A Report Card for the Upper Rio Grande Basin

This report assesses the health of the Upper Rio Grande, a portion of the broader Rio Grande/Rio Bravo river that runs from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, through New Mexico, to the Gulf of Mexico. The Upper Rio Grande basin supports around 6 million people in the US, including over 20 Tribal Nations and Pueblos, and unique species like the Silvery Minnow, Southwest Willow Flycatcher birds, and the Rio Grande cottonwood tree.

As the first-ever report card for the region, the assessment provides an expansive look at over 30 indicators of social, environmental, and economic health across the three states it covers. Additionally, this report card combines the standard report card methodology with an innovative modeling approach, Freshwater Resilience by Design, that can inform future decisions on appropriate management options.

The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo (RGRB) has been declared one of the 10 most endangered rivers in the world, suffering from limited water availability due to climate change, water management, infrastructure, and increasing water use.

The findings from this Basin Health Report can be used to easily explain technical scientific information, increase public awareness, and inform and influence decision-makers to improve the health of a watershed.