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Water: Utah’s Virgin River placed on ‘most-threatened’ list

The West’s rivers are under pressure from unsustainable water development and use. Photo courtesy National Park Service/Amy Gaiennie.

Unsustainable water use threatens river ecosystems

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Many of the West’s rivers are facing unrelenting pressure from unsustainable water use. Some have already been pushed near the brink, including the iconic Virgin River in Southern Utah, recently named as one of ecosystems most at risk from water development in a recent report from the Endangered Species Coalition.

“The problem is pretty simple: People aren’t leaving enough water in the Virgin River, and so the endangered fish that depend on that water are struggling to survive,” said Tierra Curry, a biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The situation in the Virgin is so dire that the woundfin went extinct in the wild. This report is a wake-up call that we have got to do a better job caring for our freshwater environment.” Continue reading

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