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A Victory for Chihuahuan Desert Freshwater Conservation

After years of WWF advocacy in support of increased funding for conservation work in the Chihuahuan Desert, the United States Congress recently passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). This bill includes $15 million per year for four years in support of wildlife habitat enhancements and research in the Rio Grande Basin.

WWF has worked with the Rio Grande Institute and other partners to create restoration plans for the Rio Grande Basin in the Chihuahuan Desert. This magnificent place is under pressure by a number of threats, including poor water management and a lack of understanding about the desert's ecological importance. WRDA will complement WWF's work in the region and provide funding to implement conservation plans. The Rio Grande - known as the Río Bravo in Mexico - is the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert and is also among the world's top ten rivers at risk according to a WWF report.

WWF's work in the Rio Grande Basin is part of our efforts in the Chihuahuan Desert to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems - for the benefit of both people and nature. The overuse of water is causing a continual deterioration of aquatic ecosystems, many of which no longer support a permanent flow of water. Dam construction, deforestation and pollution from agrochemicals are also problems facing the Chihuahuan Desert's major watersheds.

WWF has been active in the Chihuahuan Desert since 1997, with offices in both the United States and Mexico. We will continue engaging communities to create an integrated river basin management framework and improving policies for river management and market mechanisms that account for benefits from natural resources.

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