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
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
May 5th - Down River Equipment, Wheatridge, CO
May 28th - PaddleFest. Buena Vista, CO
June 4th - Animas River Days