(2009). [165] The explorers named many features along the Colorado and Green rivers, including Glen Canyon, the Dirty Devil River, Flaming Gorge, and the Gates of Lodore. [243] In 2011, the seven U.S. states agreed upon a "Plan of Implementation", which aims to reduce salinity by 644,000 short tons (584,000 t) per year by 2030. Engineering projects and river regulation have led to the extinction of four species and severe declines in the populations of 40 species. north of Lake Granby, as a tiny stream draining a wet meadow. Reservation and Extension Programs", "In Navajoland, a Contentious Water Deal Divides the Tribe", "John Wesley Powell's Exploration of the Colorado River", Report of the Secretary of War, communicating ... a reconnaissance of the Gulf of California and the Colorado river by Lieutenant Derby, Senate Executive Doc. [146], During the 18th and early 19th centuries, many Americans and Spanish believed in the existence of the Buenaventura River, purported to run from the Rocky Mountains in Utah or Colorado to the Pacific Ocean. Profile Quizzes Subscribed Subscribe? They ride high and buoyant, for their loads are lighter than we could desire. Unfortunately, in recent decades, the amount of water within the banks of the Colorado River has shrunk drastically. [280] The most prominent riparian zones along the river occur along the lower Colorado below Davis Dam,[281] especially in the Colorado River Delta, where riparian areas support 358 species of birds despite the reduction in freshwater flow and invasive plants such as tamarisk (salt cedar). [106] Another notable early group was the Fremont culture, whose peoples inhabited the Colorado Plateau from 2,000 to 700 years ago. Nevertheless, he had shown the worth of steamboats to solve Fort Yuma's supply problem. Although there was still a surplus of water in the Colorado Basin during the mid-20th century, the Bureau of Reclamation predicted, correctly, that eventually population growth would outstrip the available supply and require the transfer of water from other sources. In what is now known as the Long Walk of the Navajo, the captives were marched from Arizona to Fort Sumner in New Mexico, and many died along the route. Here, the climate becomes significantly drier than that in the Rocky Mountains, and the river becomes entrenched in progressively deeper gorges of bare rock, beginning with Ruby Canyon and then Westwater Canyon as it enters Utah, now once again heading southwest. After braving the rapids of the Gates of Lodore, Cataract Canyon and other gorges along the Colorado, the party arrived at the mouth of the Little Colorado River, where Powell noted down arguably the most famous words ever written about the Grand Canyon of the Colorado:[163]. Colorado is one of the 50 US states.The landlocked state, named for the Colorado River, is situated in the central United States; it is one of the three states (the others are Wyoming and Utah) that have only straight lines of latitude and longitude for boundaries. [3] Its flow regime was not at all steady – indeed, "prior to the construction of federal dams and reservoirs, the Colorado was a river of extremes like no other in the United States. [227] Controversy reached a nationwide scale, and the USBR dropped its plans for the Dinosaur dams in exchange for a dam at Flaming Gorge and a raise to an already-proposed dam at Glen Canyon. They were allegedly killed by Native Americans after making it to the rim of the canyon; two days later, the expedition ran the last of the Grand Canyon rapids and reached St. [101], Between 1.8 million and 10,000 years ago, massive flows of basalt from the Uinkaret volcanic field in northern Arizona dammed the Colorado River within the Grand Canyon. Most native peoples that inhabit the region today are descended from other groups that settled there beginning about 1,000 years ago. [206] This was followed by a U.S.–Mexico treaty in 1944, allocating 1.5 million acre feet (1.9 km3) of Colorado River water to the latter country per annum. [139] Other water projects include the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project, authorized in 1962 for the irrigation of lands in part of the Navajo Nation in north-central New Mexico. [130], The gradual influx of European and American explorers, fortune seekers and settlers into the region eventually led to conflicts that forced many Native Americans off their traditional lands. [152]:15 It was brought by the schooner Capacity from San Francisco to the delta by the next contractor to supply the fort, Captain James Turnbull. After most of the Colorado River basin became part of the U.S. in 1846, much of the river's course was still the subject of myths and speculation. [273] Reservoir levels were low enough at the beginning of water year 2014 that the Bureau of Reclamation cut releases from Lake Powell by 750,000 acre feet (930,000,000 m3)—the first such reduction since the 1960s, when Lake Powell was being filled for the first time. [150], The next contractors George Alonzo Johnson with