Case Study 4 pg. 221

  • Determined as the longest river in the USA, the Colorado River is automatically highly demanded in many ways. In my opinion, its main priority is supply humans with drinking water. As stated, the Colorado River supplies water to over 17 million humans in seven states including Mexico. This is a direct indication of its importance to humans. Another important use of this river is through agriculture. The Colorado River supplies 15% of the food production in the USA. This statistic is most important because most of the states provided are southern states that are widely affected by desert land and a lack of water systems. Another use of the river is supplying hydroelectric power. Due to the dams and the rise of the water, the river provides a great amount of electric power to the society. This is an important supply, because it correlates directly to industrial use, which makes it a large component in the county’s economy. Although these are the most important components supplied by the Colorado River, other customs such as irrigation and watering vast areas of land play a role in its usage in the environment.

 

  • The main controllers and winners of this water flow would most certainly be the engineering projects such as the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams. This is so due to their total control on the water levels, and their great amount of hydroelectric power gained from these projects. This is a great boost economically, because in providing cheaper electricity, these projects eliminate competition such as petroleum and even solar energy in that matter. These companies have also encouraged immigration, which automatically increased the demand in both water and power. On the other hand, the biggest losers in this system would have to be Mexico. This is due to the fact that even though they have good accessibility to the water, the reception of the water is very poor due to the increase in salinity. This is due to a process in America through irrigation, and after this process the water has a high content of salt, and then is directly sent to Mexico. This makes them losers because as they receive the water, its use on plants is dead due to the high salt content.

 

  • After all the money spent, and all of the effort in utilizing the water correctly, I strongly believe that the region of the Colorado River is greatly sustainable. As stated in the text, “discussions have been going on to address the salinity and pollution in the sea including cutting a sea-level canal to allow sea water to enter and so reduce salinity”. This alone shows you how many communities are working really hard on finding a cheap and efficient solution to the main and only conflict, which is the high content of salt in the Colorado River.
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