The long-neglected Colorado River Delta will get a one-time massive delivery of water starting March 23, lasting for eight weeks. Delta wetlands in Baja California have shrunk to a fraction of their usual size due to practically no water reaching it. Now, 105,000 acre feet of water will be sent to the Delta, hopefully revitalizing it.
The release is part of a landmark agreement between the United States and Mexico negotiated through the U.S. and Mexican sections of the International Boundary and Water Commission and signed in November 2012 under the auspices of the Colorado River treaty signed in 1944.
Journalist and water wonk John Fleck visited the Delta in 2010 and is looking forward to being there when the water comes flowing down.
If all goes well, at the end of this month I’ll be standing on Morelos Dam watching the Colorado River flow back down that sandy wash. I am very much looking forward to this.
The environmental “pulse flow” beginning this month is an experiment on many levels. At a scientific level, it is an experiment in determining how the parched ecosystem of the once-lush Colorado River Delta responds to the return of water.