Exploring the Living River: a Tale of Hope in the Colorado River Watershed

Second Creek swells with spring runoff in the Colorado River watershed – photo by Heather Valey – copyright 2023

Where Does Your Water Come From?

Where does your water come from? Many of folks might just say “the tap”. I turn the faucet on and there is water. But where does the water that flows from your faucet come from? Does it come from a river? A well? Is that water source in danger? Do you think much about your daily water usage?

I live in the Colorado Front Range and my water comes from the Colorado River and the Platte River. Over 40 million people rely on the Colorado River for their water. You have no doubt heard about shortages of the Colorado River and that cuts will be coming in the near future. The amount of water in the river and the amount that is promised to its users don’t add up and we need to correct the deficit before it is too late. As the river wanes under usage pressure and unprecedented drought, many headlines claim that the Colorado River is dying.

A Living River Not a Dying River

In Conservation photographer, Dave Showalter’s recently released book, “Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado” he tells the story not of a dying river but a vibrant tale of hope for this iconic and vital river.

I had the pleasure of heading out with Dave at the end of March (2023) to the Colorado river watershed when the Colorado mountains were at peak snowpack to make a short video about his book. We talk about snowpack, the headwaters of the Colorado River and how it’s waters are re-directed for use. He discusses some of the wildlife that rely on a functioning river ecosystem and the river keepers and volunteers who are working to make this river healthy for people and wildlife. He also explains that no water plan for the Colorado River will be complete without supplying water to the Navajo nation in Bears Ears.

The photography and stories in the book are inspiring and give hope that we can work together to make positive change for the future of the Colorado River. I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself and a couple extra for friends and relatives.

The book is available anywhere you buy books, but if you’d like to buy one straight from Dave here is the link!


Dave Showalter Conservation Photographer

Official Living River Website

Braided River

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Heather Avatar

Heather Valey is an award winning conservation photographer, writer and passionate naturalist. For information on licensing images please reach out to Heather via email- heather@naturefix.net Heather's photography site is: www.heathervaley.net

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