Colorado river

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  • Colorado river
    • basin
      • most heavily used source of irrigation in the USA
      • provides water for 30 million people
      • 1920's 'the law of the river'
        • divided river between upper basin states (Colorado, Utah etc) and lower states (California, Nevada etc) as well as mexico
        • California had the largest allocation due to their large population and considerable political power
          • recently changed due to new developments and legal challenges
    • stakeholders
      • Farmers
        • receive 80% of water allocation
        • federal government sell the water at 1/20 of the cost
        • farmers are wasteful with irrigation and have inappropriate choice of crops
      • city dwellers
        • increasingly urbanised
        • Arizonia is becoming more developed
          • eg populated cities such as Phoenix
        • Californias demand in using others fair share
          • trying to combat this by reducing water supply to farmers to supply Los Angeles and San Diego
      • environmentalists and recreationalists
        • recreational use of lakes eg by tourists
          • eg lake powell
          • wakes from speedboats destroy lake banks
      • Mexican people
        • 90% reduction in volume of water reaching Mexico
        • wetlands that use to exist on the deltas are now barren mudflats
          • reduce biodiversity
        • Cucupa fishermen have lots their income and have had to move elsewhere
      • Indigenous groups
        • native americans have claims to water based on treaties made between tribes and federal government in 1980's
      • US federal government
        • politicians don't water allocations changed
        • Plans to line canal with concrete the increase water supply
          • but seepage is important for groundwater supply
        • mexico is taking more than their fare share from Rio grande
          • could affect US-Mexican relations


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