Share
Explore BrainMass

Problems in Colorado River Basin

1) What is meant by the statement, "an inhospitable desert has become a playground, and the Colorado River has become a plumbing system."

2) Describe some of the problems identified by the Colorado River Task Force.

3) What is the California 4.4 plan, and how would it help alleviate these problems? Is it a viable solution?

Solution Preview

1) What is meant by the statement, "an inhospitable desert has become a playground, and the Colorado River has become a plumbing system."

2) Describe some of the problems identified by the Colorado River Task Force.

3) What is the California 4.4 plan, and how would it help alleviate these problems? Is it a viable solution?

Solution:

1. The Colorado River is the major water artery in the Southwest, a region that is drier than the deserts of North Africa. In spite of the lack of rainfall and very high summer temperatures, this dry desert is now home to tens of millions of people and includes some of the major agricultural areas in the United States. By exploiting the Colorado River, which gets most of its water from snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains, Americans have made the desert bloom with cotton, alfalfa, fruits, vegetables, specialty food plants, houses, and artificial recreation areas. An inhospitable desert has become a playground, and the Colorado River has become a plumbing system.

2. The Colorado River Task Force was created at the suggestion of Sierra Club volunteers with expertise in water issues. The creation of plumbing system has wreaked havoc on the river and its riparian environment throughout the Colorado River Basin. The major problem identified are as follows :-

a. COLORADO RIVER DELTA
Relatively small quantities of water - 32,000 acre-feet per year most years with a pulse of 260,000 acre-feet every fourth year - appear to be the minimum amounts necessary to revitalize much of the Delta in Mexico. In addition, it is important to protect the surge flows due to El Niño events so that this water may flood the Delta and flow into the Sea of Cortez.
b. ENDANGERED SPECIES
The native fish of the Colorado all evolved within the constraints of a river that had very high peak flows and very low late season flows, where drought was a common occurrence. Changes to that ecosystem to guarantee available water for municipal and agricultural uses ...

Solution Summary

The Colorado River is the major water artery in the Southwest, a region that is drier than the deserts of North Africa. In spite of the lack of rainfall and very high summer temperatures, this dry desert is now home to tens of millions of people and includes some of the major agricultural areas in the United States. The creation of plumbing system has wreaked havoc on the river and its riparian environment throughout the Colorado River Basin.
The Colorado River Task Force was created at the suggestion of Sierra Club volunteers with expertise in water issues. California 4.4 plan was given to ensure the protection of colorado river basin.

$2.19