Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Colorado River listed as most endangered river in the United States

Colorado River listed as most endangered river in the United States, An annual report on the most endangered rivers in the United States was released on Tuesday (April 16) and the Colorado River tops the list.

The list by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit American Rivers, highlights a three-year federal Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (December 2012) that warned the once-mighty river can't meet the current or future water demands from users in the basin.

Scientists also predict that climate change will reduce the Colorado River’s flow by 10 to 30 percent by 2050.

An estimated 40 million people rely on the Colorado River, environmentalists say.

"Flowing for more than 1,400 miles across seven states, the Colorado River is truly a lifeline in the desert," spokeswoman Amy Kober wrote in a blog announcing the annual rankings on the American Rivers website.

"But over-allocation and drought have placed significant stress on water supplies, river health, and fish and wildlife. To underscore the immediacy of the problem, the basin is facing another drought this summer," Kober added.

While the snowpack in the Colorado River basin has been depleted all year, an onslaught of storms this spring boosted it to 93 percent of average Tuesday with more snow on the way.

The Colorado River has topped the America's Most Endangered Rivers list before. It received the same most-threatened distinction in 1991 and 2004, and it has cracked the top 10 many times.

The rankings are subjective and based on the size of the threat, the river importance and whether political action can be achieved in the coming year, according to American Rivers staffers.

Rounding out American Rivers' most endangered list this year are Georgia’s Flint River, the San Saba River in Texas, Little Plover River in Wisconsin, the Catawba River in North Carolina, Boundary Waters in Minnesota, the Black Warrior River in Alabama, the Rough & Ready and Baldface Creeks in Oregon, the Kootenai River in Montana and the Niobrara River in Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Outdated water management systems, mining and climate change are all among the noted factors.

Get interesting environment and science and space news. Also, follow along with the thousands of others for periodic weather updates, news and notes on Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment