiently. It has already helped save enough water for more than 2.2 million people every year. Congress should support strong funding for WaterSMART to build on this success at this critical time.
Congress also should fully support the conservation programs for working lands under the Farm Bill. Innovative programs such as the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) are helping landowners conserve water on their own lands, while improving habitat for endangered birds such as the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher.
Take a moment right now to write to your Members of Congress and ask them to support programs to save water and protect habitat.