Western receives DOI award for conservation, watershed planning

Western was one of 17 organizations presented a “Partners in Conservation” award by the Deputy Secretary of the Interior today at a ceremony in Washington D.C. for participation in the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study.

The Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study is a joint effort among more than 70 Federal and state agencies, Native American tribes, environmental groups and other organizations to establish a common foundation for resolving future water supply and demand imbalances. According to Interior, it is the largest, most comprehensive basin-wide analysis ever undertaken and will serve as a model for watershed planning and planning for future growth and climate change near the Colorado River.

“Western is honored to be among the recipients of this award. It demonstrates that all of us in the Colorado River Basin–both the upper and lower basin–must work together to find effective ways to balance our use of this precious and limited resource,” said LaVerne Kyriss, Acting Assistant Administrator. “Western technical staff in our Desert Southwest office in Phoenix and in our Colorado River Storage Project office in Salt Lake City partnered together to ensure hydropower was appropriately considered in this study.

She added, “Our challenge now is to design the next steps in how we will use the information from this study to balance our often competing needs for this precious resource. I’m sure we can continue this good work as we plan for the next 1,500 years as George Arthur, from the Ten Tribes Partnership, reminded us this morning.”

Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes presented the annual “Partners in Conservation” awards to 17 organizations that have achieved exemplary conservation results through public-private cooperation and community engagement.

“The Partners in Conservation Awards offer wonderful examples of how America’s greatest conservation legacies are created when communities from a wide range of backgrounds work together,” said Hayes. “The awards represent the dedicated and tireless efforts of people from all walks of life from across our Nation. They share a deep commitment to conservation and community.”

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