his partner Benjamin M. Hartshorne, brought two barges and 250 tons of supplies arriving at the river's mouth in February 1852, on the United States transport schooner Sierra Nevada under Captain Wilcox. Colorado borders Wyoming and Nebraska in the north, Kansas in the east, Oklahoma and New Mexico in the south, and Utah in the west. The original version of the plan proposed to divert water from the Trinity River in northern California to reduce Southern California's dependence on the Colorado, allowing more water to be pumped, by exchange, to central Arizona. As demands for Colorado River water continue to rise, the level of human development and control of the river continues to generate controversy. We have but a month's rations remaining. The Colorado begins at La Poudre Pass in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, at 10,184 ft (3,104 m) above sea level. Colorado River at the Coyote Valley Trail head, Kawuneeche Valley The drainage basin or watershed of the Colorado River encompasses 246,000 square miles (640,000 km 2) of southwestern North America, making it the seventh largest on the continent. Melchior Díaz reached the delta in the same year, intending to establish contact with Alarcón, but the latter was already gone by the time of Díaz's arrival. In 1900, entrepreneurs of the California Development Company (CDC) looked to the Imperial Valley of southern California as an excellent location to develop agriculture irrigated by the waters of the river. The lake took about 50 years to evaporate after the Colorado resumed flowing to the Gulf. [95], The time scale and sequence over which the river's present course and the Grand Canyon were formed is uncertain. Colorado River, major river of North America, rising in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, U.S., and flowing generally west and south for 1,450 miles (2,330 kilometers) into the Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico. It is the largest Native American reservation in the United States, encompassing 27,000 square miles (70,000 km2) with a population of over 180,000 as of 2000. Between 2,000 and 1,000 years ago, the watershed was home to large agricultural civilizations—considered some of the most sophisticated indigenous North American cultures—which eventually declined due to a combination of severe drought and poor land use practices. [240], Agricultural runoff containing pesticide residues has also been concentrated in the lower river in greater amounts. At Morelos Dam, the entire remaining flow of the Colorado is diverted to irrigate the Mexicali Valley, among Mexico's most fertile agricultural lands. [270] Despite above-average runoff in 2011 that raised the immense reservoir more than 30 feet (9.1 m),[271][272] record drought conditions returned in 2012 and 2013. Quiz by CringeDragon . [185][187][n 7], Today, between 36 and 40 million people depend on the Colorado River's water for agricultural, industrial and domestic needs. [61] Before logging in the 19th century, forests were abundant in high elevations as far south as the Mexico–U.S. [13][14] In a few areas, such as the marshy Kawuneeche Valley near the headwaters[15] and the Grand Valley, it exhibits braided characteristics. [154][155], The second Corps of Topographical Engineers expedition passed along and crossed the Colorado was the 1853–1854 Pacific Railroad Survey expedition along the 35th parallel north from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, led by Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple. [72], The United States Geological Survey (USGS) operates or has operated 46 stream gauges to measure the discharge of the Colorado River, ranging from the headwaters near Grand Lake to the Mexico–U.S. ColoradoRiverV1.0.rar (61 mb) Maps by DaxMatic: Vill-Dream. Turnbull in financial difficulty, disappeared. The Green River takes drainage from the Wind River Range of west-central Wyoming, from Utah's Uinta Mountains, and from the Rockies of northwestern Colorado. PhD diss. This list may not reflect recent changes . [143] Cárdenas was reportedly unimpressed with the canyon, assuming the width of the Colorado River at 6 feet (1.8 m) and estimating 300-foot (91 m)-tall rock formations to be the size of a man. First in November 1850 to January 1851, by its transport schooner, Invincible under Captain Alfred H. Wilcox and then by its longboat commanded by Lieutenant George Derby. [25] The 277 miles (446 km) of the river that flow through the Grand Canyon are largely encompassed by Grand Canyon National Park and are known for their difficult whitewater, separated by pools that reach up to 110 feet (34 m) in depth.