Incredible Photos of the Colorado River Kissing the Sea After More Than 50 Years
Half a century has gone by since the Colorado River met with the Sea of Cortez, but this spring, an accord between Mexico and the United States dubbed the Minute 319 has done something about that. Over a period of nearly two months, a 105,392-acre-foot pulse flow of water with a volume of around 34 billion gallons would be poured and flow through Morelos and down the arid channel. The concept was to simulate the dynamics of the Colorado’s traditional spring flood, timed to synchronize with the germination of cottonweed and willow seeds.
Peter McBride documented this momentous feat by way of a film and a book about this life saving concept for the Southwest.
The race to stop Las Vegas from running dry
- Amid a brutal drought the reservoir that supplies 90 per cent of Las Vegas’s water is fast disappearing and desperate attempts to save Sin City are under way.
Las Vegas gets just four inches of rain in a good year, and in the first four months of 2014 there was just 0.31 of an inch.
- However, Las Vegas still uses 219 gallons of water per person per day, one of the highest figures in the US. In San Francisco the figure is just 49 gallons.
Water Stress Map
Decision-makers in many of world’s water-stressed basins have attempted to put management plans in place—with mixed results. The United States’ Colorado River is a prime example of a plan that, while well-intentioned, may ultimately be unsustainable. Starting in Colorado and running 1,400 miles to the Gulf of California, the Colorado River is the 14th most stressed among the world’s most populated river basins, and the sixth most stressed if ranked by size. More than 30 million people depend on it for water. The seven states receiving its water comprised 19 percent of the United States’ total GDP in 2010.
What Is Water Stress?
Water stress is the ratio of total water withdrawals to available renewable supply in an area. In high-stress areas, 40 percent or more of the available supply is withdrawn every year. In extremely high-stress areas, that number goes up to 80 percent or higher. A higher percentage means more water users are competing for limited supplies. See the high and extremely high-stress areas highlighted in red and dark red on the maps. For more detailed information, please seeAqueduct’s Global Maps 2.0 metadata document.
Because of its naturally arid setting—and due to its large and growing number of users and resulting high level of baseline water stress—the Colorado has become one of the most physically and legally managed rivers in the world. It is also under serious duress, exacerbated by a decades-long drought. This imbalance between supply and demand means that the river often runs dry before it reaches the Pacific Ocean—posing significant problems for wildlife, ecosystems, and communities that depend on it.
The Colorado River is an example of a basin where natural water stress is already severe. The complex web of infrastructure and governance structures around the river was, in a sense, created to ensure predictable, steady water supplies in a stressed region. On the other hand, that same development has driven increasing demands for limited supplies. Aqueduct’s country and river basin rankings deliberately do not include the effects of such extensive management, instead focusing on objective measures of underlying hydrological conditions. But the overall picture is clear: Even the most-established, iron-clad management systems start to crumble under increasing scarcity and stress.
HH: Phoenix is definitely in jeopardy.
Wet Dogs - Sophie Gamand
(three of the cutest wet dogs I ever saw.)
Natural Gems - water drops - by Steven Murray
earth and water - nature’s art