Human Impact on the Colorado River
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Human Impact on the Colorado River
River, Colorado, Pollution
Curated by Claire Lawler
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Colorado River Basin

Colorado River Basin | Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

This article talks about the Colorado River Basin and how its water has declined in previous years due to human use and drought. It talks about how the river is used for resources for everywhere it is taken to and also how it has been dammed to flow different places, drying up some spots that used to be on the river. It also talks about the efforts being made to help save the river and the new salinity issues coming up.

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Image 2- River Height

Image 2- River Height | Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

The Colorado River has been losing water for years due to humans decisions on how to use the water. This picture shows water marks of where the water used to be against the rock and where it is today.

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Our scoop on Human Impact on the Colorado River

For many years the Colorado River has been providing for communities. Beginning over 1000 years ago the Native Americans first began using the river for irrigation purposes. Irrigation is supplying crops and farm land with water from rivers or other sources. Today, over 17 million people benefit from the Colorado River including seven different states and Mexico. Mentioned previously, the river supports growth of crops in these states. It is measured at two thirds of the river is used for irrigation. Without the Colorado river, many of these countries would struggle in their need for water for their crops. 

 

Another human impact that is very prevalent in the Colorado river is the creation of dams. Dams help with generating electricity as well as controling floods. Although dams were created to benefit the enviornment, they also have their negative effects. Ecosystems can be destroyed through the creation of dams. Also, it has been recorded of some fish populations decreasing because they are killed by the creation of dams. In the future, prevention of these negative effects hopefully can be avoided. This way dams can offer good impacts on all enviornments. 

 

Growth of salinity has also been a major new issue with humans using and changing the Colorado River. Salinity has skyrocketed in the past couple of years in the river. With less streamflow from the lack of water from the new dam systems and from drought, and more salinity run off from irrigation use and industrial use the salinity is starting to be a problem. Water companies that use the water have to take it through more cleaning processes which is more expensive and high salinity can cause plumbing problems (more money) and taste bad in water. Humans have created a problem from themselves by changing and over using the river.

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The Colorado River Runs Dry

The Colorado River Runs Dry | Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

This article discusses the impact humans have on the sustainability of the Colorado River. Damming of the river to control water direction for human use causes life in the river to deteriorate. These dams help to serve a total of 30 million people in 7 different states as well as parts of Mexico. Along with the effects of damming comes irrigation which negitively impacts the river as well.

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Graphic- Water Use in the Basin

Graphic- Water Use in the Basin | Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

Human use of water has increased due to drought in the past years causing the amount of water available in the Colorado basin to decrease.

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Image 1- Salt mining

Image 1- Salt mining | Human Impact on the Colorado River | Scoop.it

Here shows a picture of salt mining. As discussed in the article "Save the Colorado", high levels of salt in the water can become dagerous. All of these negative effects of salt in the water renders the need for the salt to be removed through salt mining. 

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Save The Colorado - River

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

When reading the article entitled "Agriculture", you will learn of the importance of the colorado river in agricultural use. This river is a major source for much of the agriculture grown near it. Through systems of irrigation, the river diverts about 78% of its water for these purposes. The dangers that come along with this include flooding, as well as the effects of reusing the water too much. When the water is reused over and over again, it starts to contain high levels of salt and selenium which can be harmful to the soils. These harmful effects have encouraged many farmers to adopt the practice water conservation.

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