[26]. Why The Colorado River Stopped Flowing : ... Certain cities are setting an example in water conservation. [200], Meanwhile, large-scale development was also beginning on the opposite end of the Colorado River. American explorers collected valuable information that was later used to develop the river for navigation and water supply. [241] By the early 1970s, there was also serious concern about salinity caused by salts leached from local soils by irrigation drainage water, which were estimated to add 10 million short tons (9,100,000 t) of excess salt to the river per year. To demonstrate, here are 14 of our most beautiful rivers: We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. [231], Historically, the Colorado transported from 85 to 100 million short tons (77,000,000 to 91,000,000 t) of sediment or silt to the Gulf of California each year – second only to the Mississippi among North American rivers. The river above the junction with the Gunnison River, however, was known variously as the Bunkara River, the North Fork of the Grand River, the Blue River, and the Grand River. Houseboating and water-skiing are popular activities on Lakes Mead, Powell, Havasu, and Mojave, as well as Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah and Wyoming, and Navajo Reservoir in New Mexico and Colorado. ", "Information Database and Local Outreach Program for the Restoration of the Hardy River Wetlands, Lower Colorado River Delta, Baja California and Sonora, Mexico", "Historic "Pulse Flow" Brings Water to Parched Colorado River Delta", "Executive Summary, Green River Basin Water Plan", "Boundary Descriptions and Names of Regions, Subregions, Accounting Units and Cataloging Units", "USGS Gage #09315000 on the Green River at Green River, UT", "USGS Gage #09520000 on the Gila River near Dome, AZ", "USGS Gage #09379000 on the San Juan River near Bluff, UT", "Report, Findings, and Determination Regarding the Navigability of the Little Colorado River From its Headwaters to the Confluence with the Colorado River", "USGS Gage #09402300 on the Little Colorado River Above the Mouth near Desert View, AZ", "USGS Gage #09180000 on the Dolores River near Cisco, UT", "USGS Gage #09152000 on the Gunnison River near Grand Junction, CO", "USGS Gage #09415000 on the Virgin River at Littlefield, AZ", National Research Council (U.S.), Committee to Review the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies 1996, "USGS Gage #09421500 on the Colorado River below Hoover Dam", "Climatic Fluctuations, Drought, and Flow in the Colorado River Basin", "Runoff in the Upper Colorado River Basin Water Years, 1983–85, and Comparisons with Forecasts of Runoff to Lake Powell", "A Preliminary Water Balance for the Colorado River Delta, 1992–1998", "Colorado River Drought Threatens Power Production", "Study: Shortages Likely on Colorado River by 2050", "Mines, Farms Put Gila River on Life Support: Despite Lack of Regulation, Some Trying to Restore River to Its Natural Beauty and Wonder", "USGS Gage #09522000 on the Colorado River at Northerly International Boundary, Above Morelos Dam, Near Andrade, CA", "The Effects of Climate Change on the Hydrology and Water Resources of the Colorado River Basin", "USGS Gage #09522200 on the Colorado River at NIB, Above Morelos Dam, AZ – Annual Statistics", "USGS Gage #09010500 on the Colorado River below Baker Gulch near Grand Lake, CO", "USGS Gage #09070500 on the Colorado River near Dotsero, CO", "USGS Gage #09180500 on the Colorado River near Cisco, UT", "USGS Gage #09380000 on the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, AZ", "USGS Gage #09423000 on the Colorado River below Davis Dam, AZ–NV", "USGS Gage #09427520 on the Colorado River Below Parker Dam, AZ–CA", "USGS Gage #09429600 on the Colorado River Below Laguna Dam, AZ–CA", "USGS Surface-Water Annual Statistics for USA Grouped by Hydrologic Unit", "USGS Gage #09380000 on the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry, AZ", "Contributions of Watershed Management Research to Ecosystem-Based Management in the Colorado River Basin", "Streamflow Predictability in the Upper Versus Lower Colorado River Sub-Basins", "Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program", "Colorado River Basin Water Management: Evaluating and Adjusting to Hydroclimatic Variability (Report in Brief)", "The Tectonic Evolution of the Gulf of California", "Reconstruction of Prehistoric Shorelines for Cultural Restraints using GIS", "A Fresh Look at Western Grand Canyon Lava Dams: Introduction", "Evidence for Rapid Formation and Failure of Pleistocene "Lava Dams" of the Western Grand Canyon, Arizona", "Geochemical Discrimination of Five Pleistocene Lava-Dam Outburst-Flood Deposits, Western Grand Canyon, Arizona", "Peak Discharge of a Pleistocene Lava-Dam Outburst Flood in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA", "Water Development, Extraction, and Diversion", "Ancient Knowledge of the Chaco Canyon Anasazi", "Ancient Forest Management in the Chaco Canyon – From 600 AD to 1300 AD", "Sensitivity of the Colorado Plateau to Change: Climate, Ecosystems and Society", "Desert Farmers at the River's Edge: The Hohokam and Pueblo Grande", "Treaty Between the United States of America and the Navajo Tribe of Indians", "About the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo Tribes", "The Colorado River Indian Tribes (C.R.I.T.) 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