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Jennifer Pitt

of Environmental Defense Fund

Jennifer Pitt is the Colorado River Project Director for Environmental Defense Fund. She works with Colorado River water users throughout the Colorado River basin—including seven states in the United States and two in Mexico—to develop practical programs to restore river habitats and to dedicate water to environmental resources. She has worked as a park ranger and a Congressional aide, and has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Yale University.

Nature Responds to Colorado River Delta Pulse Flow

The Colorado River has been flowing in its delta for more than three weeks, thanks to a cooperative effort by the United States and Mexico to deliver a “pulse flow” of water. The pulse flow is meant to mimic – albeit at a small scale – the spring floods that historically inundated the delta and…

Update From Colorado River Delta: A Community Gets its River Back

For more than two weeks, the Colorado River has been flowing in its delta, through more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) of recently bone-dry river channel choked with desert scrub.  The flow is all too brief, lasting only eight weeks in all.  The United States and Mexico are demonstrating how a “pulse flow” of water…

Will the Colorado River Delta Pulse Flow Make it to the Sea?

One of the big unknowns of the pulse flow of water currently working its way down the channel of the Colorado River in its delta is whether that water will reach the sea.  The mouth of the Colorado River drained historically into the Upper Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), a unique body of water…

Chasing the Historic “Pulse Flow” Through the Colorado River Delta

For one week now, the Colorado River has been flowing into its delta.  It’s the first ever deliberate release of water here to benefit the environment. That the river is flowing again in its delta is somewhat astounding, all the more remarkable because it’s happening as the result of cooperation between the United States and…

Water Flows Into Colorado River Delta in Historic First

Sunday March 23, 2014, at a little after 8 am, the gates at Morelos Dam on the Mexico-Arizona border were opened for the first time in history for the purpose of allowing the Colorado River to flow downstream into its delta to water the plants and animals that live there.  A crowd of more than…

Report Shows Unanimous Support for Colorado River Conservation

“Mapping the River Ahead,” a new report by Carpe Diem West, provides an insightful discussion of solutions for the Colorado River Basin.  The authors conducted anonymous interviews with more than 30 “water leaders” (disclosure, I was among them) representing a broad range of sectors and locations.  The anonymous process was a useful strategy to get…

The U.S. and Mexico Partner to Save the Colorado River Delta

Since 1960, the Colorado River has not flowed regularly to the sea. While pockets of green remain, the Colorado in its delta is a parched river begging for relief. The dry, sandy channel glares in the bright sun, abandoned by the river that has been overtapped and overworked for too long. It’s hard not to think of the…

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Honors U.S.-Mexico Colorado River Agreement

Sally Jewell, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, took time today to recognize the heroic efforts of U.S. and Mexican citizens who spent years together negotiating a new Colorado River agreement between the two nations.  Jewell noted that “ecosystems know no borders” and acknowledged the importance of cooperation when addressing the challenge of caring…

What the New York Times Misses About the Colorado River

When the New York Times features an alarming story about water in the West, people pay attention. This week’s story, “Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States” by Michael Wines, trended as the Times’ most emailed piece for much of Monday. The article helped to elevate the reach and understanding of Western water…

The Missing Colorado River Delta: Rivers, Borders, and Maps

Water flows downhill, and you wouldn’t think that rivers would stop for political boundaries, not even when national borders intersect a river channel’s natural course.  The Mekong flows through China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia before it drains into the South China Sea.  The Nile watershed includes Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt,…

Colorado Droughts, Wildfires, and Floods, Oh My!

September 16–The view from my window this morning in Boulder, Colorado, is gloomy.  Clouds hover over the mountains, reminding me of the storm we have weathered, and the dismal conditions here on the ground. Torrential rains swept through Colorado’s Front Range this past week, resulting in calamitous floods that continue to threaten lives, destroy property,…

New Voices in Colorado River Management

Climate change and population growth in areas dependent on water from the Colorado River Basin are projected to cause unprecedented water shortages over the coming decades. These shortages could have a major impact on communities from Denver to Phoenix, Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, and pretty much everywhere in-between. There’s already a legacy of…

Colorado River Delta Restoration Is Ken Salazar’s Keystone Water Achievement

Departing Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar shared a few thoughts at his exit ceremony about the keystone accomplishments of his four years and three months in office, and called out restoration of the Colorado River Delta as his signature achievement in water management (see our ongoing series on the delta): “The fourth keystone I spoke…

As Climate Change Reduces Colorado River Communities Must Prepare

Now that a red flag has been raised by the Colorado River Basin Study – a federal and state cooperative analysis published in late 2012 – that there will be water shortages across much of the U.S. Southwest, the handwringing has started. Our cities, farms, and rivers face a slow-motion disaster; what are we going…

Phoenix and LA Spar Over Colorado River Water

In a recent volley between Phoenix and Los Angeles, newspapers in those two arid cities pointed fingers at each other over who has the least sustainable water supply. In the L.A. Times, opinion writer William deBuys asserted: If cities were stocks, you’d want to short Phoenix. Of course, it’s an easy city to pick on. The…