Presentation on theme: "‘The world’s greatest plumbing system’ An example of how a river is managed to use its water as a resource."— Presentation transcript:
‘The world’s greatest plumbing system’ An example of how a river is managed to use its water as a resource
Rises in the Rocky Mountains and flows for over 2000km It flows through 7 states across mainly arid semi- desert until it reaches the Gulf of California Today it is controlled by 11 major dams serving 20 million people, it produces 120 million kw of electricity and irrigates 800 000 hectares of farmland One of the most managed rivers in the world
Flood Control Hydro-electricity Irrigation Recreation Urban Water Supply
In 1922 the river was divided into the upper and lower basins Each basin was allocated use of 7.5 million acre-feet of water per year and Mexico 1.5 million acre -feet. Since 1930 average annual flow of river has been 14 million acre-feet = 16.5 acre feet Benefits the lower basin
The Colorado has over time cut a series of great canyons into the sandstone through which it flows. Today these canyons have become valuable storage sites as man has built dams which hold back the water creating giant lakes or reservoirs. One of these dams, the Glen Canyon Dam (178m high and 475m long has created Lake Powell. Creating these lakes does however flood some areas of stunning natural beauty and Native American Heritage.
The Grand Canyon is well known as an area of outstanding natural beauty Until 1992 the area suffered from irregular flows of water released from the Glen Canyon Dam which washed away natural river beaches, damaged fish population and effected other wildlife habitats.
Hoover Dam built in 1935 was the first dam built on the Colorado River. It backs up the waters of the river to form Lake Mead. Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake (reservoir) in the United States, holding almost 29 million acre feet of water. It backs up enough water to supply 29 million households (about equal to the population of California) for one year. The Hoover Dam is also used as an HEP station
The Central Arizona Project is the largest and most expensive water transfer system ever constructed in the United States CAP is designed to move 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually and consists of several pumping plants, tunnels and miles of aqueducts and pipelines. The entire project cost over $4 billion to construct. The CAP water was intended to be used to supply agriculture in Arizona as groundwater supplies diminished in the 60’s
Water is a top priority at Hoover Dam. Without water, life in the desert would be impossible. Hoover Dam, as well as other dams along the Colorado River, make the storage of this precious water possible. Rapidly rising populations are putting more and more pressure on available suppliers. People demand water not only for drinking and washing but for garden sprinklers and swimming pools.