Colorado River

case study

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  • Created on: 05-04-10 21:28
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C ase
study:
C o l
o r ado R iv er,
U SA
N at
ural
featu r
es of a r
ive r
b asi
n
2 540mm of
sn ow
in R ock i
es
H igh
su mme r
t emp e r at
ure + ev a poratio n
E vapotr anspir
a ti
on
r e aches 1 8 3 0mm pe r an n um
A nnual f
lows va r
y b e twe en
4 .9 k m^ 3
a nd 25 . 3km^ 3
D rai
na g e
b asi
n cove r s
6 30,
0 0 0 k m^2
E rosi
on ,
t
ecton i
c u plift
and
d e s e rt
cli
ma te ­ p rodu ce d
Grand C anyo n etc.
P hysi
cal
pro cesses r
eq u iri
n g
ma n a g emen t
- 9 0% of
C ol
o rad o d elt
a ha s d r i
ed ou t, d est r
oying
wh at was on e o f
th e r
iche s t a n d
mo s t
b io divers e
we t
la nds i
n N orth A me r
ica
H uman
featu r
es req ui
r i
n g
so l
uti
o ns
- R i
ve r f
lows acro s s
ari
d
C o l
o r a do P lat ea u ­ wa te r i
s sca rce
so
lot s of
da ms
- 1 99 2
C ol
ora do R iv er
C omp a c t
­ be tw e en 7 US
s tates to shar
e
w a t
er
re s ou r
c es
f r
om t
he
Co l
or ado Rive r
- 9 0% of
w at
e r
us e d f
or i
rr
ig a tio n i
n a g r
icult ur
e ­ t
h e
r es t
sup pl
y t
h e need s
of
a ut
h ori
ti
e s
s uch
as Lo s Ange l
e s,
S an
D i
eg o , P hoen i
x ,
D e n ver,
S a l
t
L ak e
C i
ty
and Las Ve ga s
- T h e C RC
divide s w at
e r
eq u a l l
y betw e e n u pper a n d low er
stat
e s
- Wh a t i
s l
eft
is
d ive r
ted t
o Me x i
co ­ r
u n off f
rom a g ri
c ul
t u r
e ­ poor quali
ty
G l
en Can yo n
da m
c omp l
et ed 196 3
­ r
e mo te
­ s ma l
l
tow n bu il
t to acc o mmo d ate
const r uct
ion w or kers
( Pag e)
p r
ima r
y purpos e t
o
i mp rove w a te r
ma n a ge me nt
i
n
th e Low e r
Basin
d am cre ated hug e re se r
voir, La k e Pow e l
l, 30 0km l
o n g an d surf
ace a rea 16 5 0k m^ 2
s t
ores s urpl
us water in t
imes o f f l
ood a n d se curi
n g
w ater s upp l
i
e s
to
lower b as i
n
sta t
es
d am ge n er
ates
u p t
o 1300MW o f
hydr o elec tr
ic
p o w er
L ake Po w el
l
su pplie s
w at
e r
to 7 5 00 i
n ha b i
ta n ts
of P ag e a n d
nea r
by Navajo co alfi
re d
po we r
st
ati
on
L ake Po w el
l
­ water ba sed re c r e ati
on , leis ur e
+ t
o u r i
sm
T he
envir
o n men t
al i
mp a c t
of
G l
e n C anyon
d a m
- I mp act
g rea t
e s t
do wn s tre am of
d am ­
de gr ad ed
ri
v er
ecosys tem be t
w e en Gl en
C an yon
+
La ke
Me a d
- S edime nt t
ra p ­ col
de r c l
e arer w ate r
- E roded sand b an ks
w e r
e no mo r
e
f l
oo d i
ng o c cur s
- L oss of
hab i
ta t
for f
ish ,
a mp hi
b ia ns + b i
rds
- T hree na t
ive f
i sh
sp ec i
e s become e xt inct
­ f
iv e oth er
s endan ge r
ed
- B arri
er
t o
mi g r at
ing f
is h

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Wit
ho ut
f
loods:
al
ien
plant
speci
es such
as
tamari
sk
has col
onised
can y ons
- Upstr
eam:
fl
ooded some of
f
inest
canyonland
scener
y i
n worl
d
(Utah)
- "
C at
hed r
al
in
the
D eser
t"
­
disappeared
beneath
Lake
Pow el
l
in
1966
D r
ai ni
ng Lak e Pow ell
S i
nce
19 90s:
org a nisat
ions such a s
Sierr
a Club
+
th e…read more

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