The Colorado River Basin

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were made that still govern the Colorado River Basin to this day. A few of the more important laws governing the way water rights are allocated today are the Colorado River Compact, Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928, Mexican Water Treaty of 1944, and Upper Colorado River Basin Compact of 1948. The Colorado River Compact was an agreement made by all seven states in 1922 (US Department of the Interior, 2008). This was responsible for dividing the basin into Upper and Lower basins and appropriating half of the water, 7.5 million acre feet (maf), to each section (US Department of the Interior, 2008). This compact would serve as the basis for what is known today as the “Law of the River”, future laws and compacts would simply be incorporated to …show more content…
The Lifeline of the West has hit its lowest point in human history and this rapid decline in water can be attributed to many factors. While there are numerous reasons the river has seen a dramatic fall in water levels most of them can be separated into two categories; inflow and outflow problems. The easiest explanation for the decline is an inflow problem, simply put, there isn’t enough water being put into the basin to sustain the amount of water removed from the system. The Leading factor in this supply shortage is the ongoing drought the Western United States is facing, and has been since the early 2000’s (State of the Rockies Research Team, 2012). The continuing drought in the Upper Basin states has led to a decrease in now accumulation in winter months and therefore runoff that supplies the basin. Furthermore, less rainfall during the summer and in Lower Basin states means that overall, less water is accumulating the basin. In the end, this is leading to a supply shortage, more is being removed from the river system than is being put back into it. The second category of out flow also has many of its own problematic characteristics that can explain the dramatic decline in water levels. To begin with, demand is also at an all-time high putting greater pressure on the Colorado River to …show more content…
78). Three potential policy options are available for policy makers that could alleviate the water dilemma in the west. First, the easiest policy would be to

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