Colorado its massive formation as a small stream following

Colorado River, as one of the largest rivers began its
massive formation as a small stream following cracks in the earth from melting
richness of snow from the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River has slowly carved
its vast course that spans 1,397.25 miles to date over the past 6 million
years. The basin has carved its distinct course through 2 billion years of
earth’s undisturbed crust which is divided into two regions, the Upper Basin
and the Lower Basin which includes seven states-Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New
Mexico, Nevada and California. Over time the Colorado river has connected with
tributaries-including Paria, San Juan, San Miguel, Dolores, Gunnison,
Uncompahgre, Green, and Escalante Rivers-after naturally carving its unique
path 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 the
international boundary between the U.S. state of Arizona and Mexico. Just as
the seven states rely heavily on the river so does Mexico, which utilizes the
river to maintain up to 500,000 acres of farmland. Throughout the river there
are two key hydroelectric dams, the Hoover and Glen Canyon Dam, which provide
essential energy that produces an estimated 4,000 megawatts of
hydroelectricity. The river attracts 20 million annual visitor days of
recreation who utilize the river for boating, fishing, jet skiing and many
other boat related activities.

Wicked Sustainability via Colorado River

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The Colorado River is lacking in some areas while being
cruelly exposed by human overuse, environmental issues play a big role in the
ecology, and poor river management techniques are leading to less capable
water. While the river is an overly-dispensed water resource, the water quality
of the river is endangered by agricultural strain, which upsurges the salinity
of the river. Additionally, this dependency is amplified by climactic factors.
As precipitation plays an x-factor and the rising temperatures allow for
limited amount of snowmelt to added, the rivers flow can only decrease, which
will lead to a decrease in its storage availability. The security of the
river’s surrounding environment that modestly acquires water is now on constant
threat due to aggressive species, such as the Tamarisk, or Salt Cedar who
utilize the water more harshly than native vegetation. Smaller unknown
hydroelectric dams that are spread throughout the Colorado River tributaries
potentially cause harm to the environment, while large dams are needed to
produce large amounts of energy. The loose management that has led the river to
be distributed among those who receive their water from the Colorado River as well
as receiving an unjust amount considering location and circumstance. These are
issues that have to come in to the light so the people can get the local government
to motivate the state government to deal with this issue head on. This must
come into effect to ensure this water source is not depleted and is sustainable
for many more years. The best way to increase the chances of sustainability
along the Colorado River Lower Basin, is to manage the systems that distribute
the Colorado Rivers water, the systems need to be effective and efficient
enough that manage the utilization in a sustainable manner. The use of the
rivers water for agriculture needs to be monitored by efficient system to
ensure 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 will
decrease and increase amount of water in storage for primary and secondary use such
as recreational use of the river by boating. With many tourist coming from
outside of the inhabited area, it is up to the locals to reinforce the
sustainability efforts.

Significance of Caring

            I chose this topic because I have
been one of the tourist that has contributed to the 20 million annual visitor
days. The first time I rented a boat and maneuvered it was at Lake Mead. I seen
first-hand the effect that are plaguing Lake Mead. I noticed the water levels
had dropped significantly which made it hard for me to launch my boat without
tearing up my engine with sand because of how shallow the water has become. I
believe everyone should care about this aspect of the lower basin because we as
tourist come and don’t really think of the damage we may be doing to the river
while enjoying our holiday. After concluding my research on this issue at hand
that concens the Lower Basin I have many question swirling around. After, I
submit my individual assignment, I am glad that I will be grouped up with
students that will explore issues that will potentially answer my questions.