A release from American Rivers found the Colorado River as the most endangered waterway in the nation. A major lifeline running through 7 states and affecting over 36 million people, the Colorado River is one of the most vital rivers in the United States. Yet due to outdated water management and overuse, the river is increasingly at risk.
Along with 9 other heavily endangered rivers such as the Niobrara and Black Warrior River, the Colorado River now stands upon the threshold of disaster. Federal agencies report that the Colorado, like others, can no longer meet the demands on it and will be reduced by 10 to 30 percent in water flow by 2050. Throughout its course, the Colorado has begun to dry up to a trickle, damaging both local economies and wildlife. The river’s multi-billion recreational and commercial industry, including angling and water sports, will be among the first to feel the impact.
To help preserve the Colorado and rivers like it, American Rivers proposes a multi-step plan that will prioritize funding to programs run by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. These programs include projects that will oversee water infrastructure, storage operations and conservation. It is hoped that new management decisions and an increase in funds will change what American Rivers call, “a century of water management policies and practices that have promoted wasteful water use.”
The other endangered rivers in the release are:
- Flint River
- San Saba River
- Little Plower River
- Catawba River
- Boundary Waters
- Black Warrior River
- Rough and Ready, Baldface Creeks
- Kootenai River
- Niobrara River
Watch the video below for more background on the Colorado River: