The Vanishing River
The once mighty Colorado River is in trouble
Stretching from the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains all the way down to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the waters of the Colorado River are a lifeline to tens of millions of people. But the pressures of the decades-long megadrought in America's Southwest and a warming planet mean the water levels in the river and its dams are dropping. The pressures on the river are largely man-made. The building of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s tamed the waters of this once wild river, harnessing its flows to produce hydropower and feed a massive agricultural industry across the Southwest. But the water was over allocated from the start. Now as dam levels drop to their lowest ever, the survival of farms and industries is in question.