Colorado earth from melting richness of snow from

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Colorado River

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

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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, rock and debris 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 concerns 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. A key question I have in particular is
what can recreational river users do to help the local people to ensure that
the river will be there in the future for each to benefit. I plan on
researching this question in depth as I dabble in each category presented for
this topic.

Categories: Management


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