The Colorado? Call It the California River

The Golden State’s Power Should Be Used Not to Protect Its Water, But to Solve Western Water Problems

Why do we still call it the Colorado?

Sure, the river begins in the Colorado Rockies. But in law and practice, the waterway making headlines is clearly the California River. And the first provision of any deal to save the river should rename it accordingly.

This condition wouldn’t be about Golden State pride. Instead, a name change would more accurately reflect the imperial role California plays not only in the river controversy, but in the movement of water, people and power in the American West.

Right now, the Grand Canyon-sized divide over how …

Colorado River water

When the Colorado River Runs Dry

A Coachella Valley Farmer Reflects on the Water Source He, His Date Palms, and People and Animals Across California Rely On

Even as she was going blind, my mom, ever the poet, delighted in sitting out among the palms and birds, and enjoying and visualizing the scene, as I irrigated my …

Arizona Republic Reporter Shaun McKinnon

Like Thousand Island Dressing, He’s Kind of All Over the Place

Shaun McKinnon is a reporter for The Arizona Republic who is currently part of the newspaper’s storytelling team, and has covered water, climate, and environmental issues. Before moderating a discussion …

The Nature Conservancy’s Taylor Hawes

Taylor Hawes directs the Colorado River program at the Nature Conservancy. Before participating in a panel on the river’s future, she talked about her fondness for gluten-free cookies, cheese, and …

Geologist Doyle Wilson

He Loves Limestone (and Hates Wasting Water)

Geologist Doyle Wilson has worked for Lake Havasu City for almost 10 years as water resources coordinator. He also teaches part time at ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu. Before participating …

Whose Colorado River Is It?

Dividing Up a Single Water Source Among 30 Million People—and Leaving Some for Nature—Is a Tricky Business

Over 30 million people rely on the Colorado River for water—for purposes ranging from drinking to agriculture to power plants. But scientists predict that the river isn’t going to produce …