Experts say the Colorado River's inability to complete its journey from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez has become one of its defining characteristics. Its historic delta, a haven for birds and mammals in the Sonoran desert, is a husk of its former self. "About 90 percent of the water is retained on the U.S. side and it's used and diverted," said Karl Flessa, a professor of geosciences at the UA. "In effect, one of the things we've done historically – not meaning to especially – what we've done is export some of the environmental consequences of water diversions.
With an unparalleled network of environmental monitoring stations, research field sites, data, and interdisciplinary scientists, the UA is pioneering use-inspired ecosystem research that helps manage and conserve the lands, forests, oceans, landscapes, and wildlife of the western U.S. and beyond for those who enjoy and depend upon them.