Audubon: "Pulses of Water Bring Life to the Famished Colorado River"
In 2012, the U.S. and Mexico embarked on an unprecedented binational collaboration to revive the riverine landscape. They planned to deliver more than 340 billion gallons of water in two stages—one-third delivered as a constant low-level base flow and two-thirds delivered as a pulse—down the parched Colorado River. After years of fine-turning the details, the floodgates between Arizona and Mexico opened on March 23, 2014. Over the course of eight weeks, 224 billion gallons of pulse water flowed down the Colorado, flooding more than 5,000 acres of river corridors and floodplains. Then, for the first time since 1997, the river met the sea—albeit briefly.
Now, two years after implementing what became known as the “pulse flow," a binational science team has published new findings on how the region is faring and what could be in store for the future. We spoke with Dr. Osvel Hinojosa Huerta, a Mexico-based scientist and member of the team that monitors vegetation and wildlife in the delta, to learn more.