The Deterioration of the Colorado River

1475 WordsJul 13, 20186 Pages
The Colorado RIver is best known for being the principal river of the southern United States and Mexico, but it soon could lose that title. Running about 1,500 miles long, the river is a vital source of water for agricultural and urban areas in the southern desert lands of North America. However over the past decade or so, the river has begun to deteriorate. There are many causes and solutions to the deterioration of the Colorado River. The Colorado River is formed by small streams created by a huge amount of snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains. The ecology and flow of the river varies highly by region. The river is divided into two different regions, the Upper Basin and the Lower Basin. Beginning in the early 1900s, western states began to…show more content…
Although natural salinity contributions are somewhat unavoidable, manmade contributions can be fixed. Just being more mindful with the runoff we release could help a lot and maybe even also taking the step to use water treatments to improve the river’s water (Patrick 216). Also known as salt cedar, the Tamarisk plant was imported in the 1850’s as an ornamental plant and also used as a method to control erosion. There are a few pros to this invasive species but they do pose a concern. Tamarisk not only crowds out natural riparian vegetation, but also consumes an alarming amount of water. To effectively save as much water in the river as possible, putting an end to this invasive species may be necessary. Since the Tamarisk roots run deep, it helps out a lot with erosion, however it consumes a significant amount of water. Tamarisk covers about 50,000 acres of the Colorado basin area and consumes more water annually than the rivers native vegetation. Not only do these plants deplete the water but the animals living in areas where the tamarisk grows, are usually fewer in number and type, and are less healthy then animals in areas where Tamarisk does not grow. Although the issue with the Tamarisk plant is very small compared to the other issues involving the river, it is still important that the plant be removed to improve and conserve the Colorado River (Nijhuis). Major sources of pollution are flowing into the Colorado River from
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