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Water Conservation and Agriculture in the Colorado River Basin

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According to Webster’s dictionary, agriculture is defined as the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products. Essentially, agriculture is a key element to a thriving and sustainable community for the seven billion habitants of our planet Earth. A key resource in providing life to necessary agriculture is the Colorado River. From its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California in Mexico, the Colorado River spans more than 1400 miles in its entirety. Encompassing the river, the Colorado River basin covers more than 256,000 square miles across the southwestern United States, providing valuable support to a large amount of systems (Cohen et al. V). This crucial resource supports more than thirty million people, four million acres of farmland, seven states, the two largest reservoirs in the United States, and the largest irrigation canal in the world (Water Uses). Although agriculture is still by far the largest user of water in the Colorado, more than ninety percent of pasture and cropland within the Colorado River basin receives water from the Colorado River as a supplement to support growth (Cohen et al. V). With this incredible amount of water comes a very large concern: are these water usage practices sustainable over a longer period of time? If not, how are we to combat the lasting effects set by unstainable water use?
Agriculture and irrigation have long been a part of the Colorado River basin and desert southwest. Irrigation is the artificial supply of water to the land, an integral part of the Colorado River and its basin. More than 1,500 years ago, the Hohokam irrigated more than 200,00...

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...g Colorado River will demand congressional action. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .
McChesney, John. "Colorado River Crisis: Do Farmers Have the Water To Solve It?." Colorado River Crisis: Do Farmers Have the Water To Solve It?. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .
N/A. Colorado River. N.d. Wyofile, Glen Canyon. Slow Disaster: Dwindling Colorado River will demand congressional action - See more at: http://wyofile.com/amack/slow-disaster-dwindling-colorado-river-will-demand-congressional-action/#sthash.OjfNgNQl.dpuf. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
N/A. Colorado River basin. N.d. Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, N/A. Colorado River basin map. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
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