We have been following the situation with the Colorado River for years. It is the water source for 30 million people; 30% of the American agricultural output (food, fruits and vegetables that Canadians also import) is from fields irrigated by the River. The Americans will be looking to take water from Canada if (when) the River runs dry. I spoke with the Scripps Institute in 2009 – the lead researcher was pessimistic – – the steps being taken to avert disaster are completely inadequate.
Photographer Peter McBride traveled along the Colorado River from its source high in the Rocky Mountains to its historic mouth at the Sea of Cortez. In this Yale Environment 360 video, he follows the natural course of the Colorado by raft, on foot, and overhead in a small plane, telling the story of a river whose water is siphoned off at every turn, leaving it high and dry 80 miles from the sea.
In the video, McBride, a Colorado native, documents how increasing water demands have transformed the river that is the lifeblood for an arid Southwest.