By Georgie Aguirre-Sacasa for Latin Life Denver Media
One out of every three people living in the states around the Colorado River is Latino. Nuestro Rio celebrated its 5th Year Anniversary on October 13th with a celebration at History Colorado Museum in Denver. Nuestro Río is working to educate elected officials and youth about the many ways that Latinos are connected to the Colorado River and help them to become advocates for a healthy river for future generations. Through the Regional Water Caucus and Nuestro Río Youth Leaders, Nuestro Rio is building a network of Latinos across the West to ensure that voices are being heard in the debate over how to manage the Colorado River.
Executive Director Nita Gonzales stressed the importance of the Latino Community to continue engagement in water conservation in Colorado. Nita was joined by members of Nuestro Rio’s Regional Water Caucus members including State Rep. Joe Salazar, State Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, State Senator Dominick Moreno, At-Large City Council member Debbie Ortega and Adams County Commissioner Chaz Tedesco.
The large number of Latinos who live in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada are connected to the Colorado River in many different ways. They make up a large percentage of the 30 million people who rely on the river for drinking water. Farmers need the water to irrigate their crops. Families rely on the river for jobs and recreation opportunities.
The demand for Colorado River now exceeds the supply of water in the river. The challenges facing the river get bigger every year due to climate change, drought and population growth. The future of the river and everything in the surrounding communities that depends on it is in jeopardy.