Colorado River, one of the largest rivers began its
massive formation as a tiny stream of water following cracks in the earth from melting
richness of snow from the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River has slowly carved
its vast course that spans 1,397.25 miles to date over the past 6 million years.
The basin has carved its distinct course through 2 billion years of earth’s undisturbed
crust which is divided into two regions, the Upper Basin and the Lower Basin which
includes seven states-Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and
California. Over time the Colorado river has connected with tributaries-including
Paria, San Juan, San Miguel, Dolores, Gunnison, Uncompahgre, Green, and Escalante
Rivers-after naturally carving its unique path that eventually leads the river
to empty out in the Gulf of California. Leading up to the river mouth
approximately 17 miles of the river forms the international boundary between the
U.S. state of Arizona and Mexico. Just as the seven states rely heavily on the
river so does Mexico, which utilizes the river to irrigate half a million acres
of farmland. Throughout the river there are two key hydroelectric dams, the
Hoover and Glen Canyon Dam, which provide necessary energy that produces an
estimated 4,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity. The river attracts 20 million
annual visitor days of recreation who utilize the river for boating, fishing, jet
skiing and many other boat related activities. The Colorado River is lacking in
some areas while being cruelly exposed by human overuse, environmental issues
play a big role in the ecology, and poor river management techniques are leading
to less capable water. While the river is an overly-dispensed water resource,
the water quality of the river is endangered by agricultural strain, which upsurges
the salinity of the river. Additionally, this dependency is amplified by
climactic factors. As precipitation plays an x-factor and the rising temperatures
allow for limited amount of snowmelt to added, the rivers flow can only
decrease, which will lead to a decrease in its storage availability. The
security of the river’s surrounding environment that modestly acquires water is
now on constant threat due to aggressive species, such as the Tamarisk, or Salt
Cedar who utilize the water more harshly than native vegetation. Smaller unknown
hydroelectric dams that are spread throughout the Colorado River tributaries
potentially cause harm to the environment, while large dams are needed to
produce large amounts of energy.

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