The Colorado River Basin
The Colorado River is the largest river in the American Southwest. The river runs 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. The river is the primary source of water for a region that receives little annual rainfall. People in seven states and Mexico rely on the Colorado River for a large portion of their daily water supply. These states are Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and Wyoming. The Colorado River supplies water to an area much larger than the area the basin covers. The problem is that the demands humans have put on the Colorado River have exceeded its capacity to support the people of the region. For many years, people have been diverting water from the Colorado River to meet their water needs. Canals, aqueducts, and dams have been built to maximize the water supplied by the river. Today nearly 17 million people depend on the Colorado’s waters. The basin population has expanded. The phoenix is one of the largest cities in the basin and the residents use the Colorado River basin and its tributaries as their primary source of water, and also electricity.
Water from the river Colorado is taken from its primary route and transported to locations far from the actual basin, for example water is diverted eastward across the rocky mountains to states such as Las Vegas. Numerous dams were built on the Colorado and its tributaries during the twentieth century. The purpose of these dams was primarily to generate electricity, control floods, provide a more steady water source for surrounding areas, and provide recreational opportunities. They also store water during wet times for use during the dry months. The basin dams are able to store more than 86 cubic meters of water. The largest of these dams, was complete in 1936 – The Hoover Dam, which is located on the boarder between Arizona and Nevada. THE HOOVER DAM
The second largest is...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document