Colorado River Compact

By the Awesome People
Megan, Grant, and Quinn
Salton Sea - inland sea in California
Below sea level
Hot arid climate
Fed by New, Alamo,
and Whitewater Rivers
• Largest lake in California
• Started in 1905 – heavy rain and snow make
CO River swell
• Breached a dam and eroded the New and
Alamo Rivers; carried water into Salton Sink
and created the Sea
• Railroad tried to stop it but couldn’t keep up
• Salinity rose when water was redistributed to
San Diego
• Now saltier than seawater
• Fertilizer runoff into the sea
• Currently unsafe for humans and fatal to many
fish and sea inhabitants
• Many fish have died
• Once salinity increases to 4.4%, only tilapia
will be able to survive
• Fertilizer and salinity have led to bacteria and
more algae
• Unstable ecosystem
• Environmental
– Dangerous
– Home to five endangered species
– Hosts millions of migrating birds
• Economic
– Takes away fishing market from Salton Sea
– Inland sea would be an attractive tourist spot if it were
cleaned up
– Threatens the farming business of the local farmers
• $10 million for a Salton Sea water quality study in the
• Trying to reduce the water runoff that is polluted
• proposed alternative to create an artificial outlet for
the sea and reduce its salinity.
• Plans to spend $6.9 billion over the next 75 years is
in place but no set plan has been released
• Success is relative to how serious people are about
saving it
Luna and Reilly
are awesome.
Q’s 7-12
• Salton Sea:
• Lake Chad:
– Saline sea
– California
– Not connected to the
– No inlet
– Freshwater lake
– North Africa
– Connected to Atlantic
•Environmental threats
•Have been diverted for
• Chad, Africa
• Provides water to 20 million people in four
countries: Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria.
Also serves as a major source for fishing.
• It shrank 95% from 1963 to 1998.
• Human population growth, dry conditions and
• Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
• Syr Darya and groundwater from Amu Darya
• World Bank Uzbek mission
• Soviet Union irrigation project for Central Asia
• #7:
• #8:
• #9 – 12
The Aral Sea
By: Alex
Shikha Upreti
No. 13
• Resources supplied by
the Aral Sea:
– Florished the most
ancient civilization by
watering the irrigation
No. 14
• The 3 environmental
effects of the fading
Aral Sea:
– Dryer and shorter
– Longer and colder winds
– Frequent dust storms
– Intensive accumulation
of salt in soil, etc.
1. Once prosperous fishing industry has been
virtually destroyed; high rate of
2. Agriculture has been destroyed due to
increased salinity of the area’s soil
3. Destroyed the Muskrat trapping industry;
Muskrats occupied the deltas
• Similarities:
– Increased Salinity (both have
salinity ratings higher than
the ocean)
– Decrease in fish populations
– Algal Blooms due to fertilizer
• Differences:
– Salton Sea’s problems caused
by lack of outflow
– Salton Sea is not as severely
harmed as the Aral Sea
• Today the Aral sea is a
much smaller area as it
is now four separate
lake bodies at only 10%
of its original size
• Because of the
decreased lake water,
contaminants are able
to leave the soil and
blow about in the air
causing several
• Increased Infant
Mortality Rate
• Respiratory issues
• Diarrheal Disease
• Nutritional Deficiencies
• Heart Disease
• Anemia
• 19) Canals could be built that connect rivers, like the
Volga, to the Aral Sea. This would allow water from
the rivers to flow to the sea. Also, a levee could be
built to raise the water level in the sea.
• 20) The level of water in both lakes has dropped
significantly due to increased population in the area.
The water in both lakes was also used for irrigation
which also contributed to the decreasing water
levels. Also, salinity levels in both lakes have risen.
• 21) In the 1940’s Los Angeles started diverting
water from the lake to sustain their growing
population. Since then the water level has
dropped about twenty five feet.
• 22) Both the Aral Sea and Mono lake had
water diverted for human needs, both
significantly decreased in water level both had
devastating affects on wildlife.
• 23)The focus of the problem at Mono Lake is
the affect it had on animals where as the Aral
Sea problem is more about those who lost
their homes and jobs, there are very active
attempts to save Mono Lake, while little is
being done for the Aral Sea, and the two have
significantly different climates.
• 24) Efforts started with David Gaines studying the
lake and making a public report. Later on he formed
the Mono Lake Committee, which he and his
associates then went around giving public speeches
informing others. After gaining the help of other
committees, the Mono Lake Committee sues
California resulting in monitoring of the lake and
diversion stream, an increase in water level, and a
national reserve over the lake.
25. Compare water diversion influences on the
Colorado River with those on the Salton Sea
and the Aral Sea.
• The river diversion in Russia has caused the
Aral sea to retreat by tens if not hundreds of
miles, destroying once was a flourishing
fishing industry. The Colorado does not flow
into an inland sea, so it has had less of an
impact, although the river is diverted so often
that it is very small when it reaches the ocean.
