The Colorado River was named the number one most endangered river in the country by American Rivers.
The Colorado River is endangered by outdated water management that is inadequate to respond to the pressures of over-allocation and persistent drought. American Rivers is calling on Congress to fund programs that encourage 21st Century water management while protecting rivers and the people, communities, and wildlife they support across the Colorado Basin.
- Thirty-six million people from Denver to Los Angeles drink Colorado River water.
- The river irrigates nearly four million acres of land, which grows 15 percent of the nation’s crops.
- Over-allocation and drought have placed significant stress on water supplies and river health and the basin is facing another drought this summer.
- Lower river flows threaten fish and wildlife, along with the $26 billion dollar recreation economy that relies on the Colorado River.
- According to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (December 2012), there’s not enough water in the river to meet the basin’s current water demands, let alone support future demand increases.
- Scientists predict climate change will reduce the river’s flow by 10 to 30 percent by 2050.
This map shows all 10 most endangered rivers in the U.S. (via AmericanRivers.org)
As you can see with the Colorado River and other rivers on the list, when we withdraw too much water from rivers, communities and wildlife suffer. For the full 2013 report, visit AmericanRivers.org.
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