I’m told that twice in the last few decades enough water spilled past the Colorado River’s dams to wet the old Colorado River Delta and bring back the life – once during the great El Niño season of 1983, when there was so much water in the system that we almost lost Glen Canyon Dam, and again in the late 1990s.
I was reminded of this by a Voice of America story on what’s happening in New South Wales right now:
Heavy seasonal rains that began late last year in Australia caused floods that devastated parts of the country. But experts say the downpours also reinvigorated parched rivers and wildlife sanctuaries, including one of Australia’s most valued wetlands. The Macquarie Marshes in New South Wales, an internationally recognized breeding ground for thousands of birds, are teeming with life for the first time in years following a protracted drought.
Cool, but like here, you can never really go back:
Richard Kingsford, a professor of environmental science at the University of New South Wales, says the rains have brought much-needed relief.
“Look, it’s certainly been fantastic in terms of gaining a reprieve, I guess, for a lot of the wetland communities, the vegetation, fish, the frogs, the turtles and the water birds in the Macquarie Marshes. It’s certainly never going to return to where it was before we started building dams and developing the river system,” he explained.