The Colorado River goes to the beach

By on July 16, 2014

A satellite image of the Colorado River prevented from reaching its delta in 2000 (Credit: NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

For the first time in half a century, the Colorado River met the sea as a result of a multi-billion gallon water injection into its drying downstream riverbeds, NPR reported.

The river only reached the sea for a few weeks during the spring, but the event highlights the river’s potential if properly managed. Normally, the river dies at the Morelos Dam in Mexico, where it is redirected to irrigate Mexican farmland.

But writer Rowan Jacobsen, who paddle-boarded down the Colorado River during its brief revival, says if only 1/50 of the water used for irrigation and cattle feeding is diverted, the river could continue to flow its full course. He recounted his experience in Outside magazine.

Image: A satellite image of the Colorado River prevented from reaching its delta in 2000 (Credit: NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

 

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