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The Colorado River Project

  • The Colorado River Project

    Feats of engineering and human ingenuity have made it possible for the Colorado River to irrigate 3.5 million acres of farmland and support 30 million people on arid lands throughout the western U.S. and northern Mexico.  Distant cities, including some of the fastest growing in the nation—L.A, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, and Albuquerque—depend upon its waters and have transformed it into one of the most diverted, litigated, and loved rivers in the world. Yet the Colorado hasn’t reached the sea for 13 years and the Delta, once one of the greatest desert estuaries, is now in danger of losing 360 bird species, a once robust fishing economy and culture, along with all manner of ocean life in the Sea of Cortez.

    To call attention to the crisis,  Writer Jon Waterman and  Photographer Pete McBride began their Colorado River Project in 2007.  Since then, they have created a body of work—a National Geographic Wall map , an award winning film, an ongoing public lecture campaign, blogs, a traveling photo exhibit and two award winning books (below) that frame a growing national awareness about the Colorado River’s challenges.

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  • The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict

    co_river_coverGrowing up on a ranch and curious about the fate of his irrigation water, Pete repeatedly overflew the cities and waterways of the Southwest, joined by Jon in the air and on the compromised river.  They synergistically pooled their finest photography and writing to create The Colorado River.

    --Pete’s NPR All Things Considered  interview--

    12 x 9/ full color Coffee Table Book/ 160 pp/ 2nd LIMITED EDITION hardcover (unavailable in bookstores)/


    Purchase autographed copies (special closeout $40 plus shipping/handling):

    jon [at] jonathanwaterman [dot] com



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