Colorado of snow from the Rocky Mountains. The

Colorado River, one of the largest rivers began itsmassive formation as a tiny stream of water following cracks in the earth from meltingrichness of snow from the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River has slowly carvedits 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 undisturbedcrust which is divided into two regions, the Upper Basin and the Lower Basin whichincludes seven states-Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada andCalifornia. Over time the Colorado river has connected with tributaries-includingParia, San Juan, San Miguel, Dolores, Gunnison, Uncompahgre, Green, and EscalanteRivers-after naturally carving its unique path that eventually leads the riverto empty out in the Gulf of California.

Leading up to the river mouthapproximately 17 miles of the river forms the international boundary between theU.S. state of Arizona and Mexico.

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Just as the seven states rely heavily on theriver so does Mexico, which utilizes the river to irrigate half a million acresof farmland. Throughout the river there are two key hydroelectric dams, theHoover and Glen Canyon Dam, which provide necessary energy that produces anestimated 4,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity. The river attracts 20 millionannual visitor days of recreation who utilize the river for boating, fishing, jetskiing and many other boat related activities.

The Colorado River is lacking insome areas while being cruelly exposed by human overuse, environmental issuesplay a big role in the ecology, and poor river management techniques are leadingto less capable water. While the river is an overly-dispensed water resource,the water quality of the river is endangered by agricultural strain, which upsurgesthe salinity of the river. Additionally, this dependency is amplified byclimactic factors. As precipitation plays an x-factor and the rising temperaturesallow for limited amount of snowmelt to added, the rivers flow can onlydecrease, which will lead to a decrease in its storage availability. Thesecurity of the river’s surrounding environment that modestly acquires water isnow on constant threat due to aggressive species, such as the Tamarisk, or SaltCedar who utilize the water more harshly than native vegetation. Smaller unknownhydroelectric dams that are spread throughout the Colorado River tributariespotentially cause harm to the environment, while large dams are needed toproduce large amounts of energy.


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