The Overall Health Index is the average of the four category scores: Water Quality & Quantity, Management & Governance, Society & Culture, and Landscapes & Ecology. Status of indicators within these categories was evaluated by comparing data to scientifically-derived thresholds or goals. Region-level indicator scores are area-weighted or population-weighted, as appropriate, to calculate the overall watershed score for each indicator.
The Upper Rio Grande Basin is in moderate condition
Human-driven factors such as climate change and land use change continue to stress the Upper Rio Grande and its capacity to provide enough water for residents, croplands, and wildlife. Increasingly severe droughts and wildfires will maintain water stress. Improvement is urgently needed to ensure that people and wildlife have access to the water and resources they need. Current water resource governance and management are inadequate to equitably distribute water across communities within the Upper Rio Grande. Resilience can be achieved through adaptation. Despite these many threats, communities and governments within the region are engaged and motivated to work through today’s environmental issues for the promise of a more sustainable future.