Author: Joyce

The Colorado River Could Be a Disaster

The Colorado River Could Be a Disaster

New push to shore up shrinking Colorado River could reduce water flow to California for years: experts

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If the government isn’t able to stop the damage done to the Colorado River this spring, we could see another year when low levels of precipitation make it impossible for the river to recuperate in some years.

This will harm agriculture, tourism and wildlife. If we aren’t able to protect these natural resources from overuse and overpumping we likely will see the impacts of climate change in California and other western states, too.

Some of the biggest questions are over the future of the water supply for California. Will it rise or fall? Or will it be stable or will it shift?

In fact, we’re about to find out. As the Colorado River is experiencing low flows, the federal government this week is making plans to divert even more water to the river, potentially triggering its collapse.

The Department of the Interior is planning to divert more than 1.5 million acre feet of water during peak flow times, on top of the 1.7 million acre feet that’s been diverted since 2013.

This is a significant move for this river, and more than any other. In a state with half a billion people, over one in five people depend on water from the river for their daily existence.

Diversion could begin when the river is at its lowest levels in 15 years, in a few months. It will be only a short time, but it could be enough to cause the collapse of the river in the long term.

Water levels in the lower basin are already lower than they have been in nearly a decade, and the levels have dropped across the river system in recent decades, too. They even dropped on the U.S. side when the dams were built.

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