The Salton Sea was formed as a result of
the diversion from the Colorado River. Flood
from agricultural activity and increased salinity
is due to inflow of contaminated material
from farmland. Algal blooms are common in
the Salton Sea. In the Aral Sea, the size is
shrinking because so much of the inflowing
water is diverted to irrigation. This is also found
in the Colorado River, because much of it
was diverted into the Salton Sea. However,
whereas the Aral Sea and Colorado are
decreasing in amount of water, the Salton
Sea is increasing. Both the Aral Sea and
the Colorado River were diverted in order
to increase irrigation and oasification of the
27. What is a tributary?
• A stream or river
that flows into a
main stem or
parent river or lake.
• Does not flow to a
sea or ocean.
River Map
28. Where is the source of the
Colorado River?
• Continental Divide at La Poudre Pass
• Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
29. What are some of the Main
Tributaries and their sources?
• Eagle River
– Origin: confluence of East Fork and South Fork
• Roaring Fork River
– Origin: Independence Lake
• Green River
– Origin: Wind River Mountains
• Dirty Devil River
– Confluence of Fremont River and Muddy Creek
30. What is the most important origin
of the Colorado River?
• Continental Divide at La Poudre Pass
• location: Rocky Mountain National Park,
Colorado, United States
• elevation: 10,184 ft (3,104 m) [1]
• coordinates: 40°28′20″N 105°49′34″W [2]
31) Delegates from the seven Colorado River Basin states met to negotiate and work out
the Colorado River Compact. The states within each basin were to work out each
state's allocation. In this manner Colorado River water is shared and used.
32) A watershed is the area of land where all of the surface water from rain and melting
snow or ice drains off of it goes into the same place; usually the exit of the basin,
where the waters join another body of water (River, Lake, Ocean.) In closed drainage
basins, the water converges to a single point inside the basin (sink), which may be a
permanent lake, dry lake, or a point where surface water is lost underground.
33) The Colorado River is a primary water supply for 25 million people in seven states —
Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California — as well as
Mexico. Two pronged approach to management among states: river management and
river planning. River management based off of supply and demand of river resources
as well as water quality, salination, consumptive losses etc. River planning deals with
operations planning dealing with long term management of river resources and
management. The management of the river is governed by multiple interstate and
international compacts, legal decrees, prior appropriation allocations, and federally
reserved water rights for Native Tribes. The “Law of the River” has been made into
law and compromised since the 1920s. Most authorize the construction of dams and
basins and settle disputes among the resource use among the seven states that share
34) Water is split among the states and Native tribes for use. It provides municipal
water, which is its main use, for many cities along the river: Las Vegas, Phoenix,
Tucson, the Colorado Front Range, the Wasatch Front, Albuquerque and the
Southern California Coastal Plain. Recreational use and hydroelectric power is
high throughout the region.
35) Especially in areas where water is limited, conflicts arise over who (whether it be
ethnic groups, states, or nations) gets access to the water and who doesn't.
These conflicts were previously resolved by violence however, from the
twentieth century on, most conflicts over water have been resolved through ,
albeit intense, negotiations.
36) In the U.S, water use conflicts are regulated through a combination of
government mandates and private limitation. Public uses, such as recreation,
are protected while all public utilities, such as sewers and water treatment
facilities, are held by the government for public benefit. Private interest is
lowered in stratification to commercial waterways and some ownership
however, ownership is limited as government seeks to hold public interest first.
Worldwide is a different story as each nation has different values associated
with water use.
31 and 32:,
33 and 34:,
35 and 36:
• Avery Brown
• Jonathan Sartor
Mexico, the US, and the Colorado River
•US diverts flows of the Colorado river with advent of Green
Revolution (irrigation purposes)
•This lead to degradation of water quality from pesticide and
runoff pollution
•Mexico complains of the poor water quality it receives on
behalf of US
•US guarantees it would do three things:
•Build a desalinization plant in Arizona
•Construct a drain to carry waste from this plant to gulf of Mexico to bypass
Colorado river completely
•Help Mexico obtain financing for rehabilitation and improvements of
Mexicali valley
Avery Brown:
Controversy over Tigris and Euphrates:
Turkey, Iraq, and Syria have different plans to use water from these rivers resulting in
water allocation issues
Turkey wants to build dams and power plants to help develop Southeastern Turkey
Syria wants the water for irrigation purposes and claims it needs a larger percentage of the
water to sustain its agricultural industry
Turkey contributes 88% of water that flows in Euphrates while Syria contributes 12%
Turkey contributes 51% of water that flows in Tigris while Iraq contributes 49%
Even though Syria contributes no water to Tigris, it has had claims since ancient times
Stable relationship with both sides currently content with water situation
Syria has had a history of holding back the waters of the Euphrates from Iraq for its own
irrigation purposes
Iraq needs water of the Euphrates for consumption and irrigation purposes as well
Avery Brown:
• Both the Colorado River and the Yangtze River
experienced problems related to water
diversion after building dams. They both
altered the natural flooding patterns of the
river and negatively affected the wildlife in the
• Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River was
controversial because it flooded archaelogical
sites, displaced nearly 1.3 million people to
increase the Yangtze’s shipping capacity and
reduce the potential for floods.
• Glen Canyon Dam – negatively impacted the
environment and native wildlife by disrupting the
pattern of natural floods. Also caused the water to
remain at an almost constant temperature
• Hoover Dam – natural flooding completely eliminated.
Changed the salinity of the Colorado River Delta
resulting in a decline of the estuarine ecosystem.

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