Colorado River Report

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The Colorado Report

The Colorado River Report describes the hydrology and sediment transport of the river basin. It also describes the relation to the political boundaries and basic agreements that manage the river. Then the report characterizes important problems, both current and future, associated with the way the river is managed. Finally, its policies, actions, and alliances that should help restore the Colorado River ecosystem to a more balanced condition are suggested. “An inhospitable desert has become a playground, and the Colorado River has become a plumbing system.” Although there is a lack of rainfall and high summer temperatures, this dry desert is now home to tens of millions of people. This includes some of the major agricultural areas in the United States. By exploiting the Colorado River, which gets most of its water from snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains, Americans have made the desert bloom with cotton, alfalfa, fruits, vegetables, specialty food plants, houses, and artificial recreation areas. By people settling on this area they have used a large amount of resources the river offers. Some of the problems the creation of this plumbing system has cause is it has wreaked havoc on the river resulting in most of the native fish are endangered, that major bird migration stops are severely truncated and degraded, that some of the most spectacular scenery in the world is less spectacular, and that the national and world economies are at risk. One of the problems identified by the Colorado River Task Force is that the current usage of the Colorado Rivers unsustainable. The existing plumbing system is vulnerable to natural events, such as drought or earthquakes. Reconstructed histories of the region strongly suggest that prolonged droughts, several times longer than those experienced in the last 150 years, are real, although irregular, features of…...

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