History of the Colorado River Essay

History of the Colorado River Essay

Length: 1414 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

INTRODUCTION
According to tree ring scientists from the University of Arizona in Tuscon, the Colorado River went through a six decade long drought during the mid-1100s. This drought was longer than any other drought know to the region. The Colorado River is essential to the American Southwest, draining into about 242,000 square miles of land to include seven U.S. states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted in a recent report that the Southwestern U.S. Will become hotter and drier as the climate warms.” With human caused climate change and run off reduction, it has been predicted that the Colorado River could become dry by 2012. Discussions in this paper will include a general history and how the American Southwest relies on the Colorado River for survival, how climate change is effecting it, and management efforts to curtail conflicts between vying interests over a shared water source.


Figure 1. Map of the Colorado River


THE COLORADO RIVER
The Colorado River is located in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It is 1,450 miles long with its headwaters in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado. Geologically, the Colorado River begins near Moab, Utah, at the junction of the Green River,which is the primary tributary for the Colorado. (Until 1921, the Colorado River did not “technically” begin until the Grand and Green Rivers joined together in Utah. In that year the Grand River was renamed as the Colorado River, at the request of the State of Colorado.) It then flows south out of Wyoming, and the Grand River, and southwest out of Colorado. Below this point, the river takes on a redd...


... middle of paper ...


...do River. Bob Ribokas - On-Line Photography Portfolio (BobsPixels.com). Retrieved July 2, 2010, from http://www.bobspixels.com/kaibab.org/misc/gc_coriv.htm

Barnett, T., & Pierce, D. (2009). Sustainable water deliveries from the Colorado River in a changing climate. PNAS, 106(18). Retrieved June 23, 2010, from http://www.pnas.org/content/106/18/7334.full?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&fulltext=colorado+river+depletion&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

Clow, D. (2009). American Geophysical Union journal, Water Resources Research. Journal of Climate, 23. Retrieved June 24, 2010, from http://co.water.usgs.gov/publications/non-usgs/Clow2010_SnowmeltTiming.pdf

University of Arizona (2008, August 23). Drier, Warmer Springs In US Southwest Stem From Human-caused Changes In Winds.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Colorado River's Help and Hindrance of Settlement in the Western United States

- The Colorado River's Help and Hindrance of Settlement in the Western United States Geographers can tell you that the one thing that most rivers and their adjacent flood plains in the world have in common is that they have rich histories associated with human settlement and development. This especially true in arid regions which are very dependent upon water. Two excellent examples are the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates rivers which show use the relationship between rivers and concentrations of people....   [tags: Colorado River Geography American History Essays]

Free Essays
4952 words (14.1 pages)

The Colorado River Essays

- The Colorado River is the seventh longest river. In the 1920’s Western states began dividing up the water in the Colorado River by building dams and divert river flow to San Diego, Phoenix, and other large cities in order to supply water to these cities. In the past the river has been known for being a major source of water and electricity. The Colorado River passes through Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, California, Baja California, and Sonora. During the past decade a drought has been sweeping the Southwest resulting in a lowered river level....   [tags: history, grand river, aqueduct]

Powerful Essays
1296 words (3.7 pages)

Construction and History of the Marshall Ford Dam Essay

- In December 1936 the United States Department of the Interior authorized the Lower Colorado River Authority to construct a low dam at the site of an old crossing on the river known as Marshall Ford. Marshall Ford Dam was completed in 1941 through the collaboration of the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) of Texas. The original purpose of the dam was to prevent floods from devastating Austin, TX. The capital city had substandard heavy damage from previous floods since its establishment in 1846....   [tags: LCRA, Texas, Colorado River, flood]

Powerful Essays
1409 words (4 pages)

Travelers and Tourism in Colorado Essay

- Colorado is such a beautiful state. It brings in a lot of outsiders but not only for its beauty, but for its history as well. Travelers and tourists have been visiting Colorado since before the 19th century. However, during the 19th century, the development of Colorado boomed greatly because of its iconic people and the fact that so many travelers and tourists enjoyed seeing Colorado. The people contributed to making Colorado history more appealing to tourists so the state really emerged. Tourism has led Colorado to great lengths and still to this day, Colorado brings in many travelers and tourists....   [tags: colorado, rocky mountains, denver]

Powerful Essays
896 words (2.6 pages)

The Colorado River Essay

- One of the largest geographic physical structures in the United States is the Colorado River. Human activity and its interaction with this great river have an interesting history. The resources provided by the river have been used by humans, and caused conflict for human populations as well. One of these conflicts is water distribution, and the effects drought conditions have played in this distribution throughout the southwestern region. Major cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other communities in the southwest depend on the river....   [tags: Geography, Physical Structure, United States]

Powerful Essays
1680 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on How The Colorado River Basin

- ABILITY TO OBTAIN WATER 1 Ability to Obtain Water The ability to obtain abundant, pure water is a basic requirement for an individual’s well-being. Likewise, access to abundant, safe water is also indispensable for resilient agricultural crops as well as a thriving national economy. These requirements for pure water are so substantial that disputes amongst regional groups, states, as well as nations arise on a frequent basis regarding the rights to various water sources....   [tags: Water, Water resources, Amu Darya, Central Asia]

Powerful Essays
889 words (2.5 pages)

Water Conservation and Agriculture in the Colorado River Basin Essays

- 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....   [tags: Sustainable Community, Agriculture]

Powerful Essays
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Exploring the State of Colorado

- ... The growth of Colorado has been improved and is flourishing through map development and the pathways that have naturally been formed in its environment. The sections have brought in a diverse range of people over a variety of different times, expanding the settlement as a whole with such open-mindedness, forming Colorado. People have spread out throughout the Centennial State; living in mountain ranges, down towards the foothills, near rivers, and some even shied away from the Western Plains and focused their development out east (Abbott, Leonard, Noel, 2013, pp....   [tags: great plains, nature, moutains]

Powerful Essays
660 words (1.9 pages)

Effects of The Pleistocene Epoch on Colorado Essay

- Effects of The Pleistocene Epoch on Colorado INTRODUCTION Glaciers are an integral part of the world’s climate. In fact, as Richard Armstrong of the University of Colorado says, “Glaciers are key indicators in monitoring and detecting climate change” (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, 2003, p. 1). Not only are they an important part of monitoring current climate, they can hold many keys to the past. Glaciers are in fact, “a source of paleoclimate data…” (Meier and Dyurgerov, 1980, p. 37). This paleoclimate data can give geologists information on the conditions that were present at the time of the glaciers birth, as well as the approximate age....   [tags: Glaciers Nature Essays]

Powerful Essays
3006 words (8.6 pages)

Wyoming-Colorado Border Wars Essay

- Wyoming-Colorado Border Wars Deep in the heart of the American West lie two of the largest, most rugged, beautiful states in the nation, both of which have long been engaged in a heated rivalry. North and South from one another, Wyoming and Colorado have been at a border war since before either even gained statehood. With 97,195 square miles, Wyoming is the 10th largest of all 50 states. While the state is vast in land, it is scarce in population. As of 2005, a mere 509,294 residents inhabit “The Cowboy State” making it the least populated state in the nation (Wyoming facts, demography)....   [tags: USA Geography History Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)