The 54-foot (16 m) paddle wheeler Explorer in the Lt. Joseph Ives expedition up the Colorado River. Period engraving. Lithograph of the Explorer in Black Canyon, 1857-58.  Lt. Joseph Christmas Ives explored the lower Colorado River as far upstream as today’s Hoover Dam in 1857-58, in the steamboat Explorer.  He and his party left… Read More

Paying the Piper: The Unintended Consequences ofDestabilizing Ecosystems The altered ecological regime has also caused the introduction of two extremely invasive exotic plants. They have grown so prolifically that they have clogged irrigation ditches and caused damage to canals and pumps. In addition, granivorous birds have flocked to the rice fields and consumed as much… Read More

DAM(N)ING THE COLORADO Beginning in the early 1930s the United States began building mega-dams, including the Hoover and Grand Coulee Dams. There is no doubt that these dams have “watered” the desert West and resulted in numerous benefits to the people of the Southwest. Indeed, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) has made the desert… Read More

Syrian refugees get water from a member of the Turkish Red Crescent at the Turkish border The right to water to satisfy basic human needs for personal and domestic uses has been protected under international Human rights law.  When incorporated in national legal frameworks, this right is articulated to other water rights within the broader body… Read More