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Now Showing: "River of Sorrows" Film - the Story of Colorado's Dolores River

Posted: 03/02/2016
by Nathan Fey

The Dolores River was named the "River of Sorrows" by early Spanish explorers, though they never could have guessed how fitting that name would become.  The water of the Dolores River today, is a fully-allocated resource. A transbasin diversion takes the water from the Dolores River to serve the agricultural communities of Southwest Colorado in the San Juan River Basin.

But at what cost? With persistent drought, declining native fish populations, and increased agricultural demands, the impacts of the Trans-Basin project are significant. 

American Whitewater has been working for many years for a collaborative solution that restores flows to the Dolores, but political and community consensus remains elusive. And while the construction of McPhee Dam was a boon to the agricultural economy of southwest Colorado, the river was highly compromised and the boating recreation economy of the Dolores River dissolved. 

"River of Sorrow" is a film that reflects the many perspectives community members have around the Dolores River and points a spotlight on the challenges of managing this public resource.  This film will show the complexity and the urgency in helping the river flow and highlight the many livelihoods that the river presently supports and supported once before.  The Spanish called it El Rio de Nuestra Senora de Dolores, the river of our lady of sorrows.  Today the Dolores lives up to that name.  This is it's story

Join AW and Rig to Flip for screenings of "River of Sorrow: Inheriting Today's Dolores River" at a premier near you!
March 4th - Celebrate Cedar Mesa. Bluff, Utah
March 25th - Colorado Mountain College, Roaring Fork Campus. Carbondale, CO
April 1st - Southwest Water Conservation District Annual Seminar. Durango, CO
April 13th - Colorado Mesa University.  Grand Junction, CO (with panel discusion, featuring AW staff)
May 5th - Down River Equipment, Wheatridge, CO
May 28th - PaddleFest. Buena Vista, CO
June 4th - Animas River Days
Visit Rig To Flip for more info.

Colorado Stewardship Director
Nathan Fey
1601 Longs Peak Ave.
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-859-8601

Associated Projects

Dolores River (CO)
American Whitewater is working to conserve and restore a dynamic, healthy Dolores River by leveraging recreational water needs to enhance and support in-stream flows.

Associated Rivers

Dolores CO
Dolores CO