The Colorado River 

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  • The Colorado River
    • Location
      • South - West of America
      • Source - Rocky Mountains
      • Mouth - Gulf of  California
      • above the dam it flows in a westerly  direction
    • why was the river dammed?
      • much of the river runs through the dessert
        • early stutterers  in the area  dammed the river to provide water for local cities
        • much of the water is from the snow on the top of the rocky mountains that melted
    • Dam building
      • lake Mead and lake Powell are major tourist centers
        • lake Powell offers sailing, power boating, water skiing & fishing so attracts over 2 million tourists per year
    • Las Vegas
      • 37 million visitors every year
      • water is becoming increasingly cscarce
        • 90% of water is supplied by lake Mead
          • much of this water is wasted on...
            • swimming pools
              • viewed as essential but can only been maintained through irrigation
                • golf courses
            • parks
              • viewed as essential but can only been maintained through irrigation
                • golf courses
            • air conditioning
          • the Las Vegas water authority wants to pump around 2 million cubic meters of ground water each year from the aquifer to meet the demands
            • this will lower the water table
            • springs will dry up, destroying  habitats
              • oases in the desert are rich in wildlife- 239 species of bird, 27 mammals, 20 reptiles, 5 amphibians and 7 fish
                • only 25 others like it in the wold
      • solutions
        • recycle water
        • cash for grass
          • saves water
            • city pays households $1 for every sqft of lawn they remove
        • xeriscape gardens
          • saves water
            • city pays households $1 for every sqft of lawn they remove
          • use dessert friendly plants eg cacti
        • educate children on the issue
          • children can make  immediate  changes to  their house
            • shorter showers & don't leave taps running
            • they will grow up using water efficianty and not wastefully
        • preserve the water
          • don't waste it on luxuaries
            • shorter showers & don't leave taps running
      • how important is the natural environment  compared to  urban lifestyle  and jobs?
        • they shouldn't have built and urban area in a dessert (Las Vegas)
        • wildlife is rare due to the unique environment
          • therefore it is already  endangered  and wont survive without a water supply (the oasis)
            • the water is used by animals for survival
            • the water will be used by humans as a luxury item
            • survival is more important
          • higher salt levels will also harm species
            • the area is meant to be "protected"
    • lake Mead and lake Powell are major tourist centers
      • lake Powell offers sailing, power boating, water skiing & fishing so attracts over 2 million tourists per year
    • 400,000 ha of land is irrigated for farming
      • Dam building

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