DENVER—Xanterra Parks and Resorts announced it has joined Protect the Flows coalition to ensure the survival of the Colorado River.
The coalition of more than 900 businesses known as Protect the Flows, seeks to promote innovative water policy for the 21st Century, while seeking to protect the iconic river that carved the Grand Canyon.
“Knowing water is our most precious resource, Xanterra has committed to a significant reduction in water usage as part of our future sustainability goals,” said Catherine Greener, Xanterra’s vice president-sustainability. “Xanterra is deeply committed to protecting and preserving the environment. It’s one of our core business values, and we are proud to join this historic effort.”
Many might not realize that time and water for the Colorado River are running out. During the last 12 years, the Colorado River has lost 35 percent of the stored water available through increased consumption and widespread drought. As the demand for water has exceeded the supply, numerous areas of the river and its tributaries have already dried up and need to be restored, while others are in urgent need of preservation. A recent, two-year study conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation and agencies representing the seven Colorado River basin states (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California) concludes that if the current course remains unchanged, the magnificent Colorado River will eventually slow to a trickle and the Southwest will become a vast desert.
“Xanterra’s commitment to our spectacular natural resources is an integral part of our company’s business and culture,” said Greener. “It is important that we demonstrate this commitment by joining the Protect the Flows’ coalition to protect the mighty Colorado: a river that spans seven states and provides work and recreation for millions of people who live and visit there.”
The Colorado River is special to Xanterra because the company operates in Rocky Mountain National Park not far from the river’s headwaters and in Grand Canyon National Park which the river created, added Greener. Additionally, waters from the Virgin River in Zion National Park where Xanterra operates Zion Lodge make their way to the Colorado River.
The Colorado River gives life to the West and losing its flows would have dire consequences for the environment and the economy, not only in the Colorado River basin’s seven-state region, but across the nation.
“We are very pleased that Xanterra—the country’s oldest and largest national and state park concessioner—has joined the coalition to protect the Colorado River,” said Craig Mackey, Protect the Flows’ co-director. “Protect the Flows is the business voice for the Colorado River which, sadly, was recently designated the country’s most endangered river. Working together with major corporations like Xanterra greatly enhances our efforts to shine a spotlight on the diminishing waters of the River and the consequences we will have to expect.”
Photo credit: Colorado River via Bigstock