Essay on Water Scarcity in the American Southwest

Essay on Water Scarcity in the American Southwest

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The Colorado River resides in North America at 1,450 miles long it spans from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado flowing southwest through six other states into Mexico. During the 19th century, settlement within this region was limited to merely accessing the Colorado River. Back then adjacent water was strictly used to support life. Today, with our advanced water treatment and transportation methods, water is known for its more loose sense of sustaining “life” and that is of an economic sense. Now, we utilize water for more than just drinking. We apply water to trigger industry, mass produce agriculture, generate power and even recreationally. With our new thirsts we encounter dizzying demands for water. As we use this water for economic gains we take increasing amounts from the river. The water that is returned is then of severely lower quality causing detrimental effects to biologic life. To complicate the problem at hand the Colorado River has experienced drought since 1999. Currently, according to The Bureau of Reclamation, most areas of the river are experiencing extreme drought conditions. The Colorado River is not only degrading, but also drying up due to climate change and poor water management, consequently modern human development is impeded and the environment permanently scarred, therefore to prevent further damage local and state authorities should plan to alter wasteful methods of water management.

Poor water management is a key issue causing the de-vitalization of the Colorado River. Our current methods of managing water lead to wasted water through evaporation, leaks, over pumping and unnecessary use. Also any use we put to water degrades it and in most cases the water is sent back into the river at this reduce...


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Kelly, Shannon. "CP-LUHNA." Water Development, Extraction, and Diversion. Luhna, 08 Dec 2002. Web. 11 Nov 2014.

Reeve, Ross. United States. Bureau of Reclamation. Drought In the Upper Colorado River Basin. 2014. Web. 14 Nov 2014.

Salazar, Ken. "Colorado River Issues." Remarks prepared for the Colorado River Water Users Association annual meeting. U.S. Department of the Interior. Las Vegas. 12 Dec 2010. Speech.

Swan, Bill. "The Colorado River." Moving Waters: The Colorado River. Moving Waters, 05 Mar 2006. Web. 7 Nov 2014.

United States. Bureau of Reclamation. Consumptive Uses and Losses. 2004. Print.

United States. Environmental Protection Agency. How to Conserve Water and Use It Effectively. 2014. Web. 8 Nov 2014.

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