New look at a river basin

  The market-oriented environmental group that helped McDonalds get rid of Styrofoam wants to save the Colorado River Basin. The Environmental Defense Fund recently launched its Colorado River Basin Initiative, a project that begins by re-evaluating the Colorado River compact. The compact has dictated water use in the basin for the past 70 years. EDF hopes to build consensus among the vast number of basin stakeholders by balancing economic interests with environmental policies that protect rivers and wetlands. To do that, the group has gathered a team of scientists, attorneys, economists and computer analysts to identify key controversies in the basin and offer suggestions to policy makers. The four-to-five-year project, estimated to cost up to $250,000, will include computer modeling of projected power needs, a recovery program for four endangered native fish, and marketing of Native American water rights. For more information and a 14-page copy of Conflict on the Colorado River, contact the Environmental Defense Fund, 5655 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618 (510/658-8008).

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