The Colorado River

By: Ben Hunsberger

Water Scarcity

Water is a large necessity for life, and all humans, plants and animals need water to survive. That’s a good thing, right? I mean, almost all of Earth’s surface is covered in large bodies of ocean water. However, all that ocean water is salt water, and if a human were to drink too much of it, extreme problems throughout the body, and even death may occur. There is water we can drink - freshwater - but it’s mostly stuck in ice. We actually use most of the freshwater we can access for growing food, not for drinking. The Earth’s population is rapidly increasing, and therefore the demand for supplies is increasing. With so many supplies needed, we are running out. Lots of the water is also being wasted when it could be used to support the human race. Not only are we wasting water, we are also polluting it. On way pollution takes place is through chemical gases. Greenhouse gases are released, causing climate change. In certain places, global warming is causing bad droughts, which results in large loss of life. People in other countries with water in between have even gone to war. A bit more water could help our world immensely.

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A map of where the Colorado River runs. It demonstrates the states that may be majorly effected by it drying up. Notice how it branches out to different areas. These branches may disappear.

The Colorado River

The Colorado River is an excellent example example of the decreasing water supply throughout the world. The water level in the river has been decreasing at surprisingly rapid rates, and may eventually die out. This is not good, because it has been providing water to states like Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and of course, Colorado for centuries. Of course, this isn't just happening at random. It is beginning to disappear for a reason. This reason is that climate in the Rocky Mountains is changing, and people in the states are wasting water. They have used unnecessary amounts off water for unnecessary tasks, like a leaky faucet.
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The Colorado River in a very dried up state. You can see the rings on the bottom edge where the river used to run.

The Impact

The decreasing of the water in the Colorado River will not go without consequences. People will lose a large source of water in the Western States. To try to prevent the death of the river, the government in that area has begun limiting the amount of water people can use. They can no longer water their lawns everyday, but rather a few days a few days a week. Those who overuse the water will receive fines for large sums of money. This is their own fault of course, as they used the river too much in the first place. Another method of preserving water taking place is expensive processes performed by the government. Things like seawater sanitisation, cloud seeding and water recycling may need to take place. These processes will not solve everything of course, but they will help a bit. This doesn't make it fair for the people in the West to rely on the government spending money for water, though.
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This is a graph demonstrating the flow of the river over the past decades. You can see how much it has lowered over time.

Repairing the River

With people working to conserve their water, and some extra processes taking place, the Western United States can get their water back. People just need to remember to use the water carefully, and with knowledge of the consequences at hand, and we can stop the Western water problem.

Quiz Time

Question

The issue is taking place in Eastern States, and they will quickly begin to lose their water.