Colorado River, as one of the largest rivers began itsmassive formation as a small stream following cracks in the earth from meltingrichness of snow from the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River has slowly carvedits vast course that spans 1,397.25 miles to date over the past 6 millionyears.
The basin has carved its distinct course through 2 billion years ofearth’s undisturbed crust which is divided into two regions, the Upper Basinand the Lower Basin which includes seven states-Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, NewMexico, Nevada and California. Over time the Colorado river has connected withtributaries-including Paria, San Juan, San Miguel, Dolores, Gunnison,Uncompahgre, Green, and Escalante Rivers-after naturally carving its uniquepath that eventually leads the river to empty out in the Gulf of California.Leading up to the river mouth approximately 17 miles of the river forms theinternational boundary between the U.
S. state of Arizona and Mexico. Just asthe seven states rely heavily on the river so does Mexico, which utilizes theriver to maintain up to 500,000 acres of farmland. Throughout the river thereare two key hydroelectric dams, the Hoover and Glen Canyon Dam, which provideessential energy that produces an estimated 4,000 megawatts ofhydroelectricity. The river attracts 20 million annual visitor days ofrecreation who utilize the river for boating, fishing, jet skiing and manyother boat related activities.Wicked Sustainability via Colorado RiverThe Colorado River is lacking in some areas while beingcruelly exposed by human overuse, environmental issues play a big role in theecology, and poor river management techniques are leading to less capablewater. While the river is an overly-dispensed water resource, the water qualityof the river is endangered by agricultural strain, which upsurges the salinityof the river.
Additionally, this dependency is amplified by climactic factors.As precipitation plays an x-factor and the rising temperatures allow forlimited amount of snowmelt to added, the rivers flow can only decrease, whichwill lead to a decrease in its storage availability. The security of theriver’s surrounding environment that modestly acquires water is now on constantthreat due to aggressive species, such as the Tamarisk, or Salt Cedar whoutilize the water more harshly than native vegetation. Smaller unknownhydroelectric dams that are spread throughout the Colorado River tributariespotentially cause harm to the environment, while large dams are needed toproduce large amounts of energy.
The loose management that has led the river tobe distributed among those who receive their water from the Colorado River as wellas receiving an unjust amount considering location and circumstance. These areissues that have to come in to the light so the people can get the local governmentto motivate the state government to deal with this issue head on. This mustcome into effect to ensure this water source is not depleted and is sustainablefor many more years. The best way to increase the chances of sustainabilityalong the Colorado River Lower Basin, is to manage the systems that distributethe Colorado Rivers water, the systems need to be effective and efficientenough that manage the utilization in a sustainable manner. The use of therivers water for agriculture needs to be monitored by efficient system toensure water is not being over utilized or wasted, his will ensure balance.With systems like this in place it is very likely that salinity levels willdecrease and increase amount of water in storage for primary and secondary use suchas recreational use of the river by boating.
With many tourist coming fromoutside of the inhabited area, it is up to the locals to reinforce thesustainability efforts. Significance of Caring I chose this topic because I havebeen one of the tourist that has contributed to the 20 million annual visitordays. The first time I rented a boat and maneuvered it was at Lake Mead.
I seenfirst-hand the effect that are plaguing Lake Mead. I noticed the water levelshad dropped significantly which made it hard for me to launch my boat withouttearing up my engine with sand because of how shallow the water has become. Ibelieve everyone should care about this aspect of the lower basin because we astourist come and don’t really think of the damage we may be doing to the riverwhile enjoying our holiday. After concluding my research on this issue at handthat concens the Lower Basin I have many question swirling around. After, Isubmit my individual assignment, I am glad that I will be grouped up withstudents that will explore issues that will potentially answer my questions.