APES: Human Impact on the Colorado River
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Good and Bad Impacts on the Colorado River by Humans

Good and Bad Impacts on the Colorado River by Humans | APES: Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

For centuries the Colorado River has been used for irrigation.  Today it is still used for that but also to generate hydroelectric power. There has been a lot of struggle recently to overcome conflicts between competing companies for the shared body of water. Without the water, the region wouldn't be able to support the crops and many cities surrounding it.

 

Nearly 17 million people depend on the river for their water needs. The river is often drained dry before reaching its destination by upstream demand. The river has several dams built along it to control flooding, generate electricity, and for recreational purposes. Before the dams, the Colorado ran 80 miles through Mexico to the Gulf of California. The resevoirs created by the dams have now been made into recreational areas.

 

A big problem in the river is with the quality of the water because of the salinity. Because the river is used for irrigaion, the salts evaporate and become concentrated in the remaining water that goes back to the river. This problem is also caused by evaportaion from the reservoirs surfaces. The salinity in the river in the lower vallies is so high that its not available for human consumption. The river carries an estimated 9 million tons of salt every year.   

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Save The Colorado - Threats

Save The Colorado - Threats | APES: Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

Human impact has affected several different species in the Colorado River. Some of the species are becoming endangered and some even nearing extinction. The main causes are based on two types of habitat alteration.  The two types are water development and introduction to non-native fish.

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Colorado River Water Future | The Water Information Program

Colorado River Water Future | The Water Information Program | APES: Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it
More than 30 million people in the West depend on the Colorado River's water and a U.S. Geological Survey study predicts that within 15 years, that number will increase by more than half. · By 2050, climate change will warm the Basin and ...
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Invasive Species

Invasive Species | APES: Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

Through the impacts of humans, many non-native species have adapted to the land which have been extremely damaging to the native species already living on or in the river. Species like the giant crane, wild pigs, and cheat grass have been accidentally released and now we are in a hurry to get control of the invasive species coming in.

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Low Water on the River

Low Water on the River | APES: Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

The Colorado River supports over 80,000 people in Colorado and it is also the source of the most income for the state. As you can see in the picture the water is very low due to human impact on the river.

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The Hole in the Colorado River - Huffington Post (blog)

The Hole in the Colorado River - Huffington Post (blog) | APES: Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

The Colorado River is being effected by a "hole in the river." After the Granby Dam, the river shrinks in size. It is said to be more like a creek than a river. The 21 mile long hole is losing all of insect population and many fish populations who depended on the water source that is no longer there. This is effecting the river in many ways. It is hard to fill the river back up becuase it is right between two "fill up stations" where water from the river is put back in